What are Anti-Inflammatory Foods?
Inflammation is really your body’s ability to react to injury, irritation or infection.
As such, it is considered a useful response since it indicates that the defense mechanisms are working properly.
However, chronic inflammation can speed up the progression of a medical condition and make things worse.
Many people see inflammation as the main cause of autoimmune diseases.
For instance, in case of diseases like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, inflammation is known to speed up the progression of the disease. This is why it is considered important to control the condition, and one major way through which we can do this is by eating anti-inflammatory foods.
When inflammation goes untreated, it can cause several health complications which are unpredictable and nonspecific.
For this reason, the right anti-inflammatory foods will ensure that the situation is arrested before it gets out of hand.
However, before embarking on a new diet packed with anti-inflammatory foods, there are a few things that you must know to choose the best foods or supplements that will meet your specific needs and ensure that you attain overall good health.
What Are Anti Inflammatory Diseases?
The natural response to an injury is the release of leukocytes.
These white blood cells cause a little heat, and after a few days, the body is back to normal.
However, when the body cranks up the fire, permanent and irreversible damage can occur.
Damage to organs, cells, and joints ends up developing diseases such as arthritis, cancers of all types, organ failures, and chronic pain are many times the result of chronic inflammation.
There are some organic anti-inflammatory foods, herbs, and natural compounds that can take the place of over-the-counter prescription and other anti-inflammatory medications that you may be taking.
Our bodies can beat back infections as long as they get the right ammunition.
Over-processing of the food in our diet is the leading cause of poor nutrition today.
This processing removes many of the disease-fighting nutrients and natural anti-inflammatory properties from the foods we eat.
There are also several things that we do to increase the chronic inflammation in our bodies.
High fat, high-calorie meals, being overweight, high serum cholesterol, and long-term, low-grade infections all contribute to excess inflammation.
Emotional anxiety, lack of adequate exercise, and poor diet also contribute to the body producing inflammation in joints, organs, arteries, and muscles.
The longer a body operates under stress from these habits and conditions, the longer the inflammatory conditions will persist.
Small problems like gingivitis, cold sores, high-fat meals, and a lack of exercise all contribute to an inability of the body to turn off the inflammatory response.
Natural anti-inflammatory foods, herbs, and habits can control many of these insidious problems and even handle many of the conditions caused by chronic inflammation.
Armed with some basic natural anti-inflammatory foods, you can begin to make life-long changes in your health and diet.
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Anti Inflammatory Foods
Prescription anti-inflammatory medications work to inhibit the COX-2 enzyme to reduce the pain and swelling.
There are many anti-inflammatory treatments available, such as pain relievers, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and prescriptions like Prednisone.
Unfortunately, most anti-inflammatory medications are severe. The side effects of these treatments can often leave users feeling worse than before.
While many people turn to drugs to fight inflammation, there are some foods that can help with the problem.
Brightly colored fruits and vegetables contain flavonoids that act much like aspirin and aspirin-like compounds.
These compounds tend to reduce the inflammation in the body.
So keeping half of your plate free for additional servings of fruits and vegetables makes good sense in the battle to fight chronic infections.
With several remedies available, it makes sense to choose natural anti-inflammatory foods and herbs over medication.
Selecting the best is important and but first, you need to know why natural remedies beat prescription medication.
They are easy to access
This is the most important reason to choose these natural remedies. The fact that you can access them with ease when the need arises is important as it ensures that
you no longer have to put up with complications arising from inflammation.
They are natural
Unlike some products that contain chemical additives that do not address the underlying issues.
By selecting anti-inflammatory foods and herbs, you increase your chances of controlling your health complication without the dangers associated with prescription drugs.
Anti-Inflammatory health benefits
They provide the perfect opportunity for you to enjoy overall good health.
This is because once they are consumed, they not only address the inflammation, but the entire body system and this ensures that your body enjoys these benefits in a very positive manner.
Ease of digestion
This is another major plus associated with anti-inflammatory foods and herbs.
This is equated to the fact that they are natural and as such, the body can accept them into the system quickly.
You get rid of complications that are associated with digestion. What this means is that people who suffer from digestion issues also get the opportunity to enjoy these foods.
Because these anti-inflammatory foods are natural, there are no side effects associated with the use of these products.
As a result, you do not even need to consult with a doctor before taking foods.
They are also known as pain relievers
The fact that they can address the underlying condition while at the same time alleviating any pain you might be experiencing is what makes these foods and herbs your best treatment option.
Anti-inflammatory foods are high for your health. If you suffer from certain types of diseases, your diet should be packed with these foods.
They can assist with the modification of inflammation.
When used correctly they assist with detoxification, and this ensures that you attain overall good health.
