Inflammation can be unpleasant, to say the very least. It usually shows up as redness, heat, swelling, or pain in your body––not the kind of feelings you want to be feeling. While it’s certainly uncomfortable, inflammation is often a sign that your body is trying to protect you, whether from a bacteria, virus, injury, or infection. Fun fact: the redness and swelling are simply your white blood cells suiting up to defend you.
Inflammation starts to get trickier when it flares up in response to longer term health issues, like ongoing stress, toxins, obesity, or autoimmune disorders. In this case, the inflammation may be chronic and lead to more serious conditions, such as arthritis, heart disease, and even cancer.
Whether acute or chronic, if your inflammation is causing you discomfort, you’ll want to take steps to minimize its impact on your body and mind. Of course, the first step is to consult your doctor for the best course of action. Once you’ve established a treatment plan with your medical practitioner, you may want to incorporate these inflammation-fighting tactics––recommended by the experts––into your wellness routine:
1. Add turmeric to your diet.
Turmeric is a natural and effective anti-inflammatory compound, which makes it effective in reducing chronic pain, mitigating joint pain, and helping to relieve various forms of arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.
Turmeric is also known for its antioxidant potential. This characteristic enables it to remove toxins from the body and fight free radicals, which can lead to various chronic conditions, including inflammation.
There are a number of ways to add turmeric to your diet. Pro-tip: turmeric is absorbed best during a fasted state, so try to consume it one to three times per day before your meals.
Lisa Richards, Nutritionist, The Candida Diet
Looking for a quick dose of turmeric? KOR’s Vitality combines Hawaiian turmeric with black pepper for increased absorption. Filled to the brim with fresh California lemons and coconut water, this shot is a welcome addition to your anti-inflammatory routine.
2. Drizzle some olive oil.
The fats found in hydrogenated oils (think: margarine and vegetable shortening) have high quantities of omega-6s. Unfortunately, an overconsumption of omega-6s (without proper omega-3s) can increase the inflammatory response in the body. Ditching processed oils in favor of healthy fats, like olive oil, is imperative for keeping inflammation down.
Shannon Dolan, Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner
3. Ward off inflammation with deeper zzzs.
Our sleep is regulated by our circadian rhythms, which also regulate our immune system response. When our rhythms are disrupted, we are more prone to inflammation.
You can encourage more restful sleep by improving your gut health. Did you know that 80 to 90% of serotonin (a precursor to melatonin) is produced in the gut and 400x more melatonin is produced in the gut than the brain?
By optimizing your gut health, you’re supporting more satisfying, inflammatory-fighting sleep.
Certified Nutritionist Bonnie Flemington
Treat your belly right with KOR’s Gut Check. This digestion-friendly juice shot combines apple cider vinegar with 1 billion CFU probiotics to encourage anti-inflammatory gut-sleep alignment.
4. Mighty magnesium!
Studies have found a critical relationship between magnesium deficiency and chronic inflammation. Magnesium plays an essential role in the body. It's responsible for over 300 different biochemical reactions and is present in every single cell.
Unfortunately, 70-80% of Americans are not meeting the recommended daily intake of this super mineral, which could very well be the cause of so many chronic diseases caused by inflammation in the US.
On the bright side, studies show that when you get enough magnesium in your body, inflammation decreases. In fact, a 2017 meta analysis of 11 studies found that supplementing with magnesium caused a significant decrease in CRP levels (inflammation markers) in individuals with inflammation.
Natalie Jurado, Founder, Rooted In
5. Melatonin does more than just help you sleep.
Melatonin works as a powerful anti-inflammatory hormone by inhibiting NF-kappa B, a protein complex which––when unregulated––has been linked to cancer, septic shock, viral infection, improper immune development, and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.
Dr. Brook Sheehan, Functional Medicine Chiropractor
Melatonin has been shown to fight off inflammation, so why not treat yourself to a delicious dose of it each night? KOR’s Sweet Dreams contains 1mg of melatonin for inspiring more restful sleep and recovery.
6. Winter vegetables are colorful, delicious, and inflammation-fighting.
Chronic, low-level inflammation causes the kind of oxidative stress in the body that leads to many of the chronic conditions common to Western nations, including heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Winter vegetables, like squash and pumpkin, are excellent sources of antioxidants that reduce inflammation by preventing the clumping of blood platelets.
Inflammation can manifest in the body as pain, but it also contributes to a whole slew of health issues, ranging from sprained ankles to menstrual cramps. Acupuncture works by activating the nerve pathways that either suppress or promote inflammation. In fact, this traditional Chinese practice has even been used as a treatment for cytokine storms, an extreme immune response, in which the body releases excess inflammatory proteins.
8. Invest in a diffuser.
Essential oils are the pure oils extracted from plants, flowers, herbs, fruits and trees. The molecules of the essential oils are so fine that they have the ability to be absorbed by the skin, reach the bloodstream, and be transported around the body.
Each essential oil is made up of a unique chemical complex that can have a variety of effects on the body and mind, including fighting inflammation on the skin, muscles joints, and other areas of the body.
Some of the main anti-inflammatory essential oils are bergamot, chamomile, clary sage, geranium, lavender, patchouli and tea-tree.