10 Supplements That Fight Inflammation

Medically Reviewed on 7/22/2022
10 supplements to fight inflammation
Learn 10 powerful, scientifically supported supplements that can help fight inflammation.

Inflammation-related symptoms including pain, swelling, and erythema are the body's natural response to injury.

Anti-inflammatory medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, target the many inflammatory pathways to relieve pain. Despite frequently being very successful, these medications can have negative side effects, such as gastrointestinal ulcers and, less frequently, myocardial infarction and stroke.

Natural anti-inflammatory substances have been used for ages to control inflammation, frequently with fewer adverse effects. We've evaluated a few of the most popular naturally occurring substances that come from plants and animals that may be equally helpful in treating the inflammatory response seen in both chronic and subacute pain syndromes encountered in a typical neurosurgical practice.

Clinical studies and ongoing research must be supported by evidence of their efficacy in reducing inflammation and fostering well-being.

10 supplements to fight inflammation

Here are 10 powerful, scientifically supported food items that can help fight inflammation:

  1. Curcumin: The primary ingredient in turmeric curcumin has been extensively researched in various chronic conditions due to its vast anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities. The best way to give curcumin, which is generally difficult to absorb, is in the form of a micellar supplement, which has been proven to be up to 185 times more bioavailable than regular powdered curcumin.
  2. Ginger: According to evidence, ginger has potent anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving qualities. It contains an essential oil called “gingerol” that is known to inhibit pain pathways in the brain just like aspirin.
  3. Boswellia: It is a well-established Ayurvedic treatment that has recently received scientific backing for its efficacy in treating several chronic inflammatory disorders.
  4. Rosemary: This well-known herb has a long history of traditional use and has been shown to have substantial anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties. According to studies, rosemary helps the body's important inflammatory processes stay in balance.
  5. Citrus bioflavonoids and vitamin C: Research on vitamin C's function in the immune system and as a powerful antioxidant dates back more than 50 years. Citrus bioflavonoids significantly reduce inflammation and act as an antioxidant.
  6. Green tea: It is a strong antioxidant that aids in regulating various inflammatory processes and fighting free radicals in the body.
  7. Vitamin D: Numerous studies have reported that vitamin D has anti-inflammatory properties and the ability to influence white blood cell metabolism. However, many people have inadequate levels of it. To stay healthy during the chilly months of fall and winter, the government now advises that everyone take a daily vitamin D supplement.
  8. Omega-3 fatty acids: A variety of diseases marked by pain and inflammation are caused by typical Western diets high in omega-6 fatty acids (meat, dairy, and vegetable oils) and low in omega-3 fatty acids (nuts, seeds, and oily fish). High-quality omega-3 fish oil supplements used daily can maintain a healthy balance and reduce inflammation.
  9. Piperine: Black pepper has a long history of use in many different cuisines and is one of the most important medicinal plants. Piperine is a significant alkaloid in the cinnamamide family and is derived from the ethanolic extract of black pepper. Because piperine has a potent anti-inflammatory effect, it can be used to suppress excessive inflammation.
  10. Capsaicin (chili pepper): Originally planted in the tropics of the Americas, Capsicum annum is a tiny spreading shrub that is now grown worldwide, including in the United States. The chemical capsaicin is responsible for the stinging pungency of the little red fruit that is frequently used to enhance chili. This is made up of about 12 percent of the chili pepper and was first isolated by chemists more than a century ago.


Vitamin D Deficiency: How Much Vitamin D Is Enough? See Slideshow

What is inflammation?

The body uses inflammation as one of its defense mechanisms. Inflammation aids in the prevention of infections, boosts blood flow to areas that require repair, and alerts us to problems through pain. However, if inflammation levels are too high or if a person experiences chronic inflammation, they may develop tissue damage or metabolic diseases as a consequence of constant low-grade inflammation in the body. 

