Inflammation is often seen as the enemy; something that leaves us miserable, in pain, and should be struck down at all cost. However, inflammation is the body’s natural way of protecting us. Designed to call forth the blood cells and hormones meant to heal us when we obtain an injury, it’s also meant to be counteracted with anti-inflammatory hormones that keep it in check, deactivating it once the situation has been handled or dampened. The problem arises when this delicate balance is upset, where too few or no anti-inflammation properties arrive. This leaves you either more miserable than you were from the original trigger or reeling from a false alarm, experiencing headaches, throbbing joints, and back pain.
That’s when it’s time to manually counterbalance your body’s overactive system; first by understanding the root problem, and then applying a healthy, natural solution.
Causes of Inflammation
Most of us are led by our taste buds. It’s human nature to go towards what feels good immediately versus what’s good for us long term, and this encourages a diet that sets us up for failure. Some of the most popular and tasty foods are high carb and low protein, which contain oils such as corn, sunflower, peanut, soy, and so on.
This ratio is a perfect recipe for pro-inflammation hormones, but lack entirely the omega-3 fatty acids meant to keep it in check. They’re not only left to their devices without a fight naturally – which got you into this mess – but they in fact encourage anti-inflammatory hormones to steer clear, worsening the problem. By consuming more of these foods which set your inflammation balance off course, every time your body deems it time to call in your immune system, you’re left with the poor results.
Back in our cave-dwelling days, stress was a lifesaving creature. Stress and panic would trigger a series of responses in our body that made us ignore pain, made our blood vessels swell to give us more energy and more immunity against danger, made our heart pound harder to make us stronger, and shut off the little parts of our brain that focused on anything but escaping that moment.
In the modern day, we’re not fleeing tigers on a daily basis – so this natural “fight or flight” response is a pain in the butt. You don’t need to break into a sprint from your annoying boss and you don’t need to fight your way out of an unpleasant family dinner. But your body acts as if you do, expanding your veins – which resembles inflammation. The more stressed you become, the worse the inflammation becomes, causing back pain, joint aches, and migraines that increase in intensity until the situation is sufficiently handled or fled from – with some long-term suffering added into the mix for good measure.
Do you ever walk past someone wearing a certain kind of perfume and instantly get a headache? How about entering a hardware store to find the scent of plastics, rubbers, and sealants setting you back on your heels? That’s thanks to the chemicals that are wafting from the item to you, and while it may not have initially bothered you, you live in an environment where you’re exposed to harmful chemicals and substances on a daily basis.
Your immune system works to keep these things at bay, but after a few years in an office with circulated air, a few decades visiting a hardware store or tire shop, or a few months running into people with a cold – your body has enough, and can’t process these chemicals anymore. While they may harmless to you on such a small scale, your body has a build-up of these toxins and acts accordingly: launching your immune system into overdrive to protect you unnecessarily, and harming you in the process with its overreaction. This overreaction is inflammation, which brings on the headache as the veins in your brain swells to kill any threats.
Natural Remedies for Inflammation
Having a name for the problem is step one; step two is fixing the problem. Medication and changes to your routine are credited as excellent ways to reduce all the painful results of this immune system overreaction, but nature has provided healthier and more effective ways to cure this ail.
Chugging down something tasteless isn’t the way to ease your suffering; you can make yourself a delicious meal that’s as much a solution as it is a celebration to be free from the ache. Fish such as salmon are jam packed with omega-3 fatty acids – the very kind designed to put inflammation back in its place. By filling your body with those hormones it lacks, you can set the pain on its heels and even continue with your normal high carb, low protein diet. You just need to balance it out with other healthy foods to bring you to a satisfying middle ground.
Pineapple is a favorite for pizza, but when you need to reprieve from inflammation, grab a can of sliced pineapple and get to munching. It’s packed with bromelain, an enzyme that is credited as one of the most powerful for fighting against pain, as it’s absorbed by your body in its entirety rather than being broken down during digestion. If you’re in really bad shape, start chugging the juice itself for faster results. It’s an excellent boost of energy to get your strength back, and will go to work balancing out your body instantly.
A spice you can obtain at any grocery shop, putting a little turmeric in your everyday diet will build up the stores you need of anti-inflammation properties, so you can counteract those rushes of ache and pain before they even begin. Turmeric is known especially to help reduce headaches, and when you’re not using it to fight your overactive immune system, you can trust that it’s boosting your brain’s overall health. Credited for helping focus and improving long term memory, this spice is ideal for everything brain-related.
A dark lefty green, kale is best when blended into a smoothie, as its rich anti-inflammation properties and vitamins help fight against aches. Additionally, due to its moister-rich nature, it also serves as an excellent way to stay hydrated, which can also help fight against headaches and joint pain.
It doesn’t get more soothing than yogurt; you can trust its smooth texture as an accurate representation of its healthy properties. As a container of high levels of probiotics, it’s naturally designed to get to the heart of inflammation in the stomach especially, making it ideal for ulcers; but its healthy benefits are system-wide. Yogurt can balance your digestive system and give you a calm boost of energy to sooth headaches.
Inflammation means well; it’s just unbalanced. By understanding the source of your triggers, you can better prepare to avoid situations that spur your inflammation into action. But when it comes knocking, don’t turn to pills or just wait it out in pain; snag some natural remedies from the fridge for fast relief, and add them to your daily diet to avoid more incidents in the future.