Free UK Shipping on orders of £30+
close

How to Reduce Inflammation and Pain Naturally

by Veronica Hughes

The World Health Organisation (WHO) considers chronic inflammation as the greatest threat to human health. But it’s within our power as individuals to make changes. We explain some of the vicious cycles that can perpetuate inflammation, and how to break out of them with lifestyle changes, herbal supplements and improvements to our diet and nutrition. We don’t promise miracle cures. But a lot of small changes can add up to make a real difference.

How to Reduce Inflammation and Pain Naturally

The difference between short-term inflammation and long-term inflammation

Short-term inflammation - a throbbing infected cut, or body aches when we have flu - is a vital part of our immune defence, and a sign things are working as they should. Chronic inflammation is a different story. It's a chaotic immune response that makes many serious conditions worse, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, strokes, obesity, lung diseases and other major killers. 

The signs of chronic inflammation

  • Body pain, arthralgia, myalgia
  • Chronic fatigue and insomnia
  • Depression, anxiety and mood disorders
  • Gastrointestinal complications like constipation, diarrhoea, and acid reflux
  • Weight gain or weight loss
  • Frequent infections

 

The 3 Ways To Reduce Inflammation Naturally

1 - More anti-inflammatory foods & supplements

These include anti-inflammatory foods like turmeric, and nutrients including omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D.

2 - Less fat and sugar

Saturated fats and sugar-rich foods are triggers of oxidative stress which increases inflammation and disrupts metabolic function. 

3 - Lose weight

Excess weight, particularly visceral "belly" fat, releases inflammatory cytokines that wreak havoc throughout the body.

Turmeric can block inflammation mechanisms

Turmeric, a glowing yellow spice from the roots of the Curcuma Longa plant, is probably the single most popular natural anti-inflammatory used worldwide. The active compound in turmeric, known as curcumin, is responsible for many of its health benefits, including its ability to reduce inflammation in the body. 

Turmeric Reduces Inflammatory Pathways

Curcumin has been shown to inhibit the activity of various inflammatory enzymes and pathways in the body, including cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), lipoxygenase (LOX), and nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kB). These inflammatory pathways are associated in particular with arthritis pain.

Turmeric Blocks Pro-inflammatory Cytokines

Turmeric can suppress the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), interleukin-1 (IL-1), and interleukin-6 (IL-6), which play a key role in causing pain, inflammation and tissue damage in the body. 

Curcumin Enhances Antioxidant Defences

Curcumin has powerful antioxidant activity, scavenging free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that contribute to oxidative stress and inflammation. This is how turmeric helps to prevent the onset of chronic inflammatory diseases.

Turmeric Supports Joint Health

Studies have shown that turmeric supplementation can improve joint mobility, reduce stiffness, and relieve pain in individuals with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Turmeric Promotes Gut Health

Turmeric has been shown to reduce gut inflammation and improve gut barrier function, healing the mucus membranes that line the gut. This is how it helps people with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.  

VitaBright Turmeric 2160mg

VitaBright Organic Turmeric

Ultra high strength

Ginger & black pepper boost assimilation

No junk, just pure active ingredients

BUY IT NOW

 

Nutrients that Help Reduce Chronic Inflammation

Vitamin D3 helps calibrate immune responses

Vitamin D3 is also involved in balancing the immune system, and you need enough Vitamin D to keep inflammation under control. Vitamin D deficiency is one of the commonest nutritional deficiencies in the developed world, particularly in northern countries with less sunny climates.

Eggs and cod livers are rich in vitamin D. It's also found in oily fish including salmon, mackerel and sardines. The UK government suggests everyone should take a Vitamin D supplement in winter. 

Our high strength Vitamin D3 4000 IU supplement provides an essential nutrient for the immune system. With a 14-month supply in a single bottle, it gives you the best natural ingredients with no binders or fillers, specially formulated for fast absorption into the body.

Omega 3 oils stop oxidative damage

Omega-3 oils, specifically DHA and EPA found in fish oil, possess anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects, impacting cellular processes involved in inflammation. They compete with omega-6 fatty acids (found in many processed foods) in the body's cells, shifting the balance towards a less inflammatory state. They interfere with the production of pro-inflammatory eicosanoids, such as prostaglandins and leukotrienes.

