Happy Friday! It’s time for another episode of Fitness Friday. This time, taking on the health supplements that help fight inflammation and are particularly useful for those suffering from an autoimmune disease!
When I was diagnosed with my first autoimmune disease about 5 years ago, I made it my mission to learn what that meant, what possible natural remedies could support my body in regaining health, and what lifestyle adjustments I could make to ease the burden. Turns out, there are some really powerful ways you can bolster your health – even if immunocompromised.
So, what is inflammation?
Healthy inflammation is the body’s necessary response to injury or infection – but when inflammation goes rogue, the body gets confused and starts attacking healthy tissue.
If you’re struggling with any health issues, it’s likely you have an excess of inflammation in your body.
If you have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, you probably have a lot of it.
Here’s a great article on inflammation if you would like some more background.
Supplements That Help Fight Inflammation
Let’s get to the good stuff! The tried and true supplements you can take to cool the inflammation inferno and help your immune system right the ship.
When it come to supplements, the ingredients do matter. Sometimes it can be a simple combination of ingredients that is especially effective or an extraction method that makes one version of an ingredient get results when a chemically created alternative won’t.
If you have an autoimmune disease or chronic health issues, your body is already struggling to effectively flush toxins from the body, and it is even more important for you to select supplements from reputable companies who use the right ingredients, combinations and extraction methods.
A Note on Supplement Brand:
Bottom line here: be particular about your supplement choice.
If you’re on a tight budget, you’re better off with a couple high quality supplements to start, rather than a whole bin of the other kind. There are quite a few really reputable supplement companies, with more affordable options being Gaia and Seeking Health.
This is an article on the most trustworthy supplement brands that has been SO HELPFUL to me on my journey.
How About Dosing?
When it comes to supplements, dosing is not as strict or clear as with other types of medications.
Often, this is a process of trial and error.
The best advice I received from a naturopath was to always start one supplement at a time, starting with the lowest dose and building up until I felt it worked.
This is also the only way to really tell if it’s not working at all or having adverse effects.
If you start 2 or 3 at a time, you won’t know which supplement is giving you stomachaches, etc.
Let’s Talk About Those Supplements:
First, though, I’d like to do a little housekeeping: I am not a medical professional, nor am I attempting to give you any medical advice. Always be sure to do your own research and discuss any new weight loss or exercise plans with your doctor or team of medical professionals prior to beginning anything new, particularly if you have any pre-existing medical conditions.
These are the actual supplements I take regularly – no mumbo jumbo or products shoved in here because they are paying me.
1. Benefits of Turmeric/Curcumin:
Hands down one of the most effective natural remedies and/or supplements for fighting free radicals and inflammation in the body.
There are some diets that cook a great deal with turmeric. That’s another way to get it in your body. I don’t care for the taste, so the only way I will eat it is in a turmeric tea, aka golden milk latte.
For supplementation, here are the 2 brands I have had the most success with in terms of actually feeling results in my body and seeing swelling reduce around joints like wrists, ankles, and knees.
Created by the infamous Food Babe, who investigates what’s really in food at our stores, restaurants, and fast food chains. Her books and blog have spurned a movement – and a lot of hate from food manufacturers who lie bout what’s in their products.
Her line of Truvani products are made with the highest level of attention to the ingredients, sourcing, formulations, etc.
Whatever she did – it works. I take only ONE capsule a today, as opposed to 3 of the brand I was taking, and within 20 minutes, the inflammation in my digestion system reduces and things are moving.
Also, comes with her 10-page guide on cooking with turmeric – as that is another great way to get turmeric into your body.
Hundreds of great reviews, because Gaia knows their stuff. They are absolutely a great, affordable brand for any supplement.
This also works really well. Plus, the way they have designed the capsules, I never had an issue with tummy upset or with tasting the turmeric.
Full disclosure: I do taste an aftertaste after taking the Truvani – so if you are sensitive to that, the Gaia is a great alternative.
You may need to up the dose to 2 or 3 pills a day, depending, but it’s a very good product.
2. Benefits of Dr. Myer’s Liver Support Blend
This particular liver blend contains:
- Milk Thistle, to protect liver cells
- Selenium, supports healthy thyroid function
- Alpha-Lipoic Acid, binds to free radicals so they can flush out
- N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine; a glutathione precursor
This liver blend capsule supports optimal liver function, bile production, and detoxification of the liver. When you have an autoimmune disease or inflammation, you’re not flushing toxins out effectively.
The result can be overburdening your liver, which is responsible for this task.
You can feel sluggish, sick, and have occasional rashes, or even breakouts in certain areas of your face, when your liver isn’t functioning optimally.
I definitely notice a difference when I take this and if I stop for a bit, I’ll start to get little bumps between my eyebrows (sign of liver issues) and within a couple days of getting back on, the skin is smooth again.
3. Benefits of Cod Liver Oil
I know, this one sounds disgusting. But, the health benefits of CLO cannot be ignored. It’s one of the first supplements I started taking and I will probably take it forever.
The reason CLO is such a powerful anti-inflammatory is the high levels of Vitamin A and D. Here’s a short list of some of the other ways that CLO can help with chronic pain and inflammation:
- Improves joint pain and Rheumatoid Arthritis symptoms
- Supports Eye Health
- Reduces heart disease risk
- Improves symptoms of anxiety and depression
- May help heal stomach ulcers
Here is a great, super-easy read on the 9 health benefits of cod liver oil. Definitely worth a look over for more information on all of the above.
As for brand, again – it matters. I’ve tried a few highly rated ones and settled on this one. I took anywhere from 1 to 6 capsules, depending on symptoms:
This particular formulation also contains the concentrated butter oil, which helps the body absorb and utilize the minerals, increasing the benefits and repair to teeth, bones and tissue.
I won’t lie to you – it’s not delicious. That’s why I gave up on the liquids and just take capsules.
Take them with food or there is an aftertaste.
4. Benefits of Seeking Health Active B12 with L-5 Folate
After being diagnosed with an MTHFR mutation – it became even more important for me to motherload the cleanest form of folate, combined with B12, for the most active form of folate.
The health benefits for taking these two essential nutrients are many, but here is a short list:
- Supports hemoglobin production
- Supports energy production, methylation processes and red blood cell levels*
- Potent Vitamin B12 (as methylcobalamin) and methylfolate in absorbable lozenge format.
- Vitamin B12 is crucial to the formation of healthy red blood cells, energy production, nervous system support, and cognitive health.
Particularly if you’re wanting to get pregnant, are pregnant, or have been pregnant, restoring your folate and vitamin B12 is even more critical.
5. Benefits of Dr. Myer’s L-Glutamine
L-Glutamine is super important for anyone concerned with the following:
- Leaky Gut
- Food sensitivities
- Autoimmune diseases
Ever heard of the Leaky Gut? This is even more of an issue for those with an autoimmune disease, as so many people suffering from them are on pharmaceuticals to manage symptoms and pain, which further wreaks havoc on the gut flora and lining.
L-Glutamine is super important for balancing the bodies insulin response, which helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels, as well as helping to maintain a healthy gut barrier – and preventing leaky gut syndrome.
L-Glutamine also helps with:
- Supports healthy pancreatic function
- Balance blood sugar levels
- Balance stress hormone levels, such as cortisol
- Supports thyroid and immune system health
- Supports muscle tissue repair
- Abundant amino acids help repair muscle tissue after workouts
You can read a lot more about all of this here, where you can also order my favorite L-Glutamine supplement:
6. Benefits of Probiotics
I think most people have heard about the health benefits of taking a high quality probiotic. I won’t spend too much time on this one, but here is a great article on the 8 health Benefits of Probiotics if you are interested. I’ve written before about the probiotics that I take, as well as the one I give my kids.
But, here they are again in case you are interested:
Baby & Kids Probiotics:
7. Benefits of Thera Tears Eye Nutrition
One of the autoimmune diseases I have been diagnosed with is called Sjogren’s Syndrome. In addition to the typical autoimmune symptoms, I get the added bonus of inflammation in my eyes, sinuses, and salivary glands, which results in extremely dry eyes, sinuses, and throat/esophagus.
