Inflammation is part of the body’s immune response when a harmful or irritating stimuli affects a localized area. The stimuli can be physical damage or a bacterial/viral infection. It manifests as swelling, tenderness, warmth, discoloration, and is sometimes painful. We will go over several foods to fight inflammation naturally.
Inflammation is a symptom of a wide range of ailments from a minor sore throat, to arthritis, up to life-threatening cancers. Inflammation is a sign that the body is healing itself. The swelling and warmth come from the body working overtime to fix damaged tissues and/or remove harmful matter.
If inflammation is part of the healing process, why is it necessary to suppress it? Inflammation sometimes causes stiffness that reduces blood circulation and may slow down the healing process. It can also cause damