The explosion in chronic inflammatory health problems and accompanying reliance on prescription anti-inflammatory drugs has given rise to a common myth that all inflammation is bad and must be stopped immediately in its tracks.
Ongoing inflammation has indeed become a significant health problem, and is now considered to be at the root of many common chronic and degenerative diseases; even depression and Alzheimer’s Disease have underlying inflammation as hallmarks. The flipside however is that inflammation is also an important natural process that helps to protect against injury, infection and toxins.
If there’s too much inflammation, your health will suffer. And if there’s not enough, your health will suffer too. As with most things, the key lies in finding a healthy balance.
Health Problems Associated with Inflammation
✓ Skin (eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis)
✓ Mental health (depression)
✓ Cognitive function (Alzheimer’s Disease)
✓ Cardiovascular health problems
✓ Diabetes (type 1 and 2)
✓ Autoimmune diseases
✓ Some forms of cancer
✓ Inflammatory bowel disorder (IBD, Crohn’s disease, colitis)
Unfortunately, a typical Western diet and lifestyle is loaded with triggers that encourage inflammation to persist beyond what is helpful; leading the body into a constant pro-inflammatory state. When inflammation is consistently out of balance, chronic health problems naturally follow as a result. In fact, most people following a typical Western diet and lifestyle are constantly in this heightened inflammatory state. In contrast, there are many diet and lifestyle factors that have a calming effect on inflammatory processes. The key lies in nurturing this delicate balance to bring the body back into a state of harmony and equilibrium; where inflammation is utilised when needed, but the body quickly returns back to balance once the threat has subsided.
Key anti-inflammatory nutrients and phytochemicals
✓ Curcumin – The main active component of turmeric, curcumin has widespread >anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity, and has been extensively studied in a wide range of chronic diseases. Curcumin is notoriously difficult to absorb however, so is best delivered in micellar supplement form as this has been shown to be 85 times more powerful than normal powdered curcumin.1
✓ Ginger – Evidence suggests that ginger has significant anti-inflammatory and painrelieving properties.
✓ Boswellia – A traditional Ayurvedic remedy that has long been used to support a wide range of chronic inflammatory conditions and is now evidence-backed by scientific studies.
✓ Rosemary – This popular herb has a long history of traditional use, with significant reported antioxidant, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. Studies show that rosemary helps to balance key inflammatory pathways in the body.
✓ Vitamin C and Citrus bioflavonoids – More than 50 years of research supports vitamin C’s role in the immune system and as a powerful antioxidant. Citrus bioflavonoids have significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
✓ Green tea – A powerful antioxidant and helps to modulate several inflammatory pathways.
✓ Vitamin D – Many people are low in vitamin D and a large body of research has demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects of vitamin D.
✓ Omega 3 - Typical Western diets, high in omega-6 and low in omega-3 fats contribute to a wide range of illnesses characterised by pain and inflammation. A daily supplement of high quality omega-3 fish oil can help to reduce inflammation and support a healthier balance.
1. Schiborr C, Kocher A et al. The oral bioavailability of curcumin from micronized powder and liquid micelles is significantly increased in healthy humans and differs between sexes. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2014, 58, 516-527
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