Do you ever feel sore and stiff and suffer from joint pain?
Here’s another set of nutrition tips that will serve you well: there are four key foods and nutrients that can help you fight inflammation and reduce pain.
What’s even better, is they can also act as an integral part of your fat-burning diet as well.
4 Powerful Foods to Reduce Inflammation Your Body Loves
1. Fish Oil (DHA and EPA)
Right off the bat, one of the very best nutrients to reduce inflammation you can possibly take is fish oil.
Fish oil is very high in omega-3 fatty acids, specifically DHA and EPA, which are really important for our brain health and fighting inflammation throughout the body.
Specifically, DHA and EPA are fast-acting prostaglandins, which are essentially fast-acting hormones in the body. They’re the ultimate breakdown product of omega-3 fatty acids.
What does this mean?
It means they set off a whole cascade of events at the cellular level to reduce inflammatory markers such as cytokines, which we want to keep at very low levels in our body.
The recommendation is to take about 800 to 1000 mg of EPA and DHA per day. I take two tablespoons, so I’m going to get four times that amount.
If you’re exercising regularly and not eating the healthiest diet, you’re going to be a little bit more inflamed. Same goes for if you’re smoking and drinking.
All of this can lead to pain further down the road. To cool the inflammation this causes, fish oil can definitely help.
[Try This: Easy Curried Fish Stew via Jamie Oliver]
Ginger is so ridiculously good for you.
I like to shave off the skin, grate it into a little cup, squeeze the juice out and put that into a cup. That way, I ensure I’m getting the most bang for my buck from this natural anti-inflammatory food.
I also like to make ginger tea with apple cider vinegar and lemon. I don’t boil the water because I don’t want to kill the nutrients. I’ll add my ginger juice to the hot water and boom – a delicious and healthy cup of ginger tea.
You can also add ginger to so many stir-fries and dishes you prepare at home. Give it a shot.
[Try This: No-Cook Thai Pink Ginger Soup]
3. Turmeric (Curcumin)
If you had the option to put all of your money on one nutrient-packed, natural anti-inflammatory food—much like a horse race—turmeric would be it.
Seriously; It’s that good.
Part of what makes turmeric so awesome is its active component curcumin. It’s been shown to have the same, if not better, effect at relieving pain as Advil. That’s amazing, right?
You can take it supplementally at about 500 mg two to three times a day. You can also take it in a powder, although that’s a little less easy to use. If you’re in pain, I’d advise capsule form.
[Try This: Anti-Aging Turmeric Elixir]
4. Vitamin C
Sure, you knew that vitamin C can help you fight colds, but did you know that it’s a potent natural anti-inflammatory as well?
Vitamin C is an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant vitamin. It’s simply one of the most important antioxidants for your body, especially if you’re into heavy exercise.
It’s been found, for instance, that marathon runners who consistently take more than adequate vitamin C have less infections and less immune depletion just by taking it on a consistent basis versus those who only take it once something happens.
[Try This: Do-it-Yourself ‘Emergen-C’ Smoothie]
A continually good level of vitamin C intake is really important to fighting infections, keeping you healthy, and keeping you less inflamed, less in pain, and more agile.
If you’re looking for an easy way to make vitamin C a part of your anti-inflammatory diet, our Energy Greens provides 740 percent of your daily vitamin C requirement in one tablespoon. It’s a crucial part of this nutritional powerhouse.
These are the four biggies when it comes to natural anti-inflammatory foods or supplements.
Keep in mind, lowering your inflammation will also help you burn fat. Our body, if it’s inflamed, is essentially stressed out and cortisol increases.
If cortisol increases, that signals the body to hold onto fat for “protection.” Reducing inflammation and thus your stress load will give your body the signal that it’s ok to release the fat you’re holding onto.
[Related: 3 Ways Stress Causes Weight Gain]
If you know anyone who has joint pain, arthritis, or any kind of inflammatory issue, share this article with them. And if you want a bigger list of foods to reduce inflammation, check out this post I wrote.
By maintaining a diet rich in natural anti-inflammatory foods and nutrients, you can save yourself some money at the pharmacy and increase your quality of life!
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Yuri Elkaim is one of the world’s most trusted health and fitness experts. A former pro soccer player turned NYT bestselling author of The All-Day Energy Diet and The All-Day Fat Burning Diet, his clear, science-backed advice has transformed the lives of more than 500,000 men and women and he’s on a mission to help 100 million people by 2040. Read his inspiring story, “From Soccer to Bed to No Hair on My Head” that started it all.