To add Omega 3 to your diet, eat oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines.

VitaBright Omega 3 fish oil has 660mg of EPA and 440mg of DHA per serving, making this 2 to 3 times stronger than many other brands. It's molecularly distilled and filtered pure omega 3 fish oil, with no filler oils or bulking agents. We use fresh oil with no nasty aftertaste, from sustainable wild fish stocks.

Vitamin A or Retinol can balance the immune system

Vitamin A is fundamental to all aspects of the immune system. In particular, it plays a role in balancing the immune response, making sure inflammation is at a sufficient level but doesn’t get out of control. People without enough Vitamin A may have excessive allergic or autoimmune responses while noticing their immune response to coughs, colds and other bugs seems slow and weak. Smokers and diabetics sometimes need more Vitamin A than average.

You can boost your vitamin A by eating liver, fish, eggs, and dairy products. Provitamin A (which our bodies make into vitamin A) comes from leafy green vegetables, orange and yellow vegetables, tomatoes and carrots. 

VitaBright high-strength, clean Vitamin A is enriched with sunflower oil to maximise absorption, delivering 10,000 IU (3,000 mcg) per serving. It comes with a 13-month supply of 400 softgels in one bottle. They're easy to swallow and free from lactose, soya and toxins, with no smell or aftertaste.

Bioflavonoids trap harmful free radicals

This family of numerous vitamins, which give fruits and some their various bright colours, are collectively known as Vitamin P. They work as anti-inflammatories in a list of ways. One of these includes trapping free radicals which cause oxidative cell damage.

The good news is that increasing your intake of these helpful vitamins is enjoyable. It’s best to adopt as many different ways as you can, and consider a good quality supplement as well.

Bioflavonoids are also found in fruits, vegetables, tea, wine, and various other plant-based foods. Green tea's bioflavonoids, like catechins, have anti-inflammatory properties, contributing to its potential in managing inflammation. We don’t easily absorb a lot when we eat them, which is why it’s important to consume as much as we can. There are many different types of bioflavonoids, and they are often classified into subgroups based on their chemical structure. 

Diet Changes Can Reduce Chronic Inflammation

A diet high in processed foods, sugar, and unhealthy fats can contribute to chronic inflammation. Here’s a quick run-down of the foods you should avoid, and why.

Avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates with a high glycaemic index

Foods with a high glycaemic index are the ones which rapidly reach your bloodstream in the form of glucose – usually in just a few minutes.

Why is sugar bad?

Blood sugar spikes cause the body to release pro-inflammatory cytokines, contributing to chronic inflammation. Cytokines are the substances that the body uses to cause inflammation when it’s necessary to defend the body from infections, but it’s a high-cost process that causes damage over the longer term.

Sugar, especially sugar snacks, also increases the risk of insulin resistance. This is a problem for anyone with chronic inflammation, not just diabetics.

Which carbohydrate foods are bad that I should avoid?

  • Sugar, sweets and other sweet foods
  • Fizzy drinks
  • Potatoes
  • Starchy baked foods which are NOT wholemeal (these are called refined carbohydrates) such as bread, pasta, noodles, cereals, and chapattis
  • Fruit and fruit juice
  • Some dairy products such as milk and yogurts.

 

Which carbohydrate foods are better that I should eat instead?

  • Multigrain, granary, rye, seeded bread, sourdough bread
  • Wholemeal / brown rice
  • Bulgur wheat, barley, couscous, quinoa
  • Porridge, muesli, oat and bran-based cereals without added sugar or honey

 

Avoid Trans Fats and Saturated Fats

Saturated fats are solid at room temperature, and they increase inflammation. Unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature and they are less harmful. Trans fats are created artificially by heating up liquid oil until it is hydrogenated, changing its molecular structure so that it becomes solid at room temperature – these are the most harmful fats of all, and they’re not even a natural food substance.

Why are trans fats and saturated fats bad?

They activate inflammatory pathways and increase the production of pro-inflammatory molecules, such as cytokines and C-reactive protein (CRP).

Saturated fats raise levels of both LDL (low-density lipoprotein) “bad” cholesterol and HDL (high-density lipoprotein) “good” cholesterol. However, they have a greater impact on LDL cholesterol, leading to an increase in inflammation – the more you eat, the worse it gets.

