Each day I focus on a natural, simple approach to nutrition and health. So when my rheumatologist suggested I start some heavy-hitting medicines to ease my rheumatoid arthritis, I was resistant. Low-dose chemotherapy and immune system suppressing drugs don’t fit my ideals, lifestyle or desires.
So at this point, I’m attempting to make myself feel better by using nutrition and exercise.
Over the last few years, I’ve lost weight, maintained a healthy weight, started exercising regularly and eased into a whole-foods focused meal plan. I rarely have fast-food and prefer to cook from scratch at home for most meals. All of these efforts have made me feel better day-to-day.
But, now it’s time to really get intentional about reducing the internal inflammation in my body.
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4 Ways I Reduce Daily Inflammation
I’ve scoured medical journals, talked with various doctors and reached out to the people in my RA support group for ideas. For the last few months, I’ve been ramping up to this daily routine, and for the last few weeks, it’s been incredibly helpful with reducing morning joint stiffness and boosting my energy levels.
1. Lemon-ACV Tea: Each morning, the first thing I have is a hot mug of sour tea. The first few times I made this drink, it wasn’t pleasant. It takes time for your taste buds to get used to the bitter flavors. Each day it gets easier to drink.
I add a big lemon wedge and approximately two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (I like this raw, unfiltered option from Bragg’s) to a mug of hot water. The lemon helps improve digestion and calm morning nausea associated with internal inflammation. The apple cider vinegar is supposed to help your health in a variety of ways and stories like THIS make me hopeful.
However, the Arthritis Foundation says drinking apple cider vinegar to alleviate arthritis pain is a myth. I think I’ll give my morning drink another few weeks and decide for myself how it makes me feel.
2. Aronia Berry Smoothie: A few months ago I was visiting with my veterinarian. My dog has mid-grade heart disease, and I was told to try giving her aronia berry juice daily to help reduce her internal inflammation.
I then asked the vet if it would be OK for me to try the juice too, and he said absolutely! In his research, he’s found that 2 ounces of aronia berry juice daily has the same anti-inflammatory effects as 10mg of a popular steroid. (I also found a study from 2005 online that backs up this information.) Wow!
So, I’ve been adding the tart juice to my fruit smoothies each morning and savoring the extra energy that I notice a few hours after having the juice. So far, I love it and plan to enjoy aronia berry juice daily.
Update: I also take aronia berry capsules twice a day now! I get mine from an online store called Swanson.
3. Ginger and Honey Tea: In the afternoons, I often have nausea. A steaming cup of hot ginger tea with honey soothes my stomach. I add a few slices of fresh ginger root and a tablespoon of honey to a mug of hot water and let it steep for a few minutes before savoring. It really is a spicy-sweet treat in the afternoon.
The Arthritis Foundation does back the medicinal properties of ginger. The fresh grated tuber or a pill form of ginger is helpful for reducing nausea, inflammation and pain.
4. Daily Turmeric Pills: A few months ago I started taking daily turmeric pills. I’m now taking 1000mg in the morning and another 1000mg in the evening. I’ve chosen to consume a formula that’s mixed with black pepper to also get the benefits of curcumin. I’ve noticed less morning stiffness in my hands since starting the turmeric pills.
Medical News Today says turmeric can help with inflammation, pain control, liver functioning and digestion.
Do you have chronic inflammation and use a natural approach to improve your health? I want to hear about it! Comment below or feel free to message me privately. I’m always looking for new ways to feel my best.
Until next time,
Note: This post was last updated on August 18, 2020.