10 Foods That Reduce the Effects of Inflammation
Many medical conditions can increase the likelihood of developing chronic inflammation, often compared with an uncontrolled fire within the body. Typical medical treatments involve the use of corticosteroids to treat inflammation, yet this doesn’t do anything to address the actual reason for the inflammation. The good news is that there are a number of foods that contain anti-inflammatory properties that reduce inflammation naturally in addition to offering a wide range of additional benefits. People who are suffering from inflammation issues could start improving their diet by consuming these foods along with an overall healthy diet.
Berries contain a chemical known as anthocyanins that help reduce inflammation. The best way to eat fruits is to eat them whole instead of trying to make juice out of it. When a fruit is pressed or squeezed, some nutrients are lost in the process. Anti-inflammation fruits to consider include strawberries, blueberries, oranges, and cherries. An easy way to incorporate berries is to add them to your cereal or yogurt!
Tree Nuts are loaded with omega-3 ALA as well as a host of minerals and vitamin E. Consider eating walnuts, almonds, and pecans. The best preparation method is to chop by hand or place in a food processor, but make sure it doesn’t turn into butter! To dry roast tree nuts, preheat oven to 160-701 degrees Fahrenheit, place one layer of the nuts on a cookie sheet, and then roast for 15-20 minutes. To enhance the roasted flavor, try misting with Bragg’s Liquid Aminos before roasting!
Pineapple promotes not only inflammatory balance, but it also provides powerful antioxidant protection, promotes energy production, and many other benefits! To select a ripe pineapple, make sure it has a sweet fragrant aroma and gives slightly to pressure. Fresh pineapples can last for up to 5 days. The best way to make use of its anti-inflammatory benefits is to eat it one to two hours before or after eating. Canned or cooked pineapples contain no bromelain so stick to fresh ones!
Olive oil counteracts a number of pro-inflammatory compounds, specifically COX-1 and COX-2. Regular olive oil usage is associated with lower asthma rates and rheumatoid arthritis. 1 Extra virgin olive oil is the closest to an olive’s natural state, having the lowest level of acidity, therefore, it is better to use compared to the other types of olive oils. When purchasing, look for ones that are stored in dark tinted bottles, as this will protect the oil from oxidizing. When storing, always keep in a cool area away from any heat. Olive oil has many benefits, can be used straight from the bottle, and can be drizzled on everything! However, keep in mind to use in moderation if you are concerned about your weight!
Garlic contains a chemical known as allicin, an anti-inflammatory compound that supports blood sugar metabolism. The best way to eat garlic is to chop or press the garlic, leave it for five minutes, and consume it raw. For individuals who prefer to cook their garlic before consuming, try adding it at the end of the cooking process when making vegetables.
Add turmeric to food as it has been shown to reduce inflammation significantly. Turmeric powder is best stored in a cool, dark, and dry place for about six months. Fresh turmeric should be kept in the fridge. The healthiest way to cook with turmeric is to add it at the end of cooking.
Green tea contains a number of anti-inflammatory compounds including epigallocatechin and polyphenols. Not only does it good for inflammation, but it also reduces risks of heart disease and cancer! Whether you like to drink your tea hot or cold, add some lemon juice to it to kick up the antioxidants.
Not only is avocado delicious on salads, but it contains a number of healthy fatty acids that fight off inflammation.
Avocados can be enjoyed in different ways. Such as on salads, or blended with bananas and cacao to make a “chocolate pudding”. Unless you are eating it immediately after purchasing, look for hard avocados because this will give you more control of the ripening process. Avoid ones that have dark sunken spots or cracks and ones that rattle when you shake them, as this indicates that it is overripe and should not be eaten. Store unripe avocados at room temperature for up to 7 days. Never store in the refrigerator as they will never ripe but will rot instead. The best way to prepare them is just to slice and eat. Once cut, they will quickly oxidize so eat them fast!
Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines, albacore tuna are all high in omega-3 fatty acids. Fish caught in the wild tend to have higher levels of the fatty acid as compared to those that are farmed. Eating a three to a six-ounce serving of these fish two to four times a week is recommended to help lower inflammation. The best way to cook tuna and salmon is a quick broil of 2 minutes and 7 minutes, respectively.
Flax seeds contain an extremely high quantity of omega-3 fatty acids, reducing inflammation throughout the body. When purchasing flaxseeds in bulk or in a packaged container, always make sure that there is no moisture present. For storage, keep seeds in an airtight container in a dark, dry, and cool place where they will keep fresh for three months. Always grind the seeds before serving as to absorb their nutrients best and to allow for digestion. You can practically add flaxseeds onto everything! For quick serving, add flax seeds on your morning fruit or cereal and eat immediately.
Combining these anti-inflammatory foods along with an overall healthy diet has the potential to improve conditions related to inflammation and greatly improve life quality overall.
- Wendell, Stacy Gelhaus, Cindy Baffi, and Fernando Holguin. “Fatty Acids, Inflammation, and Asthma.” The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology 133.5 (2014): 1255–1264. PMC. Web. 7 Nov. 2017.
Read more about how inflammation could be causing your chronic symptoms here.