  1. Proteins are important: Your levels of inflammation will be reduced if you obtain the majority of your proteins from plants, such as beans, whole grains, and nuts. If you consume red meat, it is preferable to choose a wild game or grass-fed beef over grain-fed cattle. Fish that have been caught wild rather than farmed can be a fantastic source of protein. 
  2. Consume more fiber: Inflammation is reduced by carbohydrate fiber. Different organizations recommend various daily quantities but aim for the following:
    • Women aged 19 to 50 years: 25 grams daily
    • Men aged 19 to 50 years: 38 grams daily
    • Women who are 50 years and older: 21 grams daily
    • Men older than 50 years: 30 grams daily
  3. Consume your whole fruits and vegetables: Eating more fruits and vegetables is typically at the top of the list when it comes to suggestions for healthy eating. Vegetables and fruits reduce inflammation due to their high polyphenol content. Particularly nice choices include berries and cherries. Fruit juice is typically a bad choice because it has little fiber and a lot of sugar. It is a smart idea to make your smoothies. Select products with dark colors and a range of hues. Plants receive their color from phytonutrients, beneficial substances with anti-inflammatory properties. Non-starchy vegetables should take precedence over fruits if you have diabetes or prediabetes.
  4. Add extra inflammatory-blocking herbs and spices: Paprika, rosemary, ginger, turmeric, sage, and cumin are some of the finest anti-inflammatory foods to consume. When other chemical characteristics of spices were examined, it was discovered that cloves, ground Jamaican allspice, cinnamon, sage, marjoram, and tarragon are all excellent options. Different types of lipids are digested in the body in various ways, which can either cause or lessen inflammation.
  5. Trans fats should be avoided: Trans fats, which are added to foods to extend their shelf life, may cause inflammation in the body. Avoid eating anything that has “partially hydrogenated” oils listed on the label. Many baked items (such as cookies, pie crusts, frozen pizza, and cakes) and fried foods contain trans fats (donuts and fries).
  6. Reduce your intake of saturated fats: Most saturated fats—although not all—cause inflammation. These fats are usually derived from animal products including milk, cheese, cream, butter, and meats (such as lamb, hog, chicken with skin, and fatty beef). Try to eat white meats, fish, and other seafood generally if you eat meat. Plant-based saturated fats (such as coconut and palm kernel oils) might not be as bad for you.
  7. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids’ ratios should be balanced: You may have heard of essential fatty acids. Your body cannot naturally produce these polyunsaturated fats. You must consume them through your diet. Your body needs both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids to function correctly, but they must be in the proper proportion. The issue is that eating more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids can make inflammation worse. Today, most people consume 14 to 25 times more omega-6 fatty acids. Reduce inflammation through food, nuts, and seeds, as well as vegetable oils including corn, soybean, and sunflower oil, that are sources of omega-6 fatty acids. Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel contain omega-3 fatty acids. Try to have two servings of fish per week, each weighing three to four ounces. There are many fish oil supplements on the market. Usually, 1,000 to 2,000 mg are used daily. Consult your doctor before beginning a fish oil regimen if you are using blood thinners. Whole grains, walnuts, and green leafy vegetables are additional sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
  8. Consume monounsaturated fat: In addition, there exist monounsaturated fats. One of these, olive oil, is recognized for lowering blood sugar, bad cholesterol, blood pressure, and inflammation. Oils from canola, peanut, safflower, and sesame seeds are additional sources of this type of fat. Among the best are avocados. According to some experts, you should consume monounsaturated fats for half of your calories and saturated fats for one-fourth each. According to several diets, you should consume roughly 13 of your total daily calories as fat. You must determine what suits you the best.
  9. Consume some bitter chocolate: This suggestion is generally well-liked. Dark chocolate should have at least 70 percent cocoa mass to reduce inflammation. On the label will be the cocoa content. Daily use of 1.5 ounces reduces inflammation and lowers blood pressure.
  10. If you do decide to consume alcohol, go with red wine: Red wine has a reputation for reducing inflammation. You shouldn't start drinking to reap this benefit. According to one study, cooking with olive oil and drinking white wine both helped reduce inflammation. Although additional research is required to examine the effects of various beverages, other liquids, such as grape juice, have been discovered to have some advantages.

However, keep in mind that even one alcoholic beverage per day can increase the risk of breast cancer.

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Medically Reviewed on 7/22/2022
Image Source: iStock image

How to use food to help your body fight inflammation: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/how-to-use-food-to-help-your-body-fight-inflammation/art-20457586

Natural anti-inflammatory agents for pain relief: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3011108/

Foods that fight inflammation: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/foods-that-fight-inflammation