The phrase ‘you are what you eat’ is literary true. It is particularly relevant when fighting inflammation and preventing infection. While some foods can worsen inflammation, many delicious anti-inflammatory foods can reduce swelling, pain and other symptoms.
Read on to discover what you can eat to manage inflammation.
What Is Inflammation?
Inflammation refers to body system’s response to infection or injury. It is the body system’s way of alerting the immune system to repair and heal damaged tissue, as well as to fight against foreign bodies such as bacteria and viruses.
By eating anti-inflammatory foods, not only will you boost your immune system, but you will also get antioxidants, vitamins, fiber, and other healthy compounds.
Here are the top 10 best foods that can help fight inflammation in your body:
Spinach is often referred to as a “power food” because it offers a lot of benefits for your body. It is rich in Vitamin E, which can help protect your body against inflammation-causing compounds known as cytokines. Its dark color shows that it is rich in nutrients, just like other green leafy vegetables.
Simply prepare a spinach salad with a fat-dense food like avocado to maximize the nutrients.
You can also replace processed foods with a wide variety of fruits such as blueberries, cherries, raspberries, and strawberries. The antioxidants present in veggies and fruits can help your body system to fight off free radicals that are responsible for cellular damage.
These fruits are rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant that defends the cells against free radical-induced damage and helps the immune system to function properly.
When it comes to inflammation, blueberries are also awesome. Studies have shown that consuming blueberry juice with medication can help boost inflammation markers and ease the side effects and symptoms of an inflammatory condition known as juvenile idiopathic arthritis.
Red meat has a bad reputation and for good reason. It is high in salt and cholesterol, which can cause inflammation. To get your protein, simply substitute red meat with fish.
Fish like bass, halibut, tuna, salmon, cod, and snapper are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to fight off inflammation.
If you crave a steak from time to time, go for grass-fed beef. It is high in omega acids. Otherwise, it is best to eat any of the above types of fish to help manage inflammation.
4. Black Tea
While green tea normally gets more attention, black tea also offers a lot of benefits. Consuming black tea offers some powerful antioxidants, which help to prevent cellular damage and may also help to keep arteries open.
One research study found that black tea may also help to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer.
Black tea tastes good on its own or with honey and milk. You may also want to add pomegranate and lemon juice for a tasty beverage.
Instead of consuming red meat, you can also get your protein from beans. One cup of beans contains around 15 grams of protein. Beans are not only affordable, but they are also rich in fiber and phytonutrients, which can help to fight inflammation.
Beans even contain folic acid and minerals such as potassium, iron, zinc, and magnesium.
6. Pomegranate Seeds
Pomegranate seeds are rich in powerful antioxidants that can help lower both cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
Experts believe that a compound in pomegranate known as punicalagin fights inflammation in the central nervous system, which could help stop the progression of brain decline.
You can buy prepackaged pomegranate seeds from a grocery store near you, but you can also start with the entire fruit. Simply cut the fruit in half and put the seeds in a bowl to eat or add them to salads.
7. Spices: Turmeric and Ginger
Turmeric is a very popular spice and for good reason. It is rich in curcumin, a compound that actively fights inflammation. To improve the flavor, try adding turmeric to cooked squash or quinoa.
Ginger works in the same way as turmeric to fight inflammation. Some studies suggest that turmeric and ginger can help reduce the pain that is caused by arthritis.
Nuts have for many years been said to help fight coronary heart disease. A recent study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that most seeds and nuts can help reduce inflammation and its symptoms.
So make sure to try some nuts between meals. Some excellent choices include hazelnuts, walnuts, pistachios, and almonds. They are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids and make a tasty snack.
Eating avocados can help ease headaches and relieve the symptoms associated with inflammation. Most fats present in avocados are also good for the heart.
A recent study in obese and overweight people found that eating a meal with a whole or half avocado improves inflammation markers and heart health.
Avocados also have high fiber content, which can help keep hunger at bay.
10. Mangosteen Fruit
Mangosteen is an exotic fruit with a somewhat sour and sweet taste. It originated from Asia, but can now be found in different tropical regions around the globe.
The fruit is also known as purple mangosteen due to the purple color of its rind when it ripens. On the other hand, the juicy inner part is white.
While mangosteen is a fairly obscure fruit, you don’t want to miss out on its incredible health benefits, which include anti-inflammatory properties.
Mangosteen contains compounds known as xanthones, which may help with fighting inflammation. Studies have also shown that the xanthones can help reduce the risk of inflammatory diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
There are more health benefits you can get from mangosteen. You can click here to see the list of benefits you can get.
While processed foods sometimes seem the easier choice, they harm your health in the long run. Developing a healthier eating routine can seem difficult at times, but it becomes easier over time. And the benefits are well worth it!
With a proper diet plan, you can manage inflammation, disease, and aging by adding these superfoods to your routine.