- Dr. Nancy
A Food First Approach to Fight Inflammation
Inflammation has gotten a bad rap recently in light of its association with most chronic degenerative diseases. However, it is not so black and white. It is the body’s first immune response to any kind of injury. Without the presence of inflammation, our body would not be able to heal and further, won’t be able to fight pathogens that might be looking for opportunities to intrude.
But the red light comes blaring in when the inflammation goes from acute to chronic. A prolonged inflammatory response can lead to issues like obesity, heart diseases, and even cancer. Additionally, the presence of saturated fats and sugar in your food might boost inflammation within your body further and can lead to excessive activity in the immune system. This leads to damaged blood vessels, joint pain and can indirectly result in tiredness, fatigue and lack of energy.
So, what is the solution? Well, check your diet! There are various anti-inflammatory foods which, if consumed properly, would enhance your immune system and help you to fight inflammation and pain.
Let take a look at some of the best anti-inflammatory foods:
Fatty fish or a fish with a lot of oil, believe it or not, can help fight inflammation. This is because oily fish contain high levels of omega 3 fatty acids which are known for their inflammation-fighting properties. It is highly recommended to include fishes like wild Alaskan salmon, mackerel and sardines in your daily diet.
What could be a better option to improve your immune system than to consume some fruits everyday? They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away. In this case, an apple can keep the inflammation at bay. This is because of the presence of an antioxidant called quercetin in apples which is known for its anti-inflammatory properties.
Another fruit that will help you in reducing the inflammation in your body is a pineapple. Its benefits are not only restricted to fighting the inflammation. It helps you combat pain due to osteoarthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome. This is because of the presence of Bromelain in pineapples which is a protein-digesting enzyme that hugely benefits the human body.
Yes, this is what you always wanted to hear - chocolate is not bad for you. Well, in moderation and eating the right type it is! Chocolate comes with a set of essential elements which hugely help you in fighting inflammation. Going by a popular study, people who consumed a piece of dark chocolate regularly had lower chances of possessing a protein that is known to cause inflammation.
Daily consumption of green tea proves to be very effective in the body’s fight against inflammation. It also has other benefits including reducing the chances of heart disease and an array of others. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. This will not only enhance the flavor but also charge up the antioxidants to have a more hastened effect on the body.
Green vegetables always prove to be useful for the body. And broccoli is no exception. It contains a very strong antioxidant in the form of glutathione. Broccoli also has a lot of advantages against diseases like arthritis and thus helps reduce inflammation. You could also include other cruciferous vegetables like cabbage and cauliflower to fight inflammation.
Garlic is an immensely useful ingredient and proves to be a very good weapon against inflammation. Garlic has a range of antioxidants, including allicin and quercetin, which are highly effective in controlling inflammation.
One way to keep your appetite full and work towards reducing inflammation is to include nuts and nutty substances in your diet. Walnuts contain a high level of omega-3 fat alpha-linolenic acid, while almonds are a good source of vitamin E, fiber, and calcium. Nuts are also high in dietary fiber, minerals, and antioxidants which help you in controlling inflammation.
This is how the right choice of food can help you in fighting your inflammation, no matter what kind of autoimmune condition you might be fighting. However, care should be taken that you consume them as part of a balanced diet.
Are you already boosting your diet with these anti-inflammatory foods? I’d love to know in the comments below