What does inflammation mean? It is not an infection, although infection can cause inflammation. Actually inflammation is the body’s own defence attempt to remove harmful stimuli, such as irritants, damaged cells, etc. This is when inflammation is trying its healing process.
Inflammation is the first sign when something harmful or irritating is affecting parts of our body. Every one’s body has an immune system and inflammation is part of that. Inflammation is also a localized physical condition that results as a reaction to an injury or infection, causing parts of the body to become swollen, reddened, painful and hot. Internal inflammation can happen due to eating of processed foods, fats and sugars.
High levels of inflammation can cause a number of health complications such as arthritis, joint pain, damage to blood vessels among others. To combat this, it is important to eat foods that are anti-inflammatory. Such foods are readily available to add to your diet to curb inflammation.
- Whole Grains
When it comes to whole grains it is better you consume your grains as whole grains and not refined or pasta. Research has shown that whole grains contain a high amount of fibre which reduces the inflammatory marker in blood known as C-reactive protein.
- Dark Leafy Greens
Dark leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale have high concentrations of vitamin E and minerals such as calcium and iron. Studies show that vitamin E helps in protecting your body from inflammatory molecules known as cytokines. Additionally, dark leafy greens have a high amount of disease fighting phytochemicals.
- Fatty Fish
Oily fish such as salmon and tuna are foods that are anti inflammatory as they contain high amounts of omega 3 fatty acids. The fatty acids are known to help joint inflammation, so make sure you get plenty of omega 3. Another important fact about omega 3 is you must get it in your food because the body cannot make it within its system.
Soybeans contain isoflavones compounds which help the negative effects of inflammation on joints. However, it is good you avoid heavily processed soy products as they may contain additives and preservatives. Instead, include soy milk and soy beans into your regular diet.
Nuts such as almonds and walnuts are rich in vitamin E, calcium and fibre. All nuts are full of antioxidants which can help the body in repairing the damages caused by inflammation.
Berries are low in fat and calories but rich in antioxidants. Their anti inflammatory anthocyanins compound in them has many good qualities. This helps to prevent you from developing arthritis.
- Green Tea
Green tea as well has anti inflammatory flavonoids; this reduces the onset of inflammation and minimizes the risk of certain cancers. It shouldn’t be underestimated for many other health benefits. It can reactivate skin cells making skin appear brighter. Drink it regularly and use some honey as a sweetener instead of sugar.
- Low Fat Dairy
Low fat dairy such as yogurt contains probiotics which can prevent inflammation. Additionally, dairy foods that are anti inflammatory such as skim milk with high calcium and vitamin D are important for everyone since apart from having anti inflammatory properties, they strengthen your bones also.
- Ginger and Garlic
Ginger and garlic are foods that are anti inflammatory. Both are known to lower body inflammation, control blood sugar levels and help your body in fighting certain infections. Selenium and sulphur in garlic is an essential compound for a healthy immune system. It is also one of the top anti-aging foods you can eat.
- Turmeric and Sweet Potato
Turmeric has natural anti inflammatory compounds called curcumin which is known to turn off NF-kappa B protein that triggers the process of inflammation. On the other hand, sweet potato is a good source of fibre, vitamin B 6, vitamin C, complex carbohydrates and better carotene.
These ingredients help heal inflammation in your body. These are some of many foods that are anti inflammatory which can help you in reducing joint pain and arthritis caused by inflammation. Add them to your diet. However, reduce foods that are high in fats especially trans fats and sugar as they can spur inflammation, joint pain, arthritis, and damage blood vessels among other related inflammatory conditions.
Making a few changes will improve many things and can have you feeling more energetic and alive than you have in a long time, and will continue to do so as long as you stay with the changes you made. This is where many go wrong. When things have improved they go back to the same old way as before. Don’t sabotage your own health; stick with what you are doing, the changes you made, that made you feel better. Don’t go back to the old ways what you’ve done before.