Health And Nutrition: Foods That Fight Inflammation

Assortment of Berries - Anti-inflammatory foods
Assortment of Berries - Anti-inflammatory foods Image from

Inflammation refers to that process by which your body’s white blood cells work to fight off intruders like bacteria and viruses. Your immune system is triggered when your body recognizes anything foreign such as a microbe, plant pollen, or chemical. Inflammation is when this process of fighting back is triggered. Inflammation becomes problematic when it is triggered by your body’s defence system even when there are no invaders to fight off such as in the case of arthritis.

Other conditions linked to inflammation whether short-lived (acute) or long-lasting (chronic) include:

Diet and inflammation

Doctors are finding that inflammation is best reduced not by what is in your medicine cabinet but more by your diet.

Foods that cause inflammation
  • Refined carbohydrates: like white bread and pastries
  • French fries and other fried foods
  • Soda and other sweetened beverages
  • Red meat (burgers, steaks, etc.) and processed meat (hot dog, sausage, etc.)
  • Trans fats (margarine, shortening, hydrogenated vegetable oil, and lard)
Foods that fight inflammation

No surprise here, but the best foods are mostly fruits and vegetables.

1. Berries

They are packed with fibre, vitamins, and minerals including strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. Lifestyle: The Benefits Of Berries And Some Of The Important Berries To Eat

2. Broccoli

Eating such cruciferous vegetables decreases the risk of heart disease and cancer.
Also in this category other vegetables like cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and kale. Superfoods: 7 Health Benefits Of Broccoli

3. Avocados

Are considered a superfood and are packed with potassium, magnesium, fibre, and heart-healthy monosaturated fats. Compounds in avocado are linked to reduce cancer risk and reduce inflammation in young skin cells. Lifestyle: 7 Benefits Of Adding Avocados To Your Diet

4. Leafy green vegetables

Spinach is one of the best anti-inflammatory superfoods. Research shows that people who eat green leafy vegetables like spinach and collards have a decreased risk of macular degeneration.  Lifestyle: The Benefits Of Spinach

5. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a nutritional powerhouse. They have antioxidants that have impressive anti-inflammatory properties. One study determined that drinking tomato juice significantly decreased inflammatory markers in women with excess weight though not for those with obesity. Lifestyle: 7 Benefits Of Tomatoes For Your Health

6. Nuts (almonds, walnuts)

Nuts such as walnuts are an excellent source of healthy fats, proteins, vitamin A, monosaturated fatty acids, and omega-3 fatty acids which are good for your heart. The Health And Nutritional Benefits Of Walnuts

Lifestyle: The Benefits Of Nuts And The Most Nutritious Ones To Eat

7. Fatty fish

They are a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids and reduce inflammation linked to heart disease, diabetes, and kidney disease. These include salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, and anchovies. Lifestyle: 8 Health And Nutritional Benefits Of Fish

8. Green tea

It is full of anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, obesity, and other conditions. 11 Health Benefits Of Green Tea

9. Peppers

Bell peppers and chilli peppers are loaded with vitamin C and antioxidants that have powerful anti-inflammatory effects. 6 Nutritional Benefits Of Bell Peppers (Capsicum)

10. Mushrooms

They contain antioxidants that provide anti-inflammatory protection. It’s worth keeping in mind that a study that found that cooking mushrooms lowered their anti-inflammatory compounds significantly and so they should be eaten raw or lightly cooked. Lifestyle: Six Health Benefits Of Mushrooms

11. Grapes

Grapes contain compounds that reduce inflammation and decrease the risk of several diseases including heart disease, diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s, and eye disorders. The Health And Nutritional Benefits Of Grapes

12. Turmeric (& ginger)

These strong earthy spices have curcumin which reduces inflammation related to arthritis, diabetes, and other diseases. Spices: The Many Benefits Of Turmeric

Health:  5 Benefits Of Ginger

13. Extra virgin olive oil

This is one of the healthiest fats you can eat with studies linking it to a reduced risk of heart disease, brain cancer, and other serious health conditions. Health Benefits Of Including Olive Oil In Your Diet

14. Cherries

Cherries are delicious and rich in antioxidants that fight inflammation. In a study, the inflammatory markers for people who ate cherries daily dropped and stayed low for 28 days after they stopped eating cherries.

15. Watermelon

Studies show that watermelon is packed with antioxidants that are anti-inflammatory, protect against cancers, and lower the risk of heart attacks. They even reduce the risk of rheumatoid arthritis. Food: Health And Nutritional Benefits Of Watermelons

16. Dark chocolate and cocoa

Dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants that reduce inflammation, reduce the risk of heart disease and lead to healthier ageing. Health: 10 Amazing Benefits Of Chocolate

17. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is packed full of nutrients and antioxidants which fight free radicals making it a powerful anti-inflammatory superfood. Lifestyle: 6 Health Benefits Of Oats

18. Aloe Vera

Research shows that aloe vera juice has anti-inflammatory properties when applied topically. It is also something you can drink. 5 Benefits Of Aloe Vera Gel

Add these anti-inflammatory foods to your diet and recommend them to people you know are dealing with any inflammatory-related illnesses.

Here are  6 Immune Boosting Foods You Should Eat More and Lifestyle: 7 Foods That Promote Dental Health

Vitamin A and C are good for reducing inflammation. Check out 6 Health Benefits Of Vitamin A And Food Sources and Lifestyle: The Health Benefits Of Vitamin C And Food Sources

Also check out Turning to nature for relief: 8 common spices that act as medicines

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