Did you know that inflammation is your body responding to a stimuli it perceives to be harmful? This includes pathogens, damaged cells and irritants.
Inflammations, although uncomfortable, can help heal infections, tissue damage and wounds. That is, if it does not become extreme. When it does get extreme, it could lead to more serious damages.
Inflammation is of two kinds – acute inflammation and chronic inflammation.
Acute inflammation starts fast and becomes severe quickly. Its symptoms will usually last for at least a week, sometimes two. Chronic inflammation on the other hand may last for several months and even run into years.
What are the Symptoms of Inflammation?
• Joint pain
• Loss of joint function
• Swollen joint
• Joint stiffness
• Loss of appetite
• Muscle stiffness
Often, you will notice a few of these symptoms, not necessarily all of them.
Lots of health problems are linked with inflammation. These include hay fever, acne, sinusitis, asthma, cancer, interstitial cystitis, ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel diseases, atherosclerosis, chronic prostatitis, celiac disease, periodontitis etc.
To stay healthy, you should control your body inflammation. One of the best ways to do this is to eat healthy and have a healthy lifestyle.
There are lots of foods you can eat that possess anti-inflammatory properties and will help fight against inflammation.
Foods to Prevent or Get Rid of Inflammation
• Olive Oil:
Olive oil offers anti-inflammatory benefits as a result of its beneficial compounds.
According to the 2011 study, oleocanthal, a compound found in extra-virgin olive oil helps prevent the enzymes that cause inflammation in the body.
Apart from preventing the production of inflammatory enzymes, it also helps reduce the risk of health conditions linked to inflammation like diabetes or degenerative joint diseases.
You can cook foods with olive oil and use to make salad dressings.
You can also warm some and use to massage areas that are painful, have swollen up or areas inflamed from muscle cramps and arthritis.
Ginger has a compound known as gingerol. Gingerol has anti-inflammatory compounds. Infact, a 2005 study states that ginger affects certain inflammatory processes at a cellular level. As a result of this characteristic, it is an effective treatment for both kinds of inflammation, whether acute or chronic.
A study shows that people who suffered from rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis noticed a reduction in swellings and pain. They also noticed an improved mobility after regularly consuming ginger.
The inflammation that often comes after exercising can also be reduced with ginger. You can use them fresh or dried and make ginger tea. Drink the tea thrice a day.
You can also massage the affected area with ginger oil a few times everyday. There are ginger capsules you can get over-the-counter. It’s important that you consult your doctor for the correct dosage.
On that note, do not consume so much ginger. It can thin out your blood.
Turmeric is a yellow spice that is especially popular in Indian cooking. It has anti-inflammatory properties as a result of the presence of a compound known as curcumin. Curcumin is an antioxidant that inhibits molecules that are associated with inflammation.
Turmeric also helps reduce inflammation that is as a result of arthritis, muscle sprains and other injuries. You can use the powder in your cooking to stop or protect your body from getting inflamed.
You can prepare a cup of turmeric tea or a glass of turmeric milk and drink once or twice daily.
A paste can also be prepared using sesame oil and turmeric powder. Apply the paste onto your skin to help reduce inflammation and swelling.
If a part of your skin is broken, do not apply turmeric.
You can instead, go for a dietary supplement. Your doctor must be in on your decision so he knows how to guide you through it.
According to a study carried out in 2012, garlic contains several compounds that have anti-inflammatory therapeutic potential.
Infact one study identified a number of sulphur containing compounds in garlic that can help shut off pathways that lead to the inflammation.
You can eat three raw garlic cloves everyday before breakfast. Also, you can use it as a spice in your cooking.
If you can get garlic oil, then it can be used topically for areas that are painful and inflamed. There are also garlic capsules available but you should take them only after consulting your doctor.
- Tart Cherries
A study carried out in 2010 found out that people who consumed tart cherries juice noticed a reduction in the level of inflammation in their bodies.
Consuming tart cherries regularly, especially one week prior to a strenuous running even will help reduce the amount of muscle pain and inflammation you may experience afterwards.
Experts say that one and half cups of tart cherries or one cup of its juice will allow you enjoy its anti-inflammatory benefits. Note that the juice may sometimes cause discomfort and diarrhoea. We suggest that you stop taking the juice if you experience these side effects.
Salmon contains a high omega-3 fatty acid constant like docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Studies say that the fatty acids are important and help to reduce the level of cytokines in the body. Cytokines are compounds that are associated with inflammation.
You can eat salmon baked, grilled or even roasted. Be careful not to overcook them, else they may lose their healthy fats. It is recommended that you eat salmons at least twice a week.
If you would rather not eat fish, then you can go for fish oil supplements. Speak with your doctor before going ahead with this.
- Sweet Potatoes (Purple)
Sweet potatoes, especially the purple kinds, can help reduce inflammation in the body.
A study carried out in 2011 states that the concentration of nutrients in sweet potatoes are what accounts for its anti-inflammatory potential.
They possess high vitamin C and E content, as well as carotenoids alpha and beta-carotene which help lower pain and inflammation in the body.
Eating potatoes regularly will reduce brain inflammation and nerve tissue inflammation throughout the body.
Eat at least one cup of sweet potatoes on a daily basis. You can eat them in pancakes, French fries, chips and even cookies.
You can also enjoy them baked, grilled, roasted or mashed.