Inflammation is part of the body’s immune response, and it is crucial to the healing process. But when it’s out of control and becomes chronic, it can damage the body.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services and American Heart Association, chronic, low-level inflammation might cause diseases such as atherosclerosis, arthritis, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, food intolerances, diabetes, fibromyalgia, heart disease and in some cases even cancer. It also accelerates the aging process and can lead to weight gain.
Sleep deprivation, psychological stress, malnutrition, obesity, excessive exercise, and poor dietary choices cause chronic inflammation in the body. Apart from getting enough rest and managing stress, try to avoid or limit these foods as much as possible:
- refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and pastries
- french fries and other fried foods,
- soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages,
- artificial sweeteners and diet sodas,
- red meat (burgers, steaks) and processed meat (hot dogs, sausage),
- hydrogenated and trans fats in margarine, shortening, and lard.
On the other hand, in order to help your body prevent and fight off inflammation, try to eat as much of these anti-inflammatory foods as possible:
1. Dark leafy greens
Green vegetables are extremely high in the antioxidants vitamin A and C, as well as vitamin K, which can actually protect your brain against oxidative stress from damage caused by free radicals. They’re also rich in disease-fighting flavonoids and vitamin E, which protects the body against pro-inflammatory molecules called cytokines.
Celery is a great source of phenolic phytochemicals that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Besides being a source of many phytochemicals, including carotenoids and flavonoids, beets are a unique source of betalain pigments, which have been found to display potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and cancer-preventive activity.
Walnuts are rich in omega-3, in a form of alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA, which has been shown to calm inflammation and protect the cells in certain at-risk patients.
Studies have shown that ginger contains pharmacological properties of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. In addition, ginger may treat various types of stomach problems, including motion sickness, colic, upset stomach, gas, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and nausea.
Curcumin, a compound found in turmeric, has been found to contain potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties by directly inhibiting the activation of inflammatory pathways through shutting off production of pro-inflammatory enzymes.
Broccoli is a highly nutritious vegetable that contains anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer phytonutrients such as sulforaphane, and kaempferol, which help relieve inflammation and oxidative stress, battle allergies and get rid of potentially carcinogenic compounds. It’s also high in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant.
Papaya is a superb source of vitamins C, E, and beta-carotene (pro-vitamin A), which have powerful antioxidant properties. This delicious tropical fruit also contains protein-digesting enzymes papain and chymopapain, which help reduce inflammation.
9. Garlic and onions
Organosulfur compounds derived from garlic may lower the production of substances in the blood that boost inflammation. Quercetin, a flavonoid in onions, helps inhibit inflammation-causing agents at play in arthritis.
Anthocyanins, the antioxidant flavonoids that give berries their rich color, reduce inflammation in the body. Especially blueberries have been shown to significantly reduce inflammation.
Reducing inflammation in the body is key to good health and longevity. So try incorporating more of these foods in your diet to stay healthy and avoid disease.
Now if you have any questions about these tips, let me know in the comments down below! I’d be glad to help. 🙂