Inflammation is a normal bodily function that occurs when you are injured or you have an illness, such as arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, IBD or other common diseases. Inflammation has been shown to be the root cause of these diseases and many more. Evidence has shown that dietary patterns rich in foods of plant origin, such as fruits and vegetables, can help lower the risk of diseases.
Inflammation is not necessarily bad for the body, since it helps protect the body from illnesses and is the bodies way of healing. You may notice that the area of injury will swell, as well as become hot and red. This is the immune systems response to injury. However, if the immune system overreaches to illnesses or injuries, it may cause autoimmune disorders, causing arthritis or IBD.
Eating a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods can help promote a healthy inflammatory response.
Top Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Green Leafy Vegetables
Green leafy vegetables are high in antioxidants that help reduce stress caused by free radicals. It is easy to add these vegetables to your diet by adding kale or spinach to smoothies or sautéing Swiss chard with olive oil and garlic.
Ginger has many health benefits that help with inflammation. It is anti-bacterial and anti-disease. This root contains gingerols that inhibit joint swelling. Ginger can be made into a tea by adding chunks of the root to hot water and boiling it. It can also be added to stir fries and many more dishes.
Turmeric contains curcumin, which helps with inflammation. It is known to help with arthritis, by reducing the swelling of the joints. Black pepper has been shown to bring out the beneficial properties of turmeric. Turmeric can be found in capsule form, however, it is a tasty spice that can be easily added to various dishes.
Beets contain phytochemicals, like ascorbic acid, carotenoids and flavonoids. It contains betaine, which is a strong antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties. It also increases your metabolism and boosts your mood
This vegetable contains potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, beta-carotene, vitamin B and Vitamin E. Its antioxidants help reduce inflammation and the risk of developing cancer.
Blueberries contain quercetin. This antioxidant is found citrus, olive oil and other berries. It fights inflammation and cancer. It has been shown to reduce inflammation in the gut and colon, while also slowing cognitive decline and improve memory.
Pineapples contain bromelain, which fights blood clotting and inflammation. It is a digestive enzyme that has been shown to stop blood platelets from building up along the walls of blood vessels, which causes heart attacks. It is high in Vitamin C, B1, potassium and magnesium.
It is also important to avoid foods that increase inflammation. These foods include many processed foods that are high in saturated and trans fatty acids. Likewise, refined sugars and carbohydrates also cause inflammation. Not only do these foods increase inflammation but also they can cause obesity and many diseases associated with it. It is essential to also develop a regular routine of exercising to reduce inflammation.
Serafini, M., Peluso, I., & Raguzzini, A. (2010). Flavonoids as anti-inflammatory agents. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 69(3), 273-278. doi:10.1017/S002966511000162X