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Top 10 Tips to Reduce Inflammation

One question I often get asked is: What can I eat or take that will help with inflammation? Often people struggle with inflammation in such ailments as arthritis, fibromyalgia, swelling, stiffness, and pain. Inflammation can also show up in digestive trouble, mood disorders, and brain fog. I would really love to share ten ways we can help reduce inflammation with nutrient-dense foods, supplementation, and beneficial lifestyle activities.

1. Eat the rainbow. Eat a variety of colorful, raw fruits and vegetables. These foods will help to provide antioxidants and phytochemicals (chemicals found in plants) that can be very anti-inflammatory. These foods can include leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, and a wide variety of fruits, such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, cherries, apples, oranges, and bananas.

2. Include healthy fats. Omega-3 fatty acids are especially anti-inflammatory. Foods such as nuts and seeds (almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, hemp seeds), and wild-caught cold water fish such as salmon and sardines are very helpful.

3. Include herbs and spices. Turmeric, curcumin, ginger, cayenne, and hot peppers all have anti-inflammatory compounds. A tip with including turmeric - consume it with a fat source as well as black pepper in order to be sure that it is absorbed as best as possible. A 1/2-1 tsp of turmeric in a vegetable soup will do the trick. Green tea can also be helpful.

4. Reduce and eliminate inflammatory foods. Foods that can be inflammatory are refined carbohydrates (white bread, white pastas, pastries, cookies, chips), sugar, red meat (especially non-grass fed), processed meats, lard, margarine, processed vegetable oils (like canola, soybean, cottonseed, etc.). Some people may have a sensitivity to certain foods that they may not be aware of, such as a gluten, dairy, soy, corn, or nut sensitivity. Just avoiding inflammatory foods may reduce these symptoms in a relatively short amount of time.

5. Supplementation. Taking good quality supplementation, such as boswellian, MSM, glucosamine, condroitin, berberine, as well as the spices mentioned above in supplementation form can be very helpful.

6. Manual therapies. Manual therapies such as physical therapy, osteopathy, chiropractic, and massage can be very helpful. If you suffer from swelling/edema, compression socks may also be very helpful.