Have you always wanted to learn about inflammation and how to fight it using natural anti-inflammatory foods? First, let’s talk about inflammation. It is a necessary process in our bodies. Though you may have heard that it’s a bad thing, it’s our bodies’ natural reaction to any infections or foreign invaders like viruses and bacteria and can help to heal our bodies after sustaining injury. It keeps us safe, and you can imagine it as the first line of defense against sickness in our bodies.
However, too much inflammation can be an issue and as we age, our body’s inflammation response may not be as accurate or effective. When inflammation is constant or chronic when we are not experiencing any infections, injuries, without any autoimmune disorders, this is when inflammation becomes a cause for concern. We may feel discomfort as we experience redness, stiffness, rashes, and swelling from inflammation. This prolonged inflammation may even lead to serious diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, asthma, cancer, or even cognitive decline and dementia.
The best way to regulate this and prevent chronic inflammation is through our diet. Some food may aggravate inflammation, these include added sugars like fructose and corn syrup, foods high in trans fats, processed foods, and refined carbohydrates such as white bread. It’s good to try to avoid these foods if possible.
Likewise, there are also foods that naturally fight inflammation. Listed below are some anti-inflammatory foods that we should include in our diet to keep healthy.
Ginger contains gingerol which is powerful in reducing inflammation in your body. It also has antioxidants to help with free radicals and may be used to treat nausea. It can be easily added to your diet by steeping it in water to make ginger tea or used in fish dishes or soups.
Without sufficient vitamin A intake, your body’s inflammatory response might increase. You must consume enough vitamin A to combat inflammation. A little goes a long way too, just a quarter cup of carrots is enough. Be careful not to consume too much vitamin A over a long period of time as you may develop vitamin toxicity which will include symptoms such bone pain, changes to your skin and vision.
Spinach is a great anti-inflammatory food and has several other benefits as well. You’ve probably heard that dark leafy greens are a fantastic addition to your diet, but why? This is because dark greens contain higher levels of vitamin E than their light-colored counterparts. Vitamin E functions as an antioxidant that helps to fight free radicals which may cause diseases such as cancer. You can easily add some spinach to your smoothies to incorporate it into your diet.
Broccoli contains high levels of antioxidants such as carotenoids and flavonoids. These antioxidants help to lower inflammation. While boiling and steaming broccoli is a good way to cut down on using oil and to keep your meals healthy, you may lose the nutritional value of broccoli if you cook it any longer than five minutes.
Turmeric is related to the ginger plant, so it is no surprise that they share similar health benefits. In addition to reducing inflammation in the joints, it can also lower cholesterol levels and your risk of heart disease.