OK, so I made this document for a friend here in Austria, who needed help with inflammation. However, since I mentioned it, friends have asked that I post & share it. I’m happy to share, but was hesitant at first.
Please note, this is based on my research only and is in no way a medical document, nor one claiming to be correct in every way. I’ve probably missed many things and if so and you have something to add, please add in the comments below.
Before I begin … If you aren’t already taking Spriulina regularly, go get some, now! :-) It’s a super food that really is just that. Amazing. I’ve been on Spriulina for 20 years, but have my toddler & husband on it now and it’s done wonders for both. Has also changed their lives. You can add it to a smoothie, juice, water, nettles tea, whatever… Can also bake with it or sprinkle it. Really highly recommend it!
Also, if you don’t know about it already, Swedish bitter should be a staple in every health nut’s household. :-) I use the original 19-ingredient Schwedenbitter here in Austria, but I’ve already seen you can get it on Amazon (US) and although not the 19-ingredient one, it has 11 really awesome ingredients. Check it out and see what you think… *Note, I did a little post on it last week, so just scroll down to read more.
OK, ready? ….
Tiger nuts! If you don’t know about them, get going on your research, then go get them! :-) They are amazing for many things and when I say ‘they’, I should say ‘it’ because it comes in nuts/flour/extract & juice form – which btw, you can all of the above yourself out of the nuts if you choose. Tiger nuts have many benefits I won’t get into, but one is it’s excellent for breast lumps and cancer (any type of internal canceration and inflammations).
Glucosamine/Chondroitin supplements - Tab form are easiest. Daily intake best and will give you awesome results! Helps to re-build and support cartilage. Also if you take MSM at the same time, the combo of glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM and EFAs (essential fatty acid) all together show great results in studies for arthritis and cartilage rebuilding in particular.
Brown Millet (take tsp-tbsp a day) in food or just by spoon in water/smoothies, etc… Long term use necessary and totally worth it! It delivers calcium into your bones and helps build up your cartilage and make your bones stronger to boot! Good, good stuff!
Elderberry extracts can reduce the effects of inflammation and enhance immune function in bronchitis, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, AIDS and cancer patients.
Cod liver (or Fish) oil is really good for the inflammation. Long term use and you will notice a HUGE difference! Note: Cod liver in the winter, Fish oil in the Summer.
Test our your tolerance to what we call, ‘Nightshades.’ Those are; Potatoes, tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, eggplant, tomatillos, tamarios, pepinos, pimentos, paprika, cayenne, and Tabasco sauce. They cause some people with joint/muscle/tissue problems with inflammation.
Worth it to check your diet in general. As you know, what you eat has a huge impact on inflammation in the body.
One thing you can eat that is great for this is celery. Celery juice is best (if you like to juice veggies, I am crazy for it!) and will get it right in there. Side note: while you’re at it, can make a nice green juice with other great stuff too, spinach, kale etc…
Also great is Kombucha tea. Fortified with glucosamines. These are substances needed by the joints to stay strong and healthy. In particular, glucosamines help promote the production of hyaluronic acid which helps reduce arthritis-related pain and preserves the form and structure of cartilages. Hyaluronic acid also allows for the body’s connective tissues to bind more moisture, thereby maintaining healthy tissues, flexibility, and lubrication in the joints. You can buy it, but better is to learn to make your own. There are tons of tutorials online – check it out!
Also, try adding some vitamin C powder in your water once a day. Taste yummy and Vitamin C is integral in building connective tissue, cartilage.
Try eliminating grain (or limiting). It throws the omegas off in the body. They are higher in omega 6. Be careful to research what are grains, what are not. It can get confusing – trust me! :-)
Also Magnesium. Sometimes we’re not getting enough via food.
Also, avoiding dairy may help you (try it out for a week!). Cheese has 10x the casein of milk and it is the casein which people are intolerant of, generally.
Flax seeds! Two components in flaxseed, ALA and lignans, may reduce the inflammation that accompanies certain illnesses (such as Parkinson’s disease and asthma) by helping to block the release of certain pro-inflammatory agents, Fitzpatrick says.
The plant omega-3 ALA has been shown to decrease inflammatory reactions in humans. And studies in animals have found that lignans can decrease levels of several pro-inflammatory agents.
Reducing inflammatory reactions associated with plaque buildup in the arteries may be another way flaxseed helps prevent heart attack and strokes.
Kefir, kefir, kefir… :-) I am no expert on kefir, but really recommend you look into it. Kefir is a fermented milk drink, a living culture, a complex symbiosis of more than 30 microflora that form grains or cauliflower-like structures (sometimes called plants) in the milk. As the culture ferments the milk these structures grow, creating new grains in the process. Real kefir from live culture is an endlessly self-propagating process.
Note, you can buy kefir ready to go/eat, but you can also (and highly recommended), buy kefir grains and make your own. There are MANY tutorials online, so if you decide to try it out (you should, you really, really should!), I recommend doing a bit of research first. Really worth it! I add my daily dose of spirulina, some banana & my probiotics to my kefir every morning. My husband and toddler take it the same way, except brown millet & tiger nut is also added. Yes, my one year old eats and loves it. Really! :)
Limit your intake of organ meat, read meat. You don’t need to avoid red meat totally, though the same thing can’t be said for processed meat. No amount of processed meat is safe. Replace the bulk of your red meat with organic vegetables, poultry and fish, and relegate red meat to a weekly treat. When you do eat red meat, remember to choose lean cuts and preferably, that of grass-fed animals.
Also limit legumes when you’re experiencing inflammation.
