Top tips to keep inflammation at bay

If you have ever been stung by a bee, sprained your ankle, or suffered from an allergy, then you have experienced inflammation.

Inflammation is your body’s natural reaction to irritation, injury, or infection. Our body’s inflammatory response keeps us healthy and safe from a wide range of illnesses. Excessive or uncontrolled inflammation can result in the aggravation of a vast array of health issues or diseases such as arthritis, eczema, psoriasis, heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and asthma. If you are suffering from an inflammation driven health issue, why not try to reduce the symptoms naturally.

Follow Evergreen's top tips to reduce inflammation:

Anti-inflammatory diet

Try to include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. Foods such as green leafy vegetables, wholegrain foods, oily fish, raw nuts, and seeds are super beneficial for health. Also, try to stay hydrated by aiming to drink at least eight glasses of water a day. You can also stay hydrated by drinking coconut water, green vegetable juices, or herbal teas. It is important to avoid inflammatory foods such as refined sugar, alcohol, cakes, pastries, deep fried foods, or pizza.

Top up your oil

Getting the right balance of healthy fats in your diet is vital to help reduce inflammation. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are considered essential as our bodies cannot produce these fats, so we must obtain them from a healthy diet. Today, people consume 80 per cent less omega-3 rich foods in their diets than our ancestors. To obtain omega-3, you can either eat two portions of oily fish per week (salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, herring ) or supplement with an omega-3 fish oil daily. Surprisingly, an IPSOS/MRBI survey found that 89 per cent of Irish people are not consuming sufficient oily fish in their diet, so there is often a need to supplement with a high quality omega oil supplement.

Add some spice (ginger and curcumin )

Recent studies suggest ginger may have a positive effect on inflamed joints. Packed with gingerols and shogaols, ginger extract may help to increase joint mobility and alleviate morning stiffness and muscular discomfort. The Mozaffari et al (2016 ) study on 120 patients with osteoarthritis, demonstrated that use of 500mg ginger a day for three months caused a decrease in inflammatory markers compared to the group given a placebo. Altman et al (2001 ) found that among 247 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee and moderate to-severe pain, those taking the ginger extract for six weeks experienced significant reduction in knee pain on standing, compared with those taking a placebo.

Scientific research indicates that curcumin, a component of turmeric, can be effective in many illnesses due to its ability to switch off inflammation. Curcumin is promoted mainly as an anti-inflammatory herbal remedy, and is a natural alternative to NSAIDs. In one randomised control study, curcumin was found to be as effective as ibuprofen for reducing pain. While curcumin is well known for an array of benefits, poor absorption of this molecule has always been an issue. Look for a product which combines curcumin extract with liquified ginger, to ensure increased bioavailability, absorption and effectiveness. Gingerol, a compound present in ginger, has been shown to enhance the bioavailability of curcumin even better than piperine, a compound found in black pepper. In a patent work by Khajuria et el (2003 ), it was shown that gingerol was effective as a bioavailability enhancer. A comparison of the activity of gingerol to piperine in curcumin absorption was evaluated. For the given dose (50 mg/kg ) gingerol was shown to enhance the bioavailability of curcumin by 43 per cent whereas piperine showed enhancement by 33 per cent.

Reduce stress

Take time to unwind and relax. Too much stress can also contribute to inflammation, so it is important to make time to relax and destress. Common practices to help reduce stress include exercise, meditation, yoga, pilates, or simply walking regularly. Taking some time out from your busy day to focus on exercise or relaxation techniques can greatly help to reduce stress and therefore the overall strain on your health.

Drop into the local Evergreen health store to find out more about its range of omega-3, curcumin/turmeric, and ginger supplements.

For more information visit www.evergreen.ie

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