Frustrated with painful inflammation? This post will show you how to reduce inflammation naturally, for better physical, emotional, and mental health. I made sure to include some recipe suggestions, too!
Inflammation isn’t fun. It’s downright uncomfortable and the daily pain can wreak havoc on your quality of life. It really does need to be taken seriously because it can trigger a long list health problems (such as heart diseases, diabetes, arthritis, cancer and even depression).
But today we’re going to take a broader approach and list a bunch of things you can do to reduce inflammation naturally. There are cases where medication is absolutely appropriate, yes! But if you can take a gentler approach that also positively impacts your overall health…why not try it?
Follow along as we dive into some wonderfully natural, effective things to reduce inflammation.
What Is The Fastest Way To Reduce Inflammation In The Body?
The fastest way to reduce inflammation can be summarized in three words: Change your diet. If you want to reduce that inflammation ASAP you need to ditch those inflammatory foods (at least for a certain period). At the end of the day, you should aim to switch up what you currently eat with nutrition packed foods that contain antioxidants.
Why you ask? Well, antioxidants work super well because they reduce the levels of free radicals in your body. Less free radicals = less chronic inflammation.
You’ll also need a balanced diet that’s filled with protein, carbs, and healthy fat at each meal. If you aren’t sure how to go about these changes, you can check out this 5-Day Anti-Inflammatory Diet Meal Plan created by yours truly!
What Can I Drink To Reduce Inflammation?
Drinks that reduce inflammation also happen to be some of my favorites! And because they are liquid (obviously), it’s easier for your body to absorb and provide fast relief.
Give the following a try…
- Lemon water: There’s a reason why everyone loves lemon water…and not just because it aids in weight loss! The antioxidants that you’ll find in lemons are powerful anti-inflammatory agents. They reduce swelling and help your body repair damaged tissues. You can check out my blog post for more infused water recipes for ideas!
- Apple cider vinegar: Another household product that can help ease inflammation would be none other than apple cider vinegar. Trust me, it contains various vitamins and antioxidants that speed up the healing process.
- Turmeric Tea: The curcumin in turmeric is actually a curcuminoid (an anti-inflammatory compound that decreases swelling). When cooking with turmeric, you’ll know that you are taking a step toward better health. Love the golden color, too.
What Is The Best Anti-Inflammatory?
Now for two words: turmeric tea. I know I shared a bit about it above but honestly, this is probably one of the most underrated spices ever. Might come as a surprise but turmeric can be more effective than other anti-inflammatory medications such as Advil (ibuprofen) and aspirin according to the linked study.
So stop ignoring that jar of turmeric in your pantry because it might be exactly what you’re looking for! If you want to know more about this amazing spice take a look at my post on the 10 Amazing Benefits of Turmeric.
How To Reduce Inflammation Naturally
We’ve made it to our ultimate list! Follow along to learn more ways to naturally reduce your body’s inflammation (and inflammatory response).
1. Include anti-inflammatory foods in your diet
People often think that taking supplements and medications will magically make the inflammation go away. But the truth is, it won’t. If you want to reduce it long term then you need to start making better food choices and include whole, anti-inflammatory foods in your diet. Check out my 5-Day Anti-Inflammatory Diet Meal Plan if you need help.
Your meals should include these foods:
- nuts (like almonds and walnuts)
- berries (like blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries)
- olive oil and coconut oil
- dark, leafy greens (like kale and spinach)
- whole grains (like quinoa, brown rice, wild rice)
- red grapes
- beans and lentils
- cold water fish like tuna and fatty fish like salmon and mackerel (better alternatives to red meat)
- broccoli (one of the healthiest vegetables out there)
- green tea (matcha)
- spices, like pepper, turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon
- dark chocolate
- chia seeds (boost your omega-3 fatty acids intake)
- flax seeds
- citrus (like oranges and lemons)
- natural sweeteners (like dates and pure maple syrup)
- root starches (like sweet potatoes, beets, and potatoes)
2. Get more exercise
Another way to offset your inflammation would be to simply “move.” In fact, studies show that the least sedentary people had the lowest inflammation even when they didn’t lose weight.
By adding an hour or two of moderate exercise per day or even just walking, you’ll reduce symptoms of inflammation. People who fit walking into their lifestyle (instead of always being sedentary) have lower levels of inflammatory markers in the body. Another exercise good for both mind and body is yoga.
3. Keep your stress level at bay
One thing I noticed about inflammation is that it tends to flare up whenever I’m having a stressful week. This only supports the study in the journal, “Brain, Behaviour, and Immunity” that people who have a strong response to stressful tasks experience an increase in pro-inflammatory cytokines.
(They are basically an army of chemicals, to attack the invaders. But since there are no invaders, and you’re constantly stressed, they start to cause inflammation. It’s fascinating, really!)
Many people will use meditation as a way to lower stress levels and kick anxiety to the curb. Reducing fatigue (by upping both sleep and exercise) also helps. Did you know probiotics can help with stress? Read my post on fermented foods to learn more and then stock up on sauerkraut, kimchi, and probiotic yogurt.
*Did you know that there are certain foods you can eat to help reduce stress? Check out my post, Best Foods for Stress Relief.
4. Manage your blood sugar
One surefire way to reduce inflammation is to limit or avoid altogether simple carbohydrates, such as white flour, rice, refined sugar and other forms of sweeteners. Research shows that refined carbs hit your bloodstream quickly which then spikes up your blood sugar.
I used to love white bread but I totally switched it out for more organic and wholesome options instead to aid in the fight against harmful insulin resistance. If you aren’t sure which breads to substitute, you can check my blog 6 Best Store Bought Breads.
5. Get a massage
Enjoying a long shiatsu or Swedish massage isn’t just for R&R! In fact, research shows that getting a massage reduces your body’s cortisol levels (the stress hormone). With a massage you also get the blood circulation going and you get to loosen some tight muscles. Now isn’t that a great excuse to get one ASAP?
6. Get enough sleep
Notice how when you lack sleep you get extra cranky and little things tend to frazzle you easily? When you don’t get enough sleep you’re more prone to getting stressed which leads to more inflammation. So make sure that you get enough zzzz’s to lower your inflammation levels. I’m not kidding, the anti-inflammatory effects of sleep are for realz. Plus did you know sleep can also help you lose weight?
How Do I Move Forward?
While it’s sometimes challenging to build up the momentum required to make these changes, it is SO worth it. Aiming for an overall healthy diet will definitely help you in the long run in so. many. ways.
We’re talking about improved physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Here are a few more easy tips:
- Get your vitamin C from citrus fruits and veggies
- Quit smoking
- Reduce alcohol
- Take care of your gut by eating healthy whole grains
- Stay away from processed foods and sugar filled snacks
- Up your vitamin E intake with delicious nuts and seeds
For instance, when I started doing this 5 Day Anti-Inflammation meal plan, I saw a change in my mood and body. Everything just felt lighter. If you want to dip your toes and see how you can combine flavor and health together then give the tips in this post a try. Good luck, friends. You’ve got this!
This post contains affiliate links for products I use regularly and highly recommend.