Inflammation is a defensive response of the body to infection and injury, in which one of the body’s parts becomes swollen, red and painful. It is a key mechanism that protects our body, eliminates hurtful stimuli and starts the healing process by bringing together immune cells and nutrients to the affected part.
Infection caused by bacteria and virus is the main reason behind inflammation. It is a biological reaction that cures irritants, damaged cells and pathogens. On the other hand, saturated fat and foods high in sugar can also incite inflammation and auto-immune diseases such as lupus can also cause flare-ups.
However, an uncontrollable inflammation can cause severe damage to our body. Having a diet rich in anti-inflammatory attributes can lessen the problem of inflammation. Anti-inflammatory foods contain abundant of proteins and vitamins. Since nutrition is a very powerful source of reducing inflammation in the cells, regular consumption of anti-inflammatory foods can keep the pain at bay.
Include these 20 foods in your diet to combat inflammation:
Turmeric is a well-known Asian spice packed with anti-inflammatory compounds. It is an excellent spice that is renowned for its medicinal properties. An active non-toxic ingredient called curcumin is present in this spice which fastens the healing process. It inhibits inflammation by suppressing and restricting activators of NF-kB. In addition, it detoxifies your body, fights cancer and helps lose some pounds.
2. Green Tea
Green tea is loaded with anti-inflammatory flavonoids. The phytochemicals present in this herbal tea preserve our joints. Several studies reveal that regular consumption of green tea strengthens our bones and reduces inflammation as well. For obtaining best results, drink 3 to 4 cups in a day.
The strong and pungent flavor of this spice makes it popular among a number of Asian cuisines. It is an easily accessible food that not only adds flavor to dishes but heals several diseases. For instance, it treats infections, upset stomach, headache, control blood sugar levels, etc. The anti-inflammatory attributes of ginger make it a beneficial herb.
Organic blueberries are the host of several health benefits. It prevents chronic ailments such as dementia and cancer. In addition, it gives anti-inflammatory effects because of the phytonutrients components present in these berries. The antioxidant feature safeguards your body from free radical damage and prevents cancer and heart diseases. Prepare a smoothie by adding these berries, and get a highly energetic and detoxifying drink.
Garlic is known for its healing properties since ages. It boosts up the immune system and protects body against diseases. Apart from this, it regulates glucose level and can reduce acute inflammation. It can be added to any cookery for adding flavor.
6. Sweet Potato
Being a rich source of fiber, carbs, manganese, beta-carotene and vitamin B6 and C, sweet potatoes are excellent for healing inflammation. Either boil or bake them, instead of frying the sweet potatoes as it will diminish the anti-inflammatory attribute of this food.
7. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
It is a natural anti-inflammatory agent that gives healthy fats. It lowers the risk of heart ailments, asthma and arthritis. Moreover, it protects our blood vessels. Replace butter and vegetable oil with the olive oil while cooking, and get a low fat and light food.
Nuts are well-off with anti-inflammatory properties. A handful of nuts including almonds, walnuts and cashews are the healthiest snack. Especially almonds and walnuts help with inflammation issues and prevent symptoms of chronic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. They are best to satiate your hunger.
Note – Walnuts are high in fat, hence, consume in moderation.
Oranges contain an abundant amount of vitamin C with a broad spectrum of flavonoids and phytonutrients. It is a super healthy fruit that energizes your body. It builds up the immunity and heals the soreness by the virtue of its anti-inflammatory effects.
10. Red Wine
The antioxidants and flavonoids present in red wine lower down the inflammatory problems. One or two glass of wine is enough for the anti-inflammatory effects. However, beer and other alcoholic beverages should be avoided as they can exaggerate inflammatory problems.
If you are an avid fish lover and looking for a good anti-inflammatory food, try salmon. Being loaded with omega-3 fatty acid, it is recommended for preventing numerous health problems. Alternatively, try cooking food in fish oil twice in a week.
Kelp is a kind of complex carbohydrate that is packed with anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor properties. A component called fucoidan gives these attributes to kelp. This brown algae extract is rich in fiber that drenches inflammation. Therefore, prevents the risk of liver and lung cancer. Moreover, it eases the joint pain and heals the injured tissues.