Due to the properties contained in these fruits, plants, and herbs, you get the opportunity to enjoy optimal cellular fitness.
They can reduce cases of swelling in muscles and other joints.
Additionally, they are also known to assist with the improvement of breathing.
They also have anti-toxin capabilities. This means that in cases where one might be suffering from oxidative damage, some anti-inflammatory herbal can ensure that you are restored to normal functioning.
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Anti Inflammatory Foods List
A great benefit of eating anti-inflammatory foods is that they will not have the negative effects that the long-term use of many drugs will have on the immune system.
These foods can be seen as gifts from nature as they not only battle inflammation without adverse side effects but also nourish the body with vitamins and minerals.
In addition, many of these foods are great tasting and can be easily introduced into the diet.
Here are just a few powerful anti-inflammatory foods that can be used to boost immunity and raise overall vitality and health while treating inflammation.
In the opinion of many nutritionists and other educated health professionals, Kale is the most nutrient-dense food on earth.
Couple this with the fact that it is incredibly easy to blend up into a green smoothie, and you have a fantastic start to your roster of anti-inflammatory foods!
Smoothies, however, are not the only culinary use for kale. As with many vegetables, eating raw kale that has not been pulverized is probably the best use of this nutritious vegetable.
It has infinite potential in kale salads, just cut up rather than liquidized.
From a culinary point of view, kale can be an asset in presentation as there are many exciting variations.
This means that any culinary home enthusiast can add that little bit of extra color to their recipes with kale.
From a nutritional and medicinal point of view, kale is one of the most commonly recommended anti-inflammatory foods that can have a positive impact on pain and swelling.
Blueberries have multiple health benefits. They reduce inflammation which qualifies them for this list – but they also fight the effects of aging, which is highly desirable for many people.
Studies have suggested that blueberries (along with strawberries and cranberries) can mitigate the damage done by metabolic syndrome by way of controlling inflammation.
Blueberries are very easy to incorporate into your diet.
Eating blueberries a few times a week is a great way to fight inflammation as well as to protect the body from cancer.
Recent studies have shown that these powerful antioxidants show promise in staving off the effects of dementia.
The berries contain what are known as phytonutrients, which are effective in raising the overall health of the immune system.
Be certain to consume blueberries that have not been treated with pesticides.
In order to avoid pesticides, it is best to obtain blueberries that have been harvested or grown organically.
Due to their tiny size, it is difficult to wash pesticides off of the berries.
Although you can’t get the same benefit from just any old mushroom, shitake mushrooms, in particular, do have significant health benefits in helping the body to fight off infection and increase the effectiveness of your natural immune system.
Add to these benefits the fact that they are antimicrobial and have been used in the past in cancer treatments and you can see why these mushrooms are nothing short of a miracle food!
Shiitake mushrooms have been used by Eastern cultures to boost immunity and reduce inflammation.
They are prized for their mild taste, and many users enjoy their slightly smoky flavor.
They can be eaten fresh in green salads or added to soups and stews. They are especially suited to be included in miso soup.
They are a powerful antioxidant and are known to be effective in battling cancer cells as well.
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Salmon is rich in healthy omega-3 acids, which have powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
When shopping for salmon, wild is always preferable to farmed. If you simply can’t tolerate fish at all, however, there are many high-quality supplements on the market which could help to bridge that gap.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Whenever anyone broaches the “good fats” versus “bad fats” explanation, extra virgin olive oil is usually top on their list of good fats – and for good reason!
This oil provides a healthy dose of good fats that assist in lowering inflammation, and in fact, many people in the
Mediterranean cultures consider it a boon to health. It is also known as an anti-inflammatory.
Olive oil also seems to be one of those special foods that have a range of benefits, often associated with the Mediterranean diet.
It is important to use extra-virgin olive oil as the body can turn the monounsaturated fats it contains into anti-inflammatory agents. Good for the heart and blood vessels it is also effective in treating arthritis.
Sesame and Hemp Seeds
These two powerful foods are excellent for your immune system and have even been shown to help people with chronic and complex immuno-disorders such as lupus.
Not only that, but the seeds help balance your immune system because they are rich in such ingredients as B3 vitamins, B1 vitamins, Vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, iron, manganese, and zinc. Lastly, they are incredibly simple to incorporate into your diet if you mix them up in smoothies!
Kelp is a brown algae extract and helps to control both liver cancer and lung cancer.
It is not only anti-inflammatory in nature, but also anti-tumor and anti-oxidative.
One of the most harmful destroyers of the healthy tissue in our bodies is free radicals.
They are incredibly destructive to our body! The destructive effect of free radicals, however, can be ameliorated somewhat by eating squash, which contains carotenoids.