Trans fats are even worse than naturally saturated fats. They raise levels of LDL “bad” cholesterol, while lowering levels of HDL “good” cholesterol. This imbalance in cholesterol levels increases the risk of heart disease and all the other diseases associated with chronic inflammation.

Which fatty foods are bad that I should avoid?

  • Processed foods such as margarine, baked goods, fried foods, and packaged snacks
  • Anything that has been fried – either by you or out of sight in a factory
  • Butter, lard and coconut oil – anything that’s naturally solid at room temperature

 

Which fats are better that I can eat instead?

  • Olive oil is by far the best type of oil to choose. It is not only unsaturated, it is also not a processed food.
  • Nuts, seeds, olives and avocados: Cooking oils from these seeds are a better choice of fat.

 


healthy olive oil

Get regular exercise to change how your inner body works

Sedentary lifestyles are associated with increased inflammation. Exercise has several mechanisms through which it can help reduce chronic inflammation in the body.

We know that chronic inflammation makes it harder to lose weight and that overweight is an illness. Chronic inflammation traps you in a vicious cycle, whereby the fat is tormenting you yet it’s harder to lose weight just because it’s there. Fat cells produce inflammatory substances, so excess fat can contribute to chronic inflammation by churning out these unwanted enemies. It takes extra grit to lose weight in this situation but people who manage it say the improvement to their health can be amazing.

Exercise reduces inflammation by reducing visceral fat

Regular physical activity can modify our immune function, promoting a balanced immune response and reducing chronic low-grade inflammation. Exercise can enhance the activity of immune cells, such as T cells and natural killer cells, which play a role in regulating inflammation.

Regular exercise can help decrease the amount of visceral fat, which is the fat stored around internal organs. Visceral fat is metabolically active and produces inflammatory cytokines. By reducing visceral fat, exercise can lower the overall inflammatory state in the body.

Improve insulin sensitivity to reduce chronic inflammation

Exercise enhances insulin sensitivity, allowing cells to more effectively take up glucose from the bloodstream. Improved insulin sensitivity can help prevent insulin resistance, a condition associated with chronic inflammation and various metabolic disorders.

Exercise to trigger your natural anti-inflammatory processes

Exercise stimulates the release of anti-inflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin-10 (IL-10), which help counteract the effects of pro-inflammatory cytokines. This balance between pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines helps regulate the inflammatory response in the body.

Exercise will boost your natural antioxidants

Exercise increases the production of antioxidants in our bodies, such as superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione, which help neutralise reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reduce oxidative stress. By reducing oxidative stress, exercise can mitigate inflammation associated with oxidative damage to cells and tissues.

Exercise can improve the balance of helpful probiotic bacteria in your gut

Exercise has been shown to influence the composition of the gut microbiota, promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria associated with reduced inflammation. A healthy gut microbiota can help maintain intestinal barrier function and prevent the translocation of bacteria and endotoxins that can trigger inflammation.

Sources

Action of Bioflavonoids on Inflammation, E. Salgado, D. M. Green

Chronic Inflammation, Roma Pahwa, Amandeep Goyal, Ishwarlal Jialal.

The molecular mechanisms of chronic inflammation development, Masaaki Murakami, Toshio Hirano 

Curcumin-free turmeric exhibits anti-inflammatory and anticancer activities: Identification of novel components of turmeric, Bharat B. Aggarwal, Wei Yuan, Shiyou Li, Subash C. Gupta

About the Author

Veronica Hughes is a writer and researcher with a lifelong passion for nutrition and healthcare. She has spearheaded a medical research charity as its CEO, been an influential committee member of National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to shape treatment guidelines for the NHS, and actively contributed to the development of Care Quality Commission treatment standards for the NHS. Her publications include newspaper articles and insightful blogs covering a spectrum of health topics, ranging from diseases and nutrition to modern healthcare and groundbreaking medical research.

by Veronica Hughes

Anti-Inflammation Bundle

Anti-Inflammation Support.

Curated by experts, this Anti-Inflammation Bundle provides a essential daily dose of Zinc alongside vitamin D3 and Advanced Multi Strain Probiotic Bio Cultures Complex to provide the best possible nutritional to help support the reduction of inflammation.

Order Now!
Something went wrong, please contact us!

Your Shopping Bag

Subtotal: