Inflammation is a localized physical condition that, most of the times, is a reaction to any injury or infection. It is characterized by redness and swelling of a particular area. In many cases, inflammation serves as an essential part of the healing process. However, there are some medical conditions which cause faulty inflammatory responses which are known as chronic inflammatory diseases.
Recurrent bouts of the inflammation, directed at truly threatening invaders, protect our corporal health.
However, inflammation sometimes continues day in and day out, even when we are not threatened by any foreign invader. That is the time when inflammation harms you. Many major diseases have been linked to chronic inflammation including cancer, diabetes, depression, heart disease, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s.
One of the most powerful tools to combat inflammation is your diet. Many experimental studies have shown that components of beverages or foods have many anti-inflammatory effects. By choosing the right foods, a person may be able to reduce the risks of illness. Consistent and wrong food choices easily accelerate the inflammatory disease process.
Foods that promote Inflammation
Following are some foods that cause inflammation. One must 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
- Red meat such as burgers, steaks
- Processed meat such as hot dogs, sausage
Some of these foods have also been associated with an increased risk for many chronic diseases like heart diseases and type 2 diabetes. They also contribute to weight gain, which itself is a large risk factor for inflammation.
Foods that combat Inflammation
Plenty of foods and beverages are available which can reduce the risks of Inflammation. One must include these anti-inflammatory foods in their diet,
- Olive oil
- Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, and collards
- Nuts like almonds and walnuts
- Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel and sardines
- Fruits such as strawberries, cherries, blueberries, and oranges
There are some particular fruits and vegetables like blueberries, apples, tomatoes, and leafy greens which are high in natural antioxidants and polyphenols.
Nuts are also associated with reduced markers of inflammation and a lower risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Coffee may protect against inflammation because it contains polyphenols and other anti-inflammatory compounds.
Following are the foods for your diet to keep you distant from chronic inflammation,
If you have not started cooking with olive oil yet then this is the time! It is incomparably rich in Oleic acid which is an omega-9 fatty acid. It is very helpful in minimizing inflammation. Use of extra virgin olive oil in cooking and on salads can make your food working much faster for you. It is very good for your brain and heart, too.
Between meals, try nuts. Some great choices include:
They are also high in omega-3 fatty acids thus make a great snack. Sunflower seeds also share some of these nutty benefits.
Processed snack foods can be replaced with an array of fruits like,
According to the Arthritis Foundation, antioxidants found in fresh fruits and vegetables can help your body fight off free radicals which can cause cellular damage.
Herbs have been used for centuries for promoting health and healing. Fresh herbs, such as basil, thyme, and oregano are delicious choices to be used in your cooking. They could be a great source of antioxidants.
A 2010 review showed that some herbs like curcumin and chili pepper contain compounds which are anti-inflammatory and may reduce pain.
Thankfully, eating healthy food does not mean missing out on sweet stuff. Chocolate — that is at least 70 percent pure cocoa is a way to go. Other desserts low in fats and heavy in the fruits and nuts as mentioned earlier are also great ways to prevent inflammation.
Besides reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease, green tea also stages an anti-inflammatory fight inside our body. Drink it either hot or cold and you can also add some lemon juice to perk up the flavor of tea and kick up the antioxidants.
Beans serve as a rich source of proteins. 1 cup of beans contains 15 grams of protein. They are not only affordable but are also packed with phytonutrients and fiber, which help in decreasing inflammation. They even contain folic acid and many important minerals including magnesium, iron, zinc, and potassium.
Red meat has been considered bad for a reason. It is higher in salt and cholesterol, which can trigger inflammation. To get protein, a person should switch to fish like salmon, tuna, snapper, bass, cod, and halibut which are much high in omega-3 fatty acids and can also help to reduce inflammation.
Onions contain a large number of nutritious antioxidants and may infact reduce inflammation, risk of heart diseases, and high cholesterol levels.
High fiber foods
Fiber is known to lower the C-reactive protein (CRP) that may trigger the process of inflammation. Foods high in fiber include whole grains, beans, vegetables, and fruits. Consumption of whole grains which are made with the entire grain kernel, like oatmeal, bulgur, quinoa, brown rice, and whole-wheat flour ensure a higher nutritious fiber level.
A diet rich in foods having anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties could keep inflammation down. If a person is looking for an eating plan that closely follows the anti-inflammatory eating, he must consider the Mediterranean diet, which is much high in fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains, nuts, and healthy oils.
Processed foods such as packaged meats, chips, cookies, and other snacks should be avoided to prevent inflammation. They are high in unhealthy fats, sugars, and salts, which are linked to inflammation. Limiting your alcohol intake is also very important. In addition, natural and less processed diet has noticeable effects on our emotional and physical health. A healthy diet is advantageous not only for decreasing the risk of chronic diseases but also for improving mood and overall quality of life.