The immune system gets agitated when the body recognizes anything that is foreign. Things like plant pollen, invading microbe or any chemical at all. The presence of this ‘foreign invaders’ often triggers inflammation.
Though sometimes, inflammation persists even where there’s no presence of any foreign invader. That’s when you should especially get worried, as chronic inflammation can be linked to most of the major diseases that plague us. Diseases like cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and heart diseases.
It is important that while trying to manage or prevent inflammation, you should watch what you eat. While there are foods that can make things worse for you, there are also a lot of tasty anti-inflammatory foods that can ease your swollen joints, finger pains and other accompanying symptoms of Inflammation.
Choosing the right aanti-inflammatory foods can help uou reduce the risk of illness. Consequently, picking the wrong foods can accelerate the inflammatory disease process.
- Foods that cause inflammation
Low intake; or no intake at all of these foods can help reduce your chances of getting inflammation to the barest minimum
- refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and pastries
- French fries and other fried foods
- soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages
- red meat (burgers, steaks) and processed meat (hot dogs, sausage)
- margarine, shortening, and lard
Foods that fight inflammation
- Spice and herbs: Tumeric, garlic and ginger
Tumeric, because of its active
curcumin compound, has strong
anti-inflammatory properties that has proven to be a very useful medicinal
herb. It is a spice often found in curry powders.
All you need to is: add turmeric as seasoning on fish, stew or vegetables, or chop its roots up and add in soups, or sauce. Whatever way you decide to take it, always add a dash of black pepper to boost absorption. The presence of black pepper can help enhance the absorption of Curcumin.
Ginger is a recognized immune
booster and inflammation fighter. It owes its anti-inflammatory and medicinal
qualities to gingerol. Gingerol is ginger’s main bioactive compound.
Ginger can feature in smoothies, juices, soups, stir-frys and sauces. Ginger roots, when used in tea, aid digestion.
Garlic contains sulfur compounds that stimulate our immune system to fight inflammation and illness. It’s also antibacterial and antifungal! This tasty herb is easy to add to any meal and boosts delicious flavor in a variety of dishes..
Mushrooms contain antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and a variety of other compounds that can help boost the immune system, at the same time lowering inflammation in the body.
Mushrooms also consist of long-chain polysaccharides called beta-glucan that promotes a strong immune system, and also houses a powerful antioxidant called ergothioneine that can help fight inflammation.
Mushrooms are a great source of protein, fiber, and various B vitamins, too.
Kale is packed with tons of anti-inflammatory properties and simultaneously contains a variety of phytonutrients and antioxidants that help protect our bodies against cellular damage.
The astounding benefits of Kale ranges also from glowing skin and healthy eyes, to a powerful digestive system and strong bones.
You can also add kale to your daily smoothie or immune-boosting green juice.
Some of the nutrients in Kale are:
- various amino acids
- vitamins A, C, and K
Pineapple is rich in vitamin C and also contains a protein-digesting enzyme called bromelain. The bromelain property helps stimulate protein digestion, reduce inflammation of the gut, and also boost the immune system. The presence of bromelain in pineapple has made it one of the most revered anti-inflammatory foods.
Add pineapple to your fruit plate, smoothies, or juice to help fight inflammation, enhance digestion, and keep your immune system strong.
The reason behind the “one apple a day keeps the doctor away” mantra came to play here. Apple, just like some of your faves contain quercetin which is a very active anti-inflammatory antioxidant.
Avocados are one of these super foods that amply packed with mind boggling nutrients.
They’re loaded with potassium, magnesium, fiber and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.
They also contain carotenoids and tocopherols, which can reduce your cancer risks. And of course it reduces chances of inflammation drastically.
Avocados offer various beneficial compounds that protect against inflammation and may reduce your cancer risk.
- Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate contains chemicals that help fight inflammation. It is also packed with antioxidants that reduce inflammation. They can reduce your risk of disease and lead to healthier aging
Flavanols in chocolate are responsible for chocolate’s anti-inflammatory effects and keep the endothelial cells that line your arteries healthy.
However, make sure to choose dark chocolate that contains at least 70% cocoa — more is even better — in order to reap the anti-inflammatory benefits.
Flavanols in dark chocolate and cocoa can reduce inflammation. They may also reduce your risk of several diseases.
The anthocyanins contained in grapes help reduce inflammation.
In addition to reducing inflammation, they can also decrease the risk of several diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease and several eye disorders.
Grapes are also one of the best sources of resveratrol, another compound that has ample health benefits.
- Green or black tea
Tea is rich in antioxidants called flavonoids, which may protect against cell damage that can worsen conditions such as arthritis. It also contains a chemical that fights inflammation, so consider swapping that morning cup of tea for a green tea instead.
The tomato is a recognized nutritional powerhouse. It is high in vitamin C, potassium and lycopene, an antioxidant with potent anti-inflammatory properties.
Lycopene may be beneficial for reducing pro-inflammatory compounds related to several types of cancer
Note that cooking tomatoes in olive oil can maximize the amount of lycopene you absorb with a source of fat.
Oily fish such as salmon, trout, and anchovies, along with walnuts, linseeds, pumpkin seeds, olive oil, and canola oil contain omega-3 fatty acids that make them powerful anti-inflammatory foods. A University of Pittsburgh study found that people with back and neck pain who took omega-3 fatty acids in supplement form for three months had less pain overall. Eat fatty fish at least twice a week and consider taking a daily omega-3 fatty acid supplement to fight pain.