Millions suffer from inflammation. While it is meant to protect the body, it can sometimes be harmful to the body. In addition, chronic inflammation poses several health issues, like heart disease.
Best Foods To Fight Inflammation
While several medications aim to fight inflammation, research has shown that changing your diet is the simplest and most effective way to fight inflammation.
Read on for a complete breakdown of how changing your diet will help eliminate inflammation.
What Is Inflammation?
Inflammation is the immune system's natural response to any foreign element in the body. It could be an invasive pathogen, chemical or even just pollen. Inflammation fights off any threats to your health.
Sometimes, our immune system issues an inflammatory response without any threats—this is when inflammation starts damaging our body.
Long-term inflammation is linked to many severe conditions like cancer, cardiovascular problems, depression, Alzheimer's and arthritis, to name a few.
The Best Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Here is a list of the most potent anti-inflammatory foods to help you fight inflammation:
Berries are chock full of fibre, essential nutrients and vitamins. There are tons of varieties of berries, and you will find plenty of berries in every season, no matter where you live.
Some antioxidants called anthocyanins have anti-inflammatory properties and are known to lower your risk of heart disease significantly. Berries are full of anthocyanins and can help you fight chronic inflammation.
Our bodies organically produce natural killer, or NK cells, which help regulate immune function. For example, a study found that people who consumed blueberry powder daily delivered more NK cells than those who didn't.
You might have hated it as a child, but broccoli might become your new best friend if you suffer from inflammation. This cruciferous vegetable is filled with nutrients and highly benefits your health.
It is also full of antioxidants, so it has anti-inflammatory effects. Studies have also found that consuming cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale and cauliflower is linked with a lower risk of cancer and heart disease.
Broccoli is also high in sulforaphane, an antioxidant that lowers the amount of inflammation-driving molecules in the body. This has several implications for fighting chronic diseases brought on by inflammation.
Fatty fish like salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel are good for your heart and contain high amounts of protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
EPA and DHA, the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, have been proven to reduce inflammation, which could potentially lead to metabolic syndrome, kidney issues, diabetes and heart problems.
The body processes fatty acids in fish to form resolvins and protectins, both of which have anti-inflammatory properties.
Green tea is hailed as an incredibly healthy beverage and the best substitute for sugary drinks. Recent studies have found that regular drinkers of green tea had a lower risk of cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer's and obesity.
Green tea contains epigallocatechin-3-gallate, commonly known as EGCG. This substance has several anti-inflammatory properties. It lowers cytokine production, promoting inflammation and damaging your cells' fatty acid.
Avocados are full of many essential nutrients like potassium and magnesium. They also contain a lot of natural fibre and monounsaturated fats.
The bioactive compounds in avocados also help stop inflammation in newly forming skin cells.
Turmeric is a spice most often used in Indian cuisine. It has been a part of traditional Asian medicine for hundreds of years, and its medicinal benefits have been scientifically proven, too.
Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin, which has vast anti-inflammatory properties. Research also found that inflammation caused by diseases like diabetes and arthritis can be effectively managed with turmeric.
A study of people suffering from metabolic syndrome found that patients who consumed a mixture of turmeric and black pepper significantly reduced inflammation.
Black pepper is often used in conjunction with turmeric because the piperine found in black pepper promotes the absorption of curcumin in the body.
Grapes are high in anthocyanins, which are known to lower inflammation. In addition to having anti-inflammatory properties, it helps lower the risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, eye problems and Alzheimer's.
Grapes are also rich in resveratrol, an antioxidant beneficial to our health. As a result, many people buy resveratrol supplements to boost their health.
A study conducted with patients with heart failure found that people who consumed resveratrol supplements every day for 3 months saw a reduction in inflammation. More research is needed, but resveratrol could be a critical factor in fighting inflammation.
Low adiponectin hormone levels are associated with weight gain and a higher cancer risk. A study found that adults who had a regular intake of grape extract saw an increase in adiponectin.
Effects Of Inflammatory Foods
While increasing your intake of anti-inflammatory foods is good, reducing your intake of inflammatory foods is equally important. For example, processed foods, fried food and food high in refined carbs are all linked to higher inflammation and heart disease.
You should also avoid sodas and sports drinks, as they contain excess sugar. While it is okay to indulge in these foods occasionally, regular consumption worsens inflammation and puts you at risk for many severe health conditions.
What Are The Best Foods To Fight Inflammation? Wrapping Up
Inflammation can be very hard to deal with—it shows up out of the blue and makes it very difficult to perform everyday tasks. Chronic inflammation is even more problematic as it is linked to diseases like diabetes, heart problems and obesity.
While medication is available for inflammation, changing your diet and including more anti-inflammatory foods is the best way to prevent and fight chronic inflammation.
Most of these foods are readily available and not that expensive—you can easily make them a regular part of your diet. Reduce your consumption of inflammatory foods, and you will start seeing a change soon.
Some Anti-Inflammatory Recipes For You To Try
Smoked Salmon Trout Salad With Granadilla Dressing
The Best Sous Vide Salmon
Green Juice Recipes For Detox And Weight Loss
Charred Chicken & Apricot Salad With Turmeric Tzatziki
Bobotie With Turmeric Basmati & Green Peas
Cheesy Leek Stuffed Mushroom With Broccoli Mash