Inflammation is your immune system’s reaction to irritation, injury, or infection. It’s a normal response and is a natural process of healing. However, chronic inflammation can pose a problem when it comes to health and well-being.
Chronic inflammation can lead to many diseases including cancer, obesity, and heart disease. Luckily, there are many preventive measures you can take against inflammation, and one of the best ways is through diet. Since foods high in sugar and saturated fat tend to lead to inflammation, it’s best to eat them sparingly and instead opt for a diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and healthy omega-3 fatty acids. If you’re looking for an anti-inflammation diet starting point, we recommend these 13 foods.
Wild Alaskan Salmon
Salmon contains anti-inflammatory Omega-3s and has been known to help in preventing against heart disease, cancers and reducing symptoms of psychological disorders. May health officials recommend incorporating oily fish into your diet twice weekly.
Because it contains the powerful compound curcumin, turmeric acts as a superfood, fighting inflammation, aiding in digestion, fighting cancer, easing arthritis, and lowering the risk of heart attacks. Turmeric has also been shown to protect the brain because it contains the compound ar-turmerone.
Ginger is another spice that is acts as an anti-inflammatory, and it’s all thanks to an abundance of gingerols, powerful compounds that aid in pain relief and are believed to be naturally antibacterial. Other spices including cayenne, black pepper, garlic, cinnamon and cloves, have also been shown to have anti-inflammatory benefits.
A study by researchers from Michigan State University found that tart cherries are a good source of anthocyanins, which may have a stronger anti-inflammatory effect than aspirin.
Carrots are rich in vitamin A and beta-carotene, both of which are believed to fight inflammation. By cooking carrots and other vegetables abundant in these vitamins, the availability of these compounds is believed to be increased.
Besides being a potent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber and carotenoids, research has also shown that kale contains 45 different flavonoids with a variety of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. One cup of kale also contains 10% percent of the RDA of Omega-3 fatty acids, which help fight against arthritis, asthma and autoimmune disorders.
Avocados are a great source of healthy unsaturated fat and antioxidants. In fact, the anti-inflammatory properties of avocados are so strong that they may actually offset less healthy food choices. For example, a 2013 study in the journal Food & Function looked at the amount of inflammation that followed eating a hamburger with and without the addition of avocado. Researchers found that eating the hamburger with avocado limited the inflammatory response seen after eating the hamburger by itself.
In addition to containing plenty of stress-fighting B vitamins, asparagus also contains high levels of anti-inflammatory compounds like asparanin A, sarsasapogenin, protodioscin and diosgenin.
Almonds are rich in vitamin E, and they also contain high amounts of unsaturated fats that reduce inflammation and assist in keeping joints lubricated. Almonds also offer a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial in fighting inflammation.
Blueberries stimulate your body to heal itself and kill germs thanks to their high antioxidant, phytoflavinoid, potassium and vitamin C content. These berries are an anti-inflammatory all-star!
Besides being rich in vitamins C, K, B6, protein, thiamin, magnesium, fiber, and potassium, cauliflower also boasts a wealth of anti-inflammatory nutrients. One of the glucosinolates found in cauliflower, glucobrassicin, can be readily converted into an isothiocyanate molecule known as indole-3-carbinol. This is an anti-inflammatory compound that can operate at the genetic level, and may prevent the body’s inflammatory responses from the start.
Cucumbers contain an anti-inflammatory flavonol called fisetin that is believed to be essential in maintaining a healthy brain. In addition to improving your memory and protecting your nerve cells from age-related decline, fisetin has been found to prevent progressive memory and learning impairments in mice with Alzheimer’s disease.