Relieve the pains of daily life with powerful, natural supplements.
"Day-to-day pain, such as arthritis, is caused by inflammation," explains certified health coach Brandon Mentore, who specializes in strength and conditioning and sports nutrition.
"Omega-3 fatty acids are the first and No. 1 supplement recommended for any kind of inflammation," explains Mentore.
Fish oil — from eating the whole fish or taking a good fish oil supplement — can reduce inflammation and morning stiffness, according to Mira Calton, C.N., and Jayson Calton, Ph.D., authors of Naked Calories.
"The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil are powerful anti-inflammatory chemicals," say the Caltons.
Studies have shown that fish oil significantly decreases joint tenderness and stiffness, while omega-3 study participants show greater strength, less fatigue, reduced joint swelling and tenderness, less joint stiffness and less overall pain.
"While the best foods for omega-3 fatty acids are fish — including salmon, herring, sardines, anchovies, rainbow trout and Pacific oysters — you can also get your omegas by choosing flaxseeds, chia seeds or walnuts," recommend the Caltons.
"Fish oils are naturally anti-inflammatory, and the potency of the supplement you purchase or the fish you eat will determine how effective it will be in reducing pain," says Mentore.
Check with your health care provider for recommended dosage amounts.
"Curcumin is the active compound found in turmeric, an Indian spice that has been used for thousands of years," says Mentore. "There are many strains of curcumin, some with different potencies and bioavailability," he adds.
Do your research — not all strains are easily absorbed into the body.
"Curcumin lessens joint inflammation and prevents the increased production of a protein that triggers swelling and pain," explain the Caltons. "Eat it in curry or drink an emulsion for greater absorption."
To make it more bioavailable, the Caltons recommend adding a tablespoon of curcumin to a microemulsion of 1 or 2 egg yolks with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil.
Low levels of vitamin D can be detrimental to health.
"Chances are, if you are in arthritic pain, your vitamin D status is low," warns Mentore.
A vitamin D3 supplement — up to 5,000 I.U. daily — can reduce inflammation.
The top supplement to use for joints is glucosamine, according to Mentore. Naturally found in the body, glucosamine (glucose and the amino acid glutamine) is essential for healthy cartilage. A body's natural production of this compound slows with age.
"Glucosamine helps to keep you lubricated," say the Caltons. "Supplements made from the shells of shrimp, lobster and crab are believed to help slow deterioration, relieve arthritic joint pain and improve mobility."
Glucosamine is available from a variety of manufacturers and suppliers and is even available in prescription-level strengths.
"Ideally, glucosamine should be in its sulfate form," says Mentore, "and possibly contain an additional derivative such as N-acetyl glucosamine or glucosamine HCI."
"Chondroitin is often found in combination with glucosamine," says Mentore, and it, too, should be in a sulfate form.
"Chondroitin supplements are derived from cow trachea or pork by-products," say the Caltons. "They reduce joint pain and inflammation and have been studied for their ability to slow the progression of osteoarthritis."
Methylsulonylmethane, aka MSM, has a healing effect on the joints and reduces inflammation.
"Hyaluronic acid is a supplement that can help rebuild collagen," says Mentore. "It is associated with youth because it keeps the skin tight and plump by pulling in water."
Making major changes to your diet and lifestyle can wreak havoc on your digestive system. Prime your body to better absorb the increase of vitamins and minerals without the negative side effects of gas, bloating, diarrhea and constipation.
"Ginger contains gingerols and is an anti-inflammatory with a long history of use," Mentore says. "It can be absorbed as a food and spice, so no supplement is needed."
Add ginger to smoothies or other recipes to reduce systemic inflammation and boost digestive health, too.
Take control of your intestinal balance by increasing healthy bacteria and decreasing unhealthy bacteria. Probiotics, such as Probiotic Pearls, contain healthy bacteria that are indigenous to the human body. Your intestines will welcome the nutrients that can ease daily pain.
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