Inflammation. On hearing this word you can think of inflamed muscles or sprained ankles or arthritis and other problems you don’t have now. But, the certitude is inflammation can happen to anyone. The human body has a natural defense mechanism against any microbes, viruses, or chemicals that enter into the body. One such defense mechanism is called inflammation. This article from Fine Fettle is all about inflammation and anti-inflammation foods to eat.
What is inflammation?
Inflammation is your immune system’s response to injury, infection, or irritation. Inflammation can be both good and bad. While inflammation helps in the healing process of the body, chronic inflammation can be detrimental to your health and lead to long-term health problems. Chronic inflammation is linked to various diseases like obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s.
What triggers inflammation?
A sedentary lifestyle, stress, and environmental factors are all the various causes of inflammation. But, a poor diet and poor gut health play a major role. Lifestyle attributes like stress, lack of exercise, and unbalanced nutrition trigger inflammation. Your gut health gets affected when you regularly consume food that causes inflammation. Frequent consumption of irritants like fried foods, refined sugar, refined flour, and fizzy drinks could miff your immune system making your body work overtime to compensate.
The good news
Fortunately, certain natural anti-inflammation foods can combat chronic inflammation. You could find it in any nutrition tips that suggest the way to get rid of inflammation in the body. So, if you’ve been struggling with inflammation, and you’re continuing to eat the same foods, it’s time for a change. Researchers are proving time and again that including certain foods into your anti-inflammatory diet can counteract the effects of inflammation.
What is an anti-inflammatory diet?
The term anti-inflammatory diet gets thrown around a lot in nutrition tips these days. An anti-inflammatory diet is that any nutrition expert would recommend you to eat as a conservative treatment for various health conditions. The nutrition experts believe that an anti-inflammatory diet can have an incredible impact on one’s long term health. The anti-inflammatory diet focuses on whole and nutrition-dense foods that include plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fatty fish, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, fresh herbs, and spices.
What are inflammatory foods to avoid?
While it may seem daunting to include an anti-inflammatory diet into your hectic daily life, there are some of the foods that you could just avoid to reduce inflammation. Here’s the list of foods to avoid to protect yourself from chronic inflammation.
- Foods high in saturated fat
- Processed meat
- Sugary drinks and beverages
- White bread and all refined carbs
- Corn, sunflower, and other oils that are overly processed
- Excess alcohol
- Processed snacks
- Cookies, candy, and ice cream
Nutrition experts recommend that the easiest way to get rid of foods that cause inflammation is to remove all the processed foods from your anti-inflammatory diet.
Top 7 Natural Anti-Inflammation Food To Eat
A recent study showed that berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries) are packed with powerful antioxidants that could significantly reduce inflammation. In specific, berries contain an antioxidant called anthocyanins that contain anti-inflammatory effects that reduce inflammation. Added to that, berries are rich in vitamin C and phytoflavinoids that may help combat stress in the body.
2. Leafy Green Veggies
When it comes to food rich in nutrition, leafy greens are perhaps the best. Leafy greens also contain a wide range of vitamins like vitamins C, E, and K, omega-3, and anti-inflammatory flavonoids which have been proven to protect the body from inflammation. You can include different types of leafy greens like spinach, kale, collards, in your anti-inflammatory diet.
Curcumin, the yellow-orange pigment found in turmeric, is said to be a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent. It has been found especially helpful in treating arthritis, different types of cancer, retinal damage, joint changes, inflammatory bowel disease, and even asthma. Remember to add black pepper with turmeric to boost absorption.
4. Fatty Fish
Fatty fish are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. The human body metabolizes these fatty acids into compounds called resolvins and protectins, which reduces inflammation. The best sources of fatty fish are salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, and anchovies.
Pineapple is another natural anti-inflammation food, which is full of bromelain. Bromelain is a digestive enzyme that helps boost immune function, stimulate protein digestion, and reduce inflammation of the gut. This tropical fruit also packs various minerals, vitamins, and manganese.
6. Green Tea
You’ve probably heard that green tea is the secret ingredient for weight loss. But, due to its rich anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants, it works best to reduce your risk of inflammation, heart disease, growth of skin tumors, cancer, obesity, and other conditions. Add this miracle drink to your anti-inflammatory diet now.
7. Chia Seeds and Flax Seeds
Make room for a handful of these seeds in your daily anti-inflammatory diet. They pack a big punch of vitamins and minerals. They are also a healthy source of inflammation-reducing omega-3 fatty acids. Flax seeds contain anti-inflammatory compounds like lignans and flavonoids, which makes it one of the best nutrition rich foods.
Quick nutrition tips
- Include a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet
- Replace normal cooking oils with extra virgin olive oil
- Add a lot of spices and herbs to your cooking
- Gradually replace fast-food meals with healthy, homemade foods
- Add 30 minutes of moderate exercise to your routine
- Have a sound sleep, because lack of sleep can cause inflammation
In addition to filling your diet with anti-inflammation foods, it’s also life-and-death to know what foods to avoid inflammation.
A word from Fine Fettle
Fit these anti-inflammatory foods into your diet, and you’ll be on your way to a leaner, happier you. Just ensure that you use the best preparation methods to make your foods retain their nutritional properties and stay healthy.