Carotenoids are antioxidants, and they work to overcome the damage done by free radicals while simultaneously providing a buffer between the free radicals and your tissue.
Squash comes in different colors and are colorful ingredients for many dishes including soups.
This makes them rather easier to “sell” to children who won’t eat their green vegetables.
Well, that’s my theory anyway. Apart from that they do taste rather nice and should not offend the taste buds of too many people.
They are rich in nutrients and are popular foods for fighting inflammation.
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This group of healthy vegetables – which includes broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and the kale above – contains the compound sulforaphane, which has been shown in clinical studies to reduce the inflammation in arteries.
Broccoli has long been known to have anti-inflammatory properties as it is packed with nutrients that the body can easily absorb.
The green wonder contains phytonutrients that help the body to rid itself of carcinogens and other cancer-causing agents.
Unlike the previously mentioned foods, turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory spice.
This means that – while it would not be eaten on its own to fight inflammation, it can be used to spice any of the other foods on the list to multiply the benefits inherent in eating that food.
Of all the spices, turmeric is probably the best known for a wide range of benefits as a natural medicine.
New studies on this beautiful spice seem to emerge on a regular basis, and I have witnessed that trend for several decades since the 1980′s.
The recognition of turmeric seems to have accelerated in recent years. Included among the studied benefits are as a counter to inflammatory tendencies in the body.
For some of us, turmeric is very easy to consume, as it is a staple of Indian cuisine, which happens to be my favorite.
It is a basic ingredient of “curries,” but it does have a great deal of scope for culinary use.
Again, rather than being food that would be eaten alone, garlic is an anti-inflammatory food that would be consumed in concert with another item on the list.
In addition to fighting inflammation, garlic has also been known to support your body in fighting infection and regulating blood glucose.
Garlic has been associated with being a natural preventative medicine in many cultures.
It also has some remarkable culinary potential and is widely used throughout the world.
In millions of households, including my own, it is an essential food on a daily basis.
Supplements are available for those who do not like garlic in their meals, or who are conscious of the strong odor it can leave on breath and skin.
If you live in a community where everyone eats garlic, then that is unlikely to be a problem.
Ginger has a plethora of health benefits, and its anti-inflammation properties are chief among them.
Aside from supporting inflammation reduction, it also controls blood sugar, for instance.
Ginger can be easily consumed in the form of pills or tea.
When you incorporate sweet potatoes into your diet, you are taking in a lot of healthy elements.
First of all, sweet potatoes are an excellent source of complex carbohydrates – which are the carbohydrates that are the healthiest for you.
Not only that, but they provide fiber, manganese, beta-carotene, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B6.
Sweet potatoes are another vegetable which has numerous health benefits at the same time as having great culinary potential.
They can be cooked in numerous ways, and you will enjoy many of the recipes you find as you search for ways to incorporate sweet potatoes into your diet.
Some of the basic cooking ideas which I have experienced are boiled mashed and sweet potato fries.
From a nutritional point of view, the less they are cooked the better.
Green tea contains a plethora of health advantages, just beginning with its anti-inflammatory properties, supported by flavonoids.
Some studies even suggest that green tea has cancer-fighting properties.
A daily intake of green tea can also help to lower the chances of developing diseases of the heart and certain cancers.
Green tea contains flavonoids that work as anti-inflammatory compounds within the body and boost general immunity.
By cooking our foods over low heat with olive oil and drinking green tea before and after meals, we can effectively help our bodies to fight inflammation.
It seems everyone is on board with the general idea that “fruit is healthy” – but what many people do not realize is that fruit loses many of its health benefits when only the sweet and delicious flesh is eaten.
Rather, the fiber-rich skin contains much of the nutrient and anti-inflammatory properties which are in the fruit in the first place. When choosing fiber-rich whole fruits to add to your diet, make sure that you do give preference to organically raised fruit because of the dangers of pesticides.
The papaya fruit is another one of the anti-inflammatory foods that are not only powerful and fast acting but also tastes delicious.
It contains protein-digesting enzymes and is loaded with vitamins E and C.
The papaya fruit is recommended for the healing of the digestive tract and in treating burns.
The fruit is best eaten fresh as dried and preserved fruits often contain chemicals such as sulfur dioxide, which can cause respiratory difficulties.
By incorporating these foods heavily into your diet – and avoiding harmful foods such as trans fats, processed sugar and flour, refined grains, alcohol, and red meats, your body will be healthier and disease free, which will help you live both a longer life and a happier one.
Remember, staying active will also help you reap even more benefits from a healthy diet.
An overall healthy lifestyle is not only dependent on the food you eat or how much exercise you perform, but also factors like good sleep and ample rest