11 Anti-inflammatory foods

Anti-inflammatory foods

What is inflammation?

You might have noticed red swells on your body, most often on your elbows or knees, when you have fallen down or accidentally get hit by something. The swells are a result of inflammation. Here, inflammation helps you identify the area that has been affected.

Generally, inflammation is your immune response against injury. It can also happen when foreign particles enter your body, ranging from thorns to microorganisms. 

When there is an injury or foreign particle entering your body, the white blood cells will rush to the targeted area and accumulate. This causes red coloured swells and helps you identify the exact area of your injury so that you can treat it. 

However, your immune system sometimes tends to misidentify your cells and cause inflammation undesirably. It can also happen due to chronic stress, obesity, autoimmune disorders, etc. 

This can be prevented by including anti-inflammatory fruits and vegetables in your diet. You also need to know what inflammatory foods are to avoid. You can also prepare a comprehensive anti-inflammatory food list and adhere to it. 

What are 11 anti-inflammatory foods that you can intake?

As they say, food is medicine, inflammation can be tackled, fought and prevented by including anti-inflammatory foods in your diet. Here are some of the foods that you can rely on:

1. Turmeric

Indian food is best known for its top-notch medical properties along with appetising flavours. One of the most common ingredients in most Indian food is turmeric.

It contains curcumin that has astonishing anti-inflammatory properties. It effectively reduces inflammation that may arise due to diabetes, arthritis, etc. 

Most often, curcumin is prescribed along with piperine (extracted from black pepper) as it enhances curcumin absorption by the body. 

2. Peppers

Antioxidants play a vital role in anti-inflammation. Chilli peppers and bell peppers are rich in antioxidants that can effectively work against inflammation. They are also rich in vitamin C, which neutralises against oxidants, thus reducing inflammation.  

Bell peppers are packed with the antioxidant quercetin that combats chronic inflammation that arises out of diabetes.  

On the other hand, chilli peppers supply ferulic acid and sinapic acid that help your healthy ageing.  

3. Fatty fish

Fish is a great source of protein. Some fatty fishes provide rich, long-chain omega-3 fatty acids that help reduce inflammation. They include:

  • Sardines
  • Salmon
  • Mackerel
  • Anchovies
  • Herring

Your body metabolises fatty acids into anti-inflammatory compounds known as protectins and resolvins. This is a great source of anti-inflammatory food that reduces inflammation due to chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and kidney disorders. 

4. Broccoli

Broccoli is one of the best anti-inflammatory vegetables that are commonly available in the market. Being a cruciferous vegetable, consuming broccoli greatly reduces the risk of heart diseases and cancer. 

Because of its richness in antioxidants, it also decreases the effect of inflammation that can be caused by the aforementioned chronic diseases. 

5. Green tea

Green tea is one such beverage that secures its firm place in the anti-inflammatory food list. It is because green tea is rich in epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG)—a substance that kills inflammation-causing agents, especially cytokine. 

It also inhibits the damage to the fatty acids in your body, thus reducing inflammation. Besides, green tea is a phenomenal beverage that controls heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, etc. 

6. Berries

If you think of anti-inflammatory fruits, berries readily come as one of the top choices. There are many forms of berries ranging from widely consumed strawberries to raspberries and blueberries. 

They are all rich in anthocyanins, an antioxidant that has anti-inflammatory properties. 

Some studies show that those who regularly consume berries, especially blueberries, develop more natural killer cells (NK cells). Your body naturally produces these cells that are responsible for the healthy immune system. 

7. Mushrooms

Most of the anti-inflammatory food chart contains various mushrooms, including truffles and portobello. They are rich in antioxidants along with minerals, including selenium and copper. They are also rich in vitamin B.

They help reduce inflammatory effects to a great extent. Particularly, one such mushroom variety, named lion’s mane effectively reduces inflammation due to obesity. 

8. Cocoa and dark chocolate

Finally, you have a delicious option to fight your inflammation. 

Dark chocolate contains rich antioxidants that maintain the healthy functioning of your immune system and reduces inflammation. Flavanols from dark chocolate are responsible for anti-inflammatory properties in it. 

If you have to choose between normal and dark chocolate, you can always rely on dark chocolate for anti-inflammatory effects. 

9. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are rich in potassium, vitamin C and the antioxidant lycopene. They are all better anti-inflammatory substances. Particularly, lycopene fights pro-inflammatory substances that may cause due to cancer. 

Cooking tomatoes with olive oil helps absorb more lycopene by your body, thus protecting you against inflammation. 

10. Virgin olive oil

Olives find a top place in the Mediterranean diet’s anti-inflammatory food chart. Olives are rich in monosaturated fats and lessen the risk of heart diseases, cancer, and other chronic diseases. 

Olives contain oleocanthal, a strong antioxidant that is often compared with an anti-inflammatory drug, ibuprofen. However, you need to choose extra virgin olives over refined olives for enhanced anti-inflammatory properties.

11. Cherries

Last but not least, cherries offer rich antioxidants such as anthocyanins and catechins that have high anti-inflammatory effects. Precisely, tart cherries and sweet cherries have higher benefits toward it. However, more study is needed to establish the effects of cherries on inflammation. 

How to reduce inflammation in the body fast?

If you face severe inflammation, seeking a medical opinion is the best source. However, you can reduce inflammation by strictly adhering to the anti-inflammatory food list and keeping a keen eye on what inflammatory foods to avoid. 

Limiting your intake of inflammatory foods is as important as consuming anti-inflammatory foods.

Some common inflammatory foods that you may need to avoid are:

  • Fried foods
  • Junk food
  • Processed meat
  • Aerated beverages
  • Trans fat foods
  • Refined carbohydrates

To sum up

Inflammation is not wholly a bad thing. However, undesirable inflammation gives way to chronic diseases. 

Many diets contain foods that have anti-inflammatory properties, for example, the Mediterranean diet. Most of the above-mentioned anti-inflammatory foods are easily available in our local marketplaces. 

Choosing a healthy diet in an appropriate quantity is the remedy not only to inflammation but to many other health issues. 

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