Inflammation occurs when the body is fighting off harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells, and irritants. Inflammation is the body tissues natural response to such situations. In some diseases, such as arthritis, the body’s immune system triggers an inflammatory response. When the body triggers an inflammatory response without any pathogens to fight, it is an autoimmune disease. The immune system begins to cause damage to its own tissue and the body responds as though tissues are infected or somehow abnormal. Inflammation is also suspected to play a role in obesity, heart disease, and cancer. Consuming foods that are high in saturated fats and sugar, can also increase inflammation. Anti-inflammatory agents can be found in many foods that we consume relatively often without even knowing they contain anti-inflammatory properties.
Fatty fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to help reduce inflammation. The EPPA and DHA in fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines and tuna can all help to reduce inflammation in the body and lower a person’s risk for cancer, heart disease, autoimmune disease and asthma. Omega-3 fatty acids are believed to slow down the growth of plaques in the arteries, thus reducing inflammation in the body, according to WebMD. When introducing more fish into your diet is is always good to consider the cooking method. Deep frying fish isn’t as beneficial as grilling or broiling. If fish just isn’t on your palate, a good alternative is fish oil supplements, which have been linked to many medical benefits.
Beets contain a healthy dose of betaine that helps to combat inflammation. Beets also have a number of other benefits, such as, boosting your stamina and lowering blood pressure and are becoming known as a super food. They are packed full of beneficial vitamins and minerals. Beets contain Betalain, which give beets their identifying color, have been demonstrated in cutting down inflammation, as well as stiffness and are powerful anti-oxidants according to, Self-Growth. Beets can be cooked, pickled, turned into juice, and as of recently you can purchase a beet powder supplement to drink or add to smoothies.
Tofu and other foods that are made of soy can help to reduce inflammation in the body. Soy is packed full of Omega-3 fatty acids that combat the inflammation. Soy based foods such as tofu, miso and edamame are all good sources to fight inflammation. Soy protein has been shown to reduce pain and swelling in joints. Tofu can be purchased in most produced departments for use in recipes or smoothies, it can also be purchased in the form of vegetarian dishes that are prepared and ready to cook.
Lycopene, a natural carotenoid found in tomatoes is believed to have various health benefits. One of the benefits of tomatoes that is believed to be the source of its health benefits is its protective ability to down-regulate the inflammatory response. This includes a release of pro-inflammatory inhibitory response, such as reducing reactive oxygen species and the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Studies also suggest that the lycopene found in tomatoes exhibits anti-inflammatory activity through induction of programed cell death in active immune cells. Most of us consume tomatoes in some form or fashion on a daily basis. But it probably wouldn’t hurt any of us to eat fresh raw tomatoes more often.
Almonds, like any other anti-inflammatory foods, are full of omega-3 fatty acids. They are also packed full of magnesium, monounsaturated fats, copper, alpha-tocopherol and phytonutrients. It is believed that the combination of all of the nutrients in almonds work together to decrease inflammation in the body and prevent chronic disease. Almond milk is a good option for those who are looking to be more health conscious, but aren’t such fans of eating nuts; and it is a great alternative to cow’s milk that can be easily made at home with no additives.
Garlic is often sought for its medicinal properties and has been suggested to have both cancer-preventative potential anti-inflammatory properties, according to the NCBI. It is thought that garlic elicits anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative responses in the body to help fight against diseases. Research has found that garlic prevents inflammatory cytokines from developing and increases its anti-inflammatory benefits when it has been heated.
7.) Olive Oil
Olive oil is believed to have anti-inflammatory abilities similar to those of ibuprofen, according to Paul Breslin PhD. Studies have shown that a compound in the oil, oleocanthal, stops the production of pro-inflammatory COX-1 and COX2 enzymes. Inhibiting the pro-inflammatory enzymes impedes the production of chemical messengers that cause pain and inflammation. Though, guzzling a bottle of olive oil isn’t going to kill a headache. Consuming a healthy dosage in your daily diet could have the same long term effects on the body as taking an aspirin a day.
Blueberries are rich in antioxidants, known as anthocyanins, that fight inflammation. Blueberry’s increase anti-inflammatory cytokines and protect your body against inflammation and free radicals. Blueberries are believed to have more antioxidant value over any other berries. Blueberries are a quick and easy way to introduce antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents into your body naturally.
Kale is full of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and Vitamin E; as wells as many minerals such as, copper, calcium, potassium, iron, and magnesium. 100 calories of kale contain 30 percent of the recommended omega-3 fatty acid daily recommended consumption. Vitamin K is believed to be the nutrient responsible for regulating our body’s inflammation. While kale may not seem like the most appetizing food, it is easily hidden in green smoothies and when roasted makes a great chip.
Possibly one of the most well-known foods for aiding in the reduction of inflammation is pineapple. Athletes have long used it to aid in healing after injuries. The high content of bromelain is what gives pineapple its anti-inflammatory properties. It is believed that pineapple juice may reduce inflammation and reduce the swelling of soft tissue injuries.