Supplements That Fight Inflammation
As a Board Certified OBGYN trained in Culinary Medicine, I believe in the power of nutrition to combat inflammation. At the Galveston Diet we believe in food first. Supplements can be vital for your health when there is a deficiency due to lifestyle, health conditions, and the modern western diet1 but they are not meant to take the place of real food. To be clear, supplements do not match the nutrition that eating whole foods through meals built with lean protein, fruits, and vegetables.
Whole Foods Have Three Key Advantages Over Supplements:
- more nutrients from dietary complexity;
- fiber that helps increase regularity, eliminate waste and stabilize blood sugar, and;
- naturally occurring protective components like phytochemicals that help prevent cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
Fight Dietary Deficiencies With Supplements
The steady rise in obesity in the United States directly correlates to so-called “advances” in modern food production. We have deficiencies linked to multiple inflammatory conditions, mood disorders, weight gain, and an overall decline in quality of life. This eating pattern has a fatty acid ratio that promotes disease: too much omega-6 and not enough omega-32. Ultra-processed foods rich in chemicals, dyes, and sugar are disruptive to the microbiome, which creates an adverse chain reaction that ricochets through every system of the body3. Finally, the western diet pattern typically has a low fiber intake – about 50% less of daily recommended amounts. Without the cleaning power of the dietary bulk moving through our digestive tract, we carry waste and debris internally that robs our vitality.
If you were going to choose any supplements to add to your diet and reduce inflammation, these would be my top 6 evidence-based supplement recommendations to fight inflammation and support women through the stages of menopause.
Our bodies are made up of proteins and one-third of that protein is collagen. Collagen is made up of a concentration of three amino acids—glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline. We need collagen for our connective tissue (ligaments, tendons, muscle) and our skin – it aids in our strength, regulation, and regeneration of new tissue. Researchers conclude that collagen supplementation of 5-15g/day aids in improving joint mobility, agility, reducing inflammation (pain), and improving body composition and muscle recovery.4
The 'Pause Nutrition Skin Boost Plus by Sparkle Wellness contains VERISOL Bioactive Collagen Peptides, which has been clinically proven to boost the skin’s collagen levels by up to 60%. One scoop per day in a large glass of water packs a powerful punch.
Fiber is one of the key deficiencies in the standard American diet, adding in soluble and insoluble fiber can drastically improve overall regularity, bloating, constipation, and aids in reducing other chronic health issues. C-reactive protein (CRP) levels in the blood have been observed to be lower in those who eat high fiber diets in a few studies. CRP is an inflammatory measure associated with conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), heart disease, and diabetes.5 The 'Pause Nutrition Fiber GDX includes both soluble and insoluble fiber, each of which provides different health benefits. It is easy to add to your morning smoothie or glass of water and tastes great.
A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids has been shown to have benefits in several inflammatory and autoimmune diseases in humans, including rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, psoriasis, lupus erythematosus, multiple sclerosis, and migraine headaches. If fatty fish is not to your taste – adding an omega-3 supplement to your routine may be just the thing.6 To learn more about or purchase the 'Pause Nutrition Omega-3 & Vitamin D + K supplement, click here.
Your body, especially your large intestine, contains trillions of microorganisms. The gut microbiota, a colonic bacterial population, has a role in immunological health, digestion, and other bodily processes. Some of these bacteria cause disease, while others combat it, and a healthy mix of good and harmful bacteria is required to maintain good health. Problems occur when this balance is disrupted. Probiotics can be handy in these situations.
Probiotics are good bacteria that are comparable to those found naturally in the body. A greater variety of probiotic bacterial strains may be found in the many probiotic products on the market. To reap the rewards, you must select the best option for your requirements.
Foods rich in probiotics include yogurt, sauerkraut, kombucha, fermented pickles, and miso. However, many of these options are not utilized by many Americans. A probiotic supplement can be helpful. In rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, and multiple sclerosis, microbial alteration by probiotics has been demonstrated to alleviate gastrointestinal symptoms and multiorgan inflammation in several randomized controlled studies.7
How to choose a probiotic supplement? Choose probiotics with at least one billion colony-forming units and contain the Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, or Saccharomyces boulardii genera, some of the most investigated probiotics.
Turmeric is a spice known for its therapeutic benefits. It has piqued the interest of medical and scientific researchers and culinary fans, as it is the primary source of the polyphenol curcumin. It helps with oxidative and inflammatory disorders, metabolic syndrome, arthritis, anxiety, and hyperlipidemia treatment'Pause Nutrition Turmeric supplement combines curcumin with piperine, to increase its bioavailability significantly.
Vitamin D is crucial in many biological processes and known to support the body with other chronic conditions to include: obesity, diabetes, hypertension, depression, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, osteoporosis, and neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease. Over 42% of Americans are deficient in Vitamin D, and this number can approach 85% in menopause. Most of our human diets are deficient in this vital nutrient and Vitamin D supplementation is helpful for many chronic health issues, overall absorption of calcium, and supports the immune system. 10
Fight With Food First And Then Supplement
Our food sources and preferences are not all equal. We do not all have the budget to support nutrient-dense foods and supplements. That is why I believe in food first and supplementation when you know you are not getting some key nutrients. Whole foods are the real superheroes when there is a dietary deficit, but supplements are beneficial sidekicks that help to round out your nutritional profile. The Galveston Diet was developed with extensive research on menopausal symptoms, including inflammation and associated weight gain – if you want to learn more about The Galveston Diet, click here.
- Kopp W. (2019). How Western Diet And Lifestyle Drive The Pandemic Of Obesity And Civilization Diseases. Diabetes, metabolic syndrome and obesity: targets and therapy, 12, 2221–2236. https://doi.org/10.2147/DMSO.S216791
- Simopoulos A. P. (2016). An Increase in the Omega-6/Omega-3 Fatty Acid Ratio Increases the Risk for Obesity. Nutrients, 8(3), 128. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8030128
- Shi Z. (2019). Gut Microbiota: An Important Link between Western Diet and Chronic Diseases. Nutrients, 11(10), 2287. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11102287
- Khatri, M., Naughton, R. J., Clifford, T., Harper, L. D., & Corr, L. (2021). The effects of collagen peptide supplementation on body composition, collagen synthesis, and recovery from joint injury and exercise: a systematic review. Amino acids, 53(10), 1493–1506. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00726-021-03072-x
- Lottenberg, Ana Maria Pita, Fan, Patricia Luriko Tomita and Buonacorso, VivianEffects of dietary fiber intake on inflammation in chronic diseases. Einstein (São Paulo) [online]. 2010, v. 8, n. 2 [Accessed 18 August 2022] , pp. 254-258. Available from: <https://doi.org/10.1590/S1679-45082010MD1310>. ISSN 2317-6385. https://doi.org/10.1590/S1679-45082010MD1310.
- Simopoulos A. P. (2002). Omega-3 fatty acids in inflammation and autoimmune diseases. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 21(6), 495–505. https://doi.org/10.1080/07315724.2002.10719248
- Liu, Y., Alookaran, J. J., & Rhoads, J. M. (2018). Probiotics in Autoimmune and Inflammatory Disorders. Nutrients, 10(10), 1537. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10101537
- Hewlings, S. J., & Kalman, D. S. (2017). Curcumin: A Review of Its Effects on Human Health. Foods (Basel, Switzerland), 6(10), 92. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods6100092
- Peng, Y., Ao, M., Dong, B., Jiang, Y., Yu, L., Chen, Z., Hu, C., & Xu, R. (2021). Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Curcumin in the Inflammatory Diseases: Status, Limitations and Countermeasures. Drug design, development and therapy, 15, 4503–4525