You’ve no doubt heard of the word inflammation. But what exactly is it and what does it have to do with your body?
Inflammation can be a good thing. It’s your body’s way of defending itself against foreign invaders like pesky viruses and bacteria. Think of when you accidentally touch the edge of the toaster oven or cut yourself when slicing a cucumber. Those things set off a chain of events that leads to certain hormones sending signals to the cells to bring oxygen and blood to the area to help it heal. So the tissues in that area become red, warm, and swollen. That type of inflammation protects your wounds from becoming infected.
But there’s another type of inflammation that’s far more sinister. It happens inside the body where you can’t see. Communication between the cells break down, and the pro-inflammatory hormones continue to be generated on a low level. They begin to attack the joints, blood vessels, and the tissues throughout your body. For many, this chronic inflammation produces aches, pains, and fatigue.
But research shows that diet can play a key role in whether or not your body produces, or fights, chronic inflammation.1 So choosing the right foods is one of the most effective tools we have to keep inflammation in check. And help your body feel better.
So, what foods should you choose to keep those joints feeling comfortable and flexible? Here are three you MUST add into your healthy eating plan.
A study done at the University of California, Davis found that the delicious fruit significantly reduced inflammation when eaten every day.2 Cherries are high polyphenols, chemical compounds that have potent antioxidant activity. Antioxidants are important because every day, your body produces molecules called free radicals as a byproduct of normal metabolism. But when too many free radicals are produced, your body doesn’t have enough antioxidant power to neutralize them, and they can hurt healthy cells. Polyphenols help stop the formation of free radicals or neutralizes them before they do damage.
Throw some cherries on your morning oatmeal or in your yogurt. If sweet cherries don’t tempt you, dark chocolate, flaxseed, and capers are also high in polyphenols.
Black and green tea
Emerging laboratory research in India found that both green and black tea have a strong anti-inflammatory effect.3 Green tea may be more powerful than black tea, possibly due to the higher flavonoid content of this type.
To make a good cup of anti-inflammatory tea, steep your bag in boiled water for at least five minutes. If you like your tea iced, make a big pot in the morning, put it in the fridge and keep refilling your glass all day.
When it comes to inflammation, oily fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines get the gold medal. They’re high in a healthy type of fat called omega-3 fatty acids which Ohio State researchers found promoted a healthy inflammatory response in medical students who were given an omega-3 supplement.4
Cooked salmon can be eaten hot or cold. Try salmon patties topped with a Greek yogurt sauce or throw salmon on salads or in pasta. Not a fish fan? Omega-3s are available in fortified eggs, flax seed, and walnuts.
Another idea is to add an omega-3 supplement to your daily regimen to promote a healthy inflammatory response. Omega-3 fatty acids are converted through certain key enzyme pathways into inflammation regulators. They have an anti-inflammatory action that is counter to pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids.
May we suggest Omega-3 Phospholipid 500 mg? Unlike fish oil and its omega-3 fatty acids in triglyceride form, this product provides the highly bioavailable phospholipid form of omega-3 fatty acids.
Clinical research confirms the ability of Superba™ krill oil to increase blood levels of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids. An added bonus: Superba™ krill oil contains astaxanthin, a naturally occurring carotenoid and powerful antioxidant that acts as a natural preservative.*
1. Galland L. Diet and inflammation. Nutr Clin Pract. 2010;25(6):634-40. Review. PMID: 21139128.
2. Kelley DS, Rasooly R, Jacob RA, Kader AA, Mackey BE. Consumption of Bing sweet cherries lowers circulating concentrations of inflammation markers in healthy men and women. J Nutr. 2006;136(4):981-6. PMID: 16549461.
3. Chatterjee P, Chandra S, Dey P, Bhattacharya S. Evaluation of anti-inflammatory effects of green tea and black tea: a comparative in vitro study. J Adv Pharm Technol Res. 2012;3(2):136-8. PMID: 22837963.
4. Kiecolt-Glaser JK, Belury MA, Andridge R, Malarkey WB, Glaser R. Omega-3 supplementation lowers inflammation and anxiety in medical students: a randomized controlled trial. Brain Behav Immun. 2011;25(8):1725-34. PMID: 21784145.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.