13. Cruciferous Vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables include brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, bok choy, kale and cauliflower which are full of antioxidants. Regular consumption of these veggies detoxifies our body naturally and eliminates poisonous compounds. Besides, these are the power house of several proteins and vitamins, and contain anti-inflammatory attributes. Thus, helps prevent a number of chronic ailments.
Papaya is one of the healthiest fruits and it is full of nutrients. If you are looking for an anti-inflammatory diet, just go for it. The papain found in papaya contains protein digesting enzymes. It helps reduce inflammation and heals wounds along with improving digestion.
15. Shiitake Mushrooms
Shiitake mushrooms possess polysaccharides- a substance that gives this food anti-inflammatory attributes. These mushrooms add up a unique taste to all the dishes owing to their distinct flavor. This mild smoky food also enhances immunity and safeguards our body against several ailments.
16. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds contain ample omega-3 fatty acids, which are one of the most potent natural anti-inflammatory compounds. This super food comes with a complete protein package that a body cannot produce on its own. It has a neutral taste and can be added to cereals, smoothies, or on the top of a pudding to obtain its benefits.
Avocados are full of anti-inflammatory nutrients such as carotenoid antioxidants (comprising beta-carotene, lutein, alpha-carotene, etc.,) phytosterols, vitamins C and E, minerals like selenium, manganese, and zinc and omega-3 fatty acids.
They protect your cells amazingly and keep your weight under control. Avocados can garnish any meal since they can be added to salads, desserts and raw soups.
18. Red Cabbage
It contains strong anti-inflammatory agent called phytonutrient anthocyanin. Besides, it also consist polyphenols, which soothes inflammation and calms down oxidative stress.
19. Hemp Seeds
These seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which possess great anti-inflammatory properties. Hemp seeds are the most wholesome seeds on the planet. Apart from this, they also contain gamma-linolenic acid, or GLA. Sprinkle these seeds on salads and soups; or add them to smoothie, desserts and cereals; or use them for dressing.
20. Whole Grains
Whole grains foods are much healthier than refined flour, white breads, rice, etc. These grains are rich in fibre, and hence, cut down the level of C-reactive protein, which mainly causes inflammation in blood.
Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain that lightens the inflammation and reduces swelling. Hence, it is used for alleviating the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
Cherries are tiny red fruits that act as powerful anti-inflammatory agent. Besides this, they balance high LDL, reduce the risk of breast, lung and liver cancer, and also help normalize the blood circulation.
A cup of black coffee can relax your body by cutting down pain and soreness. It contains antioxidants that reduce inflammation.
Natural Anti Inflammatory Spices and Herbs
A huge variety of spices and herbs loaded with anti-inflammatory properties are majorly used around the world for treating chronic inflammation. For instance, black pepper, nutmeg, slippery elm, arnica, withania somnifera, Indian lilac, saw palmetto, rosemary, basil, clove, sage, boswellia, etc. Some of the strong anti-inflammatory herbs and spices are explained below:
Cinnamon is not merely a delicious additive but a wonderful anti-inflammatory agent. It is full of antioxidants that soothe our body in a number of ways and help alleviate the swelling. Use this spice in your dish or sprinkle it on your tea/coffee, or on the top of your cereal to obtain its effects.
Cayenne is a rich source of potassium, calcium, vitamin C and B complex that aids in curing a number of inflammatory disorders. Capsaicin, an active compound in cayenne eases pain.
Parsley is packed with vitamin A, vitamin C, B complex, and vitamin K that boost up the immune system and deals with inflammatory problems.
27. Oregano Oil
Oregano oil is a perfect way to alleviate pain and discomfort caused by any (internal) factor. Besides this, the strong anti-allergic attributes of this oil help people with skin allergies and redness.
Note – Over-dosage of this herb can cause cardiovascular problems, difficulty in palpitation and breathing.
29. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera not only heals wounds and skin burns, but also prevents inflammation when taken internally. The juice prepared from gel is a perfect detoxifying beverage.
The anti-inflammatory properties of this herb can reduce the frequent occurrence of migraines and headaches and lower down the fever.
Note – 1) Consult a doctor, before consuming any of the aforesaid herbs.
2) Expecting mothers should avoid these herbs.