Pain, redness, swelling. All these can be signs of inflammation and while pain and swelling sound like bad things, that’s not necessarily so. Actually inflammation is how your body fights infection, responds to illnesses from bacteria and viruses, reacts to ingesting allergens, injury, and overdoing exercise or physical labor. What happens in these conditions is that the body increases the blood flow to the area that is affected, moves white blood cells and other protective cells to combat bacteria and viruses, and releases chemicals that protect tissues around the area affected. While this causes us pain, redness and swelling for a time, it also means the body is repairing itself and that’s good. But sometimes inflammation becomes chronic because the body just doesn’t turn the reaction off or it starts triggering inflammatory action when it is really not warranted. Inflammation can also occur from free radicals running rampant in the body causing oxidative damage, stress, not getting enough exercise, being exposed to toxins, and diet concerns such as an unbalanced ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, not enough phytochemicals, too much fat and simple carbs, and eating too much refined and processed foods. Inflammation that becomes chronic can be linked to disastrous results like heart disease, cancers, and Alzheimer’s.
What Does Hawaii Know
When it comes to reducing chronic inflammation, there are definitely some lessons we can take from Hawaiians. Two of these are noni and bromelain which is found in pineapple. The noni tree is a small evergreen tree that is native in places such as the Hawaiian Islands and the fruit and leaves have been used for centuries for healing. Native Polynesians call it the pain killer tree and it’s been used for everything from colic and coughs, to constipation and liver disease to ulcers, high blood pressure and pain from arthritis and lots more. Many of this healing ability is credited to the flavonoids, antioxidant catechins, and polysaccharides it contains. Nutritionally it also gives you niacin, potassium, iron, vitamin A, vitamin C and dietary fiber. The other thing that can help with inflammation that comes from places such as Hawaii is pineapple. Pineapple has an enzyme called bromelain that has anti-inflammatory properties. This enzyme, that is able to dissolve protein, affects the white blood cells, leukocytes, that contribute to inflammation.
Other Ways to Fight Inflammation
There are many other natural solutions through diet that can be used to help fight inflammation. Foods that contain antioxidants such as vitamin C and vitamin E and selenium help fight off free radicals that damage body cells and cause oxidation in the body which can lead to inflammation. Some of the best sources for antioxidants are bright colored fruits and vegetables, green tea and edible mushrooms and for selenium are foods like oysters, clams, crab, sardine and fish, nuts and seeds, lean meats, whole grains, beans and legumes. Certain spices like ginger and turmeric also have been found to have anti-inflammatory properties so finding recipes to add these into your diet can be helpful. In the case of an imbalance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids being the cause of inflammation, fish oil, algae, or just eating fish can help. Research on participants with rheumatoid arthritis taking fish oil have shown a reduction in pain and stiffness. It also has ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) which is a type of omega-3 that is a powerful antioxidant able to penetrate oil and water so it can work inside the body and outside on skin. Actually though ALA and other fatty acids like, EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are found in fish and fish oil because fish eat algae and algae is their source for them. You can do the same and get the exact ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 that the human body needs from AFA bluegreen algae. AFA bluegreen algae in addition gives you phycocyanin which acts as a powerful antioxidant, phytonutrients, calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, necessary trace minerals such as copper and chromium, 20 different amino acids including carnitine, and tyrosine, and a wide variety of vitamins including vitamin A and B vitamins which also help in coping with stress.
Supplement Your Diet With Inflammation Fighting Ingredients
It sounds great to reduce your inflammation by eating all the right foods like veggies, fruits, fish, healthy oils, nuts and whole grains, but we all know in our busy lives this doesn’t always happen. You can still get the good nutrition you need by adding wholefood supplements to your diet. You can even get supplements with the bromelain and noni found useful for reducing inflammation. For a boost of antioxidant power, take a look at this supplement with a combination of bluegreen algae, wheatgrass juice, cordyceps mushrooms, bee pollen, turmeric, noni, and green tea and that is especially useful to take before a workout or strenuous exercise. To get in your bromelain as well as other plant based enzymes like papain, protease, lipase, and serratiopeptidase and some AFA bluegreen algae added in, you can try this supplement designed particularly for those with active lifestyles or athletes who overwork their joints and tissues. And for even more antioxidant power, there’s this supplement that blends wild blueberry, green tea, carnosine, and organic wild bluegreen algae.
Eating right and exercising is always the best way to stay healthy and active. But when that is not an option, know that there are wholefood supplements that can help you get the nutrition your body needs to work at its optimal level. So take a lesson from nutritionists and from Hawaiians and eat those foods you know will support your body to do its best for you.