The moisture that is supposed to be created in our eyes and face flushes down throughout our whole body, so you can imagine that if your eyes are like sandpaper, that creates a lot of collateral damage.
Even though I already take the cod liver oil, I also take this supplement that was specifically designed for eye health and promoting healthy tears. One of my former opthmalogists recommended it to me and I really feel it works.
Three capsules of the Thera Tears contains:
- Natural, plant-based formula with Tea Tree Oil
- Optimized blend of Organic flaxseed oil
- Triglyceride form of fish oil
- Vitamin E
So, basically it’s a really easy way to get all the different nutrients needed for promoting healthy tears. I continue to go to the eye doctor every 6 months to test tear levels, and as of today, I haven’t had any dry patches or needed to upgrade to a pharmaceutical eye drops yet.
If you do suffer from sjogren’s syndrome or just have really dry eyes, I highly recommend these eye drops:
8. Benefits of Ancient Minerals Magnesium Lotion
Magnesium is another critical nutrient for optimal health. Magnesium is responsible for over 600 reactions in our body. Here is just a short list of ways magnesium helps:
- Every cell in the body needs it to function
- Helps with energy creation
- Helps with DNA and RNA
- Helps with muscles – movements, contractions, etc.
- Helps nervous system regulation – which is why magnesium can be used to help fight anxiety, depression, etc.
- Helps with Type 2 Diabetes
- Helps lower blood pressure
- Helps reduce inflammation
- Helps prevent migraines
- Helps with insulin resistance
- Helps with PMS symptoms
Here’s a great article on the 10 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Magnesium, if you’d like to learn more.
While you can certainly strive to eat your magnesium, I have found that the lotions are the most effective way to get the benefits of magnesium very quickly.
Plus, if you’re pregnant or just suffering from leg cramps – rubbing this lotion on your calves and lower legs will help tremendously with relaxing those muscles. I talk more about how I use magnesium for helping with leg cramps and sleep in this post.
This is the absolute best lotion I’ve tried. Some of them have made me shaky or have stomachaches, so I would really recommend starting with this one.
APPLICATION: Two pumps on your upper arms and two pumps on your calves and lower legs at night, before bed. You’ll sleep better, be more relaxed, and be giving your body much needed magnesium.
9. Benefits of Hemp Seeds
You would probably be surprised to learn about the incredible health benefits of hemp seed oil and hemp seeds! This is not THC or CBD. Hemp seeds are a plant and hemp oil is made from extracting oil from those seeds. Hemp seeds and hemp seed oil contain little to no THC or CBD and is instead extracted for its healthy fatty acid profile.
The positive health benefits of hemp seeds and oil include:
- Reduces anxiety
- Reduces symptoms of epilepsy
- Reduces inflammation and chronic pain
- Reduces free radical damage
- Balances the immune system
- Protects gut health
- Reduces nausea
- Balances moods
There are 2 key ways that I incorporate hemp seeds and oil into my life.
First, I usually add about half a spoonful of seeds to my smoothies. I would not recommend much more than that as they have a very strong, earthy flavor and can make your whole smoothie smell like feet.
But, half a spoonful and not even my kids notice.
Second, I use a lotion with hemp seed oil in after I dry brush and shower. It soaks right in, moisturizers better than any other type of lotion I’ve tried – which is why I included it in my How To Fix Dry Skin & Hair in the Winter – guide, and helps with joint and muscle pain.
10. Benefits of Collagen
We’re flying now – can you feel it? We made it to Number 10. The final chapter. The last man standing.
I am finishing strong today with one of my all-time favorite supplements. I’ve sung the praises of collagen before – in my post on 5 Natural Remedies to Help With Insomnia.
Collagen is another super important nutrient, here is a great article on all the ways collagen can improve your life: How Collagen Can Boost Your Body’s Skin, Muscle & Gut.
I love this one:
This is another excellent collagen peptide:
BOOM Baby – we DID IT.
Are you still with me? You’re amazing.
These are the 10 supplements I take almost every day.
Have you taken any of these before? Do you have a favorite not on this list? Share it with us in the comments below!
Oh, and if you know anyone who could benefit from this list – will you share it? It takes a village.
Have a fabulous day,