If you are eating anything with gluten, try eliminating it. I have inflammation problems and am now gluten-free. Changed my life. Could keep notes to see if it helps or exasperates the problem(s) for you.
Bone broths! Everyday! Lots of bone broths!!
Salmon is really good, high in omega 3 (one of the top!), as well as walnuts and flax seed. Wild seafood is best!
Lots of omega 3 fatty acids are good. Good foods for this are; Fish, olive or flaxseed oil, fats, walnuts whole are best. All those oils are good on salad too! Try adding some + nuts & flax seeds to your salads for added benefits & nutrition. Grind flax seeds in the coffee grinder if you want a ‘meal/flour’ to add to food. Seeds whole aren’t very beneficial – oil or meal is best.
More very good sources of these healthy fats (omega 3 fatty acids) include scallops, cauliflower, cabbage, cloves and mustard seeds, halibut, shrimp, cod, tuna, soybeans, tofu (although I am very against, anti-soy) kale, collard greens and Brussels sprouts.
Also good is; squash, spinach, turnip greens, cod, strawberries, green beans, snapper, scallops, raspberries, miso…
Do you use/eat coconut oil? Virgin organic is best. Eat by the teaspoon daily, cook with it, bake with it… You can also use that same jar for your skin FYI. I make my own skin potions with it and love it! Just a side note. :)
Limit your sugar! Bad on every level. White, refined sugar is the worst!! It’s poison for our bodies. Also note, Agave is NOT good – a TON of high fructose. Check it out…
Drink juices, specifically green homemade. Or, some good ones to incorporate are; Black currant, orange juice, cherry (sour best), pomegranate, plum and apple. All good for inflammation. Don’t drink lots of fruit or vegetable juices at one time because it will overload your kidneys, pancreas, liver, and all of your organs of digestion. Sip it slowly in small amounts. Low sodium juices are best.
Adding lemon or lime to your water is a good idea too. This is also a great natural de-tox for your system in general. Warm is best, but room temp works.
Limit or better yet, omit alcohol from your diet or specifically when you’re inflamed.
Also note, corn is an inflammatory food. In case you’re eating it. Maybe try eliminating (cutting back) to see if you feel better…
Getting lots of Vitamin E is good.
I would add to you diet on a regular basis: Onions/garlic, fermented foods (really look into fermented foods if you haven’t already – SOOOO beneficial!), walnuts, pumpkin seeds (nuts in salad are always easy) about a tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar a day.
Note, Apple cider vinegar is very healing and good to have every day. Can dilute with water if needed and even add honey. Very beneficial for inflammation and a host of other benefits! My husband drinks his with honey & lemon in bubbly (mineral) water. Very refreshing!
You can also do this if you’re having a particularly bad flare of inflammation. Do it for a few+ days as needed, but with less water. Be careful drinking it straight though as it can eventually cause esophagus damage (my vocal doc here in Austria told me this and I found the research to back it), as well as stomach damage.
My husband takes a straight shot (no water/honey/lemon) only when he gets a gout flare. The good news is, the straight shot is worth it because within hours, it is gone, gone, gone!
Note: Apple cider vinegar applied as hot compresses to aching joints can also reduce inflammation and pain directly.
Another remedy if you’re uncomfortable w/ acv is tart cherry juice. Try drinking it for a few days. Good to implement in your life in general if you are prone to inflammation.
Nettles tea! Oh where oh where to begin… Nettles, nettles, nettles. Simply amazing. So there is my beginning. I will follow that by quickly saying you can buy it ready to go OR, if you’re feeling particularly ambitious, have the time and the location, you can pick them for yourself! Here in Austria, they are plentiful in the alps, but you’ll need to do some research in your area. Remember, if all else fails, you can buy it dried and ready to go and it is still going to be great! Check your health food store.
Are you drinking green tea? It’s anti-inflammatory (and anti-aging!). Really the way to go if you like it. You can add honey and lemon too, if it makes it taste better for you. I love green tea, but it’s not for everyone. ♥
Do you drink caffeine by any chance? Some people are sensitive.
Also, have you ever had or been tested for candida? Yeast overgrowth. This can sometimes cause joint/cartilage issues. There is more information online on what exactly this is and how you can get tested for it. Check it out if you think you may have it.
Some people swear by chiropractic treatments. I have never done them, nor can I tell you much, but do some research, talk to friends and see what you think.
It goes without saying; Acupuncture, homeopathy & cell (tissue salts). If you don’t know about the latter, just hit google and go! Really amazing stuff (cell salts) I am still learning about!
Ginger, chilli, cardamom & Garam Masala help inflammation.
Several studies have supported the benefits of a “Mediterranean” or an “anti-inflammatory” type diet, and spices such as ginger and turmeric are also showing promise. Dietary polyphenols can modulate the intestinal inflammatory response, plant sources of dietary polyphenols — including green tea extract, various flavonoids, ellagic acid (found in muscadine grapes and pomegranates), and resveratrol (found in the skin of red grapes, red wine and Japanese knotweed) — were shown to successfully modulate intestinal inflammatory response.
Again, look for anti-inflammatory nutritional ingredients such as resveratrol, muscadine, and pomegranate polyphenols.
OK, I think I’ve gone on long enough. I think I could spend all week on this if I don’t stop! :)
Hopefully something, even one thing I say, helps!
Good luck! xxx
P.S Oops! Almost forgot to add coconut water! No, not the stuff w/ added sugar or flavoring, but the real 100% coconut water with no additives. Cannot go wrong with coconut water – ever.