Inflammation is a healthy and natural bodily response to injury or infection. It’s a necessary step during the body’s healing process because it activates the immune system to repair damaged cells. This describes short term inflammation, but long term inflammation or chronic inflammation can negatively affect overall health. Unchecked inflammation can damage tissues, joints, and blood vessels, increasing the risk of arthritis, cardiovascular disease, cancer, or diabetes.
People who suffer from chronic inflammation may experience swollen joints, skin irritation, or general pain. A person doesn’t have to simply live with these symptoms, though. That doesn’t mean that medication is the answer either. Anti-inflammatory medication may be necessary for some people, but research has found that specific vitamins can help fight back against inflammation. The vitamins in this article exhibit powerful anti-inflammatory compounds. Eating foods with these vitamins is the easiest way to absorb them, but supplementation may be necessary in certain cases. If you plan on supplementing, please discuss the supplements with a doctor, nutritionist, or dietitian.
Zinc helps to enhance immune function and exhibits powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Some studies found that zinc naturally reduced several markers of inflammation. It’s very common for people with low zinc levels or zinc deficiency to experience arthritis, inflammation, and general pain. One study found that zinc lowered levels of oxidative stress and inflammation in elderly participants. Reducing oxidative stress helps to decrease the risk of infections and cancer. Click here to learn about excellent sources of zinc.
According to a report in the Metabolism journal, vitamin K helped to naturally reduce inflammatory markers. Vitamin K also exhibited an ability to protect bones and encourage blood clotting. Did you know that most people don’t consume enough vitamin K to meet the recommended daily intake? It is necessary for bone health and newer research shows that it helps in the battle against inflammation. Get your vitamin K from leafy green vegetables like kale, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, chard, and collard greens.
Vitamin C is known immune booster, and many people resort to it if they feel a cold coming on. It’s an antioxidant that works to neutralize free radicals in the body, helping to reduce the risk of cellular damage and inflammation. By consuming vitamin C-rich foods, you help to optimize immune function and keep inflammatory markers down. Although there are many vitamin C supplements available, you can easily absorb it through food. Click here to learn about excellent sources of vitamin C.
Omega-3 fatty acids work to benefit numerous areas of the body. They have been known to reduce vascular inflammation, which increases the risk of heart attack and heart disease. One study monitored 250 people with degenerative disc disease. The results found that 59% of the participants were able to substitute fish oil for non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). The right dosage of omega-3s will depend entirely on overall health and inflammatory levels. People who take blood thinners may also need to discuss omega-3 supplementation with their doctors, as they can increase the risk of bleeding. Many foods that contain omega-3s include chia seeds, Brussels sprouts, hemp seeds, walnuts, flaxseeds, leafy greens, pumpkin seeds, and spirulina.
Involved with cellular communication and immune function, vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant that works to reverse cellular damage from oxidative stress. According to several studies, vitamin A helps to guard against various infectious diseases by boosting the immune system. Not only does it aid immune function, but it also encourages healthy bone growth. People who are deficient in vitamin A can experience impaired immune function and higher levels of inflammatory markers. Combined, those negatives increase the risk of chronic inflammation and infection. Add more vitamin A to your diet by eating sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, cantaloupe, butternut squash, red bell peppers, and papayas.