Inflammation fighting foods, herbs and spices
It is now known that inflammation is a key contributing factor in developing diseases including heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, asthma or high blood pressure. It is important to find natural ways to reduce inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation can be damaging to our health so we need to learn how to keep it under control. Even though there is a strong correlation between the food we eat and its effect on inflammation, this relationship is still not acknowledged in the current mainstream health system. There are, however, a number of foods that have great anti-inflammatory properties and by introducing them into your diet you can gain better protection against chronic illnesses.
Garlic has been known to have medicinal properties for centuries. It has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. Garlic is also a powerful antioxidant that boosts the immune system while it protects against diseases.
Green leafy vegetables
Dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, Swiss chard or collards are powerful antioxidants that contain flavonoids, Vitamin A, C and K. The best ways to get the nutrients from these leafy greens is to eat them raw when they are in season, or to add them to your juice.
Avocados are an excellent source of healthy fatty acids, fibre, magnesium and potassium. Avocados also contain vitamins C, E, K and B6. Due to their antioxidant properties, avocados help reduce cell damage and inflammation in the body.
Broccoli is a great anti-inflammatory food thanks to the high content of vitamins, minerals and flavonoids found in them, all of which are powerful antioxidants.
Blueberries have excellent antioxidant properties and contain important vitamins that help protect against diseases by reducing inflammation in the body.
Bromelain, an enzyme found in Pineapple, is a great anti-inflammatory agent with immune-modulatory effects. Pineapple is also a great source of vitamins and minerals (Vitamin C, Vitamin B1, manganese, potassium) and is high in antioxidants.
Almonds contain calcium, magnesium and potassium as well as vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant that fights free radicals which cause inflammation. Almonds are a good source of plant protein and they also contain healthy fatty acids.
Walnuts are high in Omega-3 fats, manganese and copper. Walnuts also contain unique phytonutrients which act as antioxidants that fight free radical damage, hence inflammation.
Shiitake and Reishi mushrooms
Shiitake mushroom contains a good source of Vitamin B6 and D, as well as copper and manganese which are essential for human health. Reishi mushroom has strong anti-inflammatory properties while it regulates immune response and restores hormonal balance.
Green tea contains catechins, a type of flavonoid that is a powerful antioxidant. Green tea is also known for its natural antibacterial and antiviral properties, while the vitamins and minerals make this drink a great choice for any health-conscious person.
Anti-inflammatory herbs and spices
Ayurvedic medicine has been using herbs and spices to treat ailments for thousands of years. Due to their high levels of antioxidants, herbs and spices are great anti-inflammatory agents. A very simple way to improve your diet is to start using herbs and spices in your cooking. You can also add them to juices or simply pour boiling water over them to make your own natural herbal tea.
Diet is a key component in reducing chronic inflammation
The food that we eat can either prevent or instigate inflammation. The best way to combat chronic inflammation is to introduce anti-inflammatory foods into your diet and remove the inflammation-causing foods at the same time. There are a couple of things that you can do to avoid triggering inflammation in the body:
Foods to avoid:
- Processed foods, chemical additives
- Trans fats, foods cooked at high temperatures using processed vegetable oils (that are not heat-resistant)
- Refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup, processed fructose
- Genetically modified and refined grains
Eating a pure, organic (non-polluted, non-GMO) diet containing fresh, raw ingredients in their most natural form will not only boost your immune system but it will also provide protection against inflammation so your body can naturally heal itself.