When inflammation is treated through dietary changes, the tissues heal completely, the pain lessens and sleep improves. And this exactly what you need when going through pain related to inflammation, as is the case in diseases like arthritis.
For an ideal anti-inflammatory diet, choose foods that contain essential fatty acids, spices, nuts, seeds, cruciferous veggies, and certain oils. To speed up the recovery process, you should ideally also drink plain, filtered water throughout the day. This removes harmful toxins from the body and reduces pain and swelling. When planning for this diet, ensure you go for organic foods as they are not exposed to pesticides and increase the antioxidant levels in your diet, which also reduces inflammation.
Another reason to go for an anti-inflammatory diet is that it doesn’t cause unwanted side effects, unlike anti-inflammatory medications.1 2 So, to give you a good start, let’s give you a short list of various anti-inflammatory foods and how they will benefit your health.
Foods That Can Reduce Inflammation
1. Seafood Contains Omega-3 Fats
Oily fish such as sardines, mackerel, tuna, and salmon and their oils are found to be a rich source of essential fatty acids. A lack of good fats can weaken your body and propagate inflammation. But the omega-3 fatty acids present in seafood and fish oil are just what you need with their anti-inflammatory properties.
Dietary supplementation with fish oils can help relieve pain in inflammatory and autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, ulcerative colitis, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, psychiatric, neurodegenerative illnesses, and migraine headaches. These essential fatty acids are found to be beneficial in reducing the disease activity.3
2. Pineapple Improves Metabolism And Causes Weight Loss
Pineapple is a tasty, safe fruit to eat that is rich in plant enzymes like bromelain. Bromelain is typically derived from the plant stem, but the fruit contains similar enzymes in different proportions.
Bromelain decreases the severity of colonic inflammation in the inflammatory bowel disease. It decreases the production of inflammation causing cells at the sites of inflammation.4 It also improves metabolism and aids in weight loss. This effective anti-inflammatory agent can help in the cure of arthritis, soft tissue injuries, chronic pain, cancer, and asthma.5
3. Garlic, Ginger, And Turmeric Are Highly Anti-Inflammatory
Foods such as garlic and ginger and spices like turmeric effectively lower cholesterol, nourish the heart, thin your blood, and prevent cholesterol oxidation. They contain valuable antioxidant flavonoids and trace minerals as well. These are labeled as anti-cancer foods due to their high anti-inflammatory activity.6
A mixture of these ingredients is found to be very effective in reducing the risk of the metabolic syndrome and oxidative stress in diabetes.7
These foods reduce inflammation, protect against infection, detoxify the liver, cleanse the lungs, and prevent cell damage in inflammatory disorders with their antioxidant and antimicrobial activity.8
4. Nuts And Seeds Are Rich In ALA And Reduce Inflammation
In addition to housing the healthy unsaturated fats that are good for heart health, certain nuts and seeds are rich in alpha linoleic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid that is known to reduce inflammation. They aid in weight loss as nuts and seeds in a lesser quantity can make up for a quick meal otherwise loaded with processed junk foods and carbonated drinks.9
Walnuts, peanuts, almonds, pistachios, flax seed, and chia seeds are all great choices. A greater intake of nuts in the daily diet lowers the levels of inflammatory biomarkers. However, nuts are extremely high in fat and calories. So, don’t go overboard with them; a handful of unsalted raw nuts and seeds makes for a good healthy snack and also helps to suppress hunger.
5. Cruciferous Vegetables And Greens Boost Your Energy
Are you experiencing fatigue, pains and aches, weight gain, and a low immunity? These can be signs of inflammation in your body. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and greens can help treat inflammation and give you loads of essential nutrients. Your immunity and arthritis pain will also get better.
A cup of green juice can reduce sugar cravings and aid in weight loss. They can also reduce acid reflux and give you an instant energy boost. Carotenoid pigments such as lutein and zeaxanthin found in these sources promote an alkaline environment to fight against cancer cells and also have the ability to fight macular degeneration of the eye. They are powerful agents that detox the body.10
6. Flaxseed And Olive Oil Provide Omega-3 Fats
Virgin, organic flaxseed or olive oil should be one of the top things on your shopping list. These oils are health-promoting and rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3’s compete for space in the cell membrane with the other inflammatory factors and thus reduce inflammation. They also possess anti-inflammatory, antiarrhythmic, and antithrombotic properties. On the contrary, Omega-6 fatty acids such as corn and sunflower oils are pro-inflammatory and pro-thrombotic. Hence, a lower ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids is more desirable to reduce the risk many chronic diseases.
Taking omega-3 fats through these oils stimulates the production of acids like eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which generate a series of anti-inflammatory molecules that can make the cells of your body less inflammatory.11 So, the next time you go grocery shopping, remember to avoid rich sources of omega-6 fats like corn and sunflower oils, prepackaged foods, or foods with a long shelf life. Include more veggies, fruits, greens, nuts and seeds, and seafood in your diet, which can be beneficial in combating inflammation.
In addition to this, replenish your body’s water supply by drinking fluoride, chlorine, and other toxin-free filtered water. This encourages the growth of more beneficial bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract that can detox the body every day. Certain chemicals can cause cancer, heart disease, and other health problems. Drinking pure water will remove such harmful toxins from your body that can cause inflammation.
|↑1||Rowe, Barbara, and Lisa Davis. Anti-inflammatory Foods for Health: Hundreds of Ways to Incorporate Omega-3 Rich Foods Into Your Diet to Fight Arthritis, Cancer, Heart Disease, and More. Fair Winds, 2008.|
|↑2||Black, Jessica, and Jessica K. Black. The Anti-Inflammation Diet and Recipe Book: Protect Yourself and Your Family from Heart Disease, Arthritis, Diabetes, Allergies-and more. Hunter House, 2006.|
|↑3||Simopoulos, Artemis P. “Omega-3 fatty acids in inflammation and autoimmune diseases.” Journal of the American College of Nutrition 21, no. 6 (2002): 495-505.|
|↑4||Hale, Laura P., Maciej Chichlowski, Chau T. Trinh, and Paula K. Greer. “Dietary supplementation with fresh pineapple juice decreases inflammation and colonic neoplasia in IL‐10‐deficient mice with colitis.” Inflammatory bowel diseases 16, no. 12 (2010): 2012-2021.|
|↑5||Tochi, Bitange Nipa, Zhang Wang, Shi-Ying Xu, and Wenbin Zhang.”Therapeutic application of pineapple protease (bromelain): a review.” Pakistan journal of nutrition 7, no. 4 (2008): 513-520.|
|↑6||Tsai, Tzung‐Hsun, Po‐Jung Tsai, and Su‐Chen Ho. “Antioxidant and Anti‐inflammatory Activities of Several Commonly Used Spices.” Journal of Food Science 70, no. 1(2005).|
|↑7||Madkor, Hafez R., Sherif W. Mansour, and Gamal Ramadan. “Modulatory effects of garlic, ginger, turmeric and their mixture on hyperglycaemia, dyslipidaemia and oxidative stress in streptozotocin–nicotinamide diabetic rats.” British Journal of Nutrition 105, no. 8 (2011): 1210-1217.|
|↑8||Panpatil, Virendra V., Shalini Tattari, Nirmala Kota, Chetan Nimgulkar, and Kalpagam Polasa. “In vitro evaluation on antioxidant and antimicrobial activity of spice extracts of ginger, turmeric and garlic.” Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry 2, no. 3 (2013): 143-148.|
|↑9||Simopoulos, Artemis P.”Essential fatty acids in health and chronic disease.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 70, no. 3(1999): 560s-569s.|
|↑10||Rona, Zoltan P. “Superior Greens, Herbs and Foods for Life.”|
|↑11||Covington, Maggie B. “Omega-3 fatty acids.” Atlantic 1, no. 2.0 (2004).|