Anti inflammatory foods, herbs and supplements: How they work
There are many anti inflammatory foods, herbs and even few supplements which can help you reduce inflammation as well as lower the risk and treat inflammatory heart disease.
However, your best bet is healthy diet which consists of foods, listed below.
On the other hand, some anti inflammatory herbs can be very helpful, while supplements should be your last choice. Only exception would be vitamin D, in case you may be deficient in this vital nutrient.
ANTI INFLAMMATORY FOODS
Anti-inflammatory foods are basicaly the same foods used for treating heart disease. However, some of them are more effective than others. This includes:
Fish contains omega 3 healthy fats which can reduce inflammation because of which it is useful for treating inflammatory heart disease.
Berries are extremly rich in various phytochemicals and antioxidants, thanks to which it can neutralize free radicals caused by inflammation and stress.
Cruciferous vegetables are source of diindolylmethane or DIM. DIM can detoxify and reduce estrogen in the blood. High estrogen leads to inflammation, heart disease and cancer. However, other types of vegetables can be very helpful, too.
Fruits are rich in fiber and anti inflammatory phytochemicals. Since it is very easy to include them into diet, they remain as one of the main weapons against inflammation.
ANTI INFLAMMATORY HERBS
There are many herbs which can be used for the same purpose as foods. Few of them such as turmeric, boswellia or adaptogens can be very effective and in some cases, even better than anti inflammatory foods.
Boswellia seems to work on the brain and on the cellular level. By affecting 5-LOX and COX-2 enzymes as well as by acting on the brain cells, it can reduce inflammation, systematically.
Skullcap contains inflammation modulator baicalein which acts on the nervous system and induces relaxation. It is also used for treatment of inflammatory heart disease.
Devil's Claw is one of most well known anti inflammatory herbs which may work well in combination with Boswellia. However, it doesn't acts right away but over time.
Adaptogens work by balancing hormones and cytokines. Hormonal imbalance is one of the main triggers for inflammation.
Spices such as ginger, parsley, clove and rosemary are also effective, especially when combined with anti inflammatory foods such as fish and vegetables.
Chamomile, Melissa, Valerian and Hops are relaxing herbs which can decrease the risk of inflammatory heart disease by reducing stress hormones such as cortisol.
Turmeric is the most well known and one of the most effective anti inflammatory herbs, thanks to curcumin which is a type of polyphenol.
ANTI INFLAMMATORY SUPPLEMENTS
Although supplements shouldn't be your first choice, when it comes to treating or reducing the risk of inflammation, some of them can be useful.
MSM or methyl sulfonyl methane works by supplying the body with sulfur. Sulfur plays a role in many processes within the body, especially in maintaining connective tissue.
Salicin, that is salysilic acid, is found in several herbs as well as in aspirin. For more informations about salicin, use the search box on the right.
Enzymes such as bromelain, papain as well as others help the body digest food thereby cleaning the digestive tract which reduces the risk of inflammation.
Vitamin D is a vitamin which acts as a hormone. It helps regulate inflammatory processes in the body.
Astaxanthin and Resveratrol are strong antioxidants which have shown to be effective in reducing the risk of inflammation, by lowering C-Reactive Protein and modulating genes involved in inflammation.
WHAT TO AVOID
While these anti inflammatory foods, herbs and supplements can make a difference, so can your eating habits. More precisely, the bad foods you eat and that you shouldn't.
Foods high in fats, especially trans fats as well as foods high in carbs, especially simple carbs are on the top of the list. Usually these are processed, refined foods such as donuts, some cooking oil, fried foods, pancakes, flour, margarine, high fructose drinks, pasta, cookies and candies. Even some healthy foods such as honey due to high carb content can be inflammatory, if consumed in excess.
Dairy products, food aditives, gluten, alcohol and processed meat can also make treating inflammatory heart disease as well as other inflammatory conditions much more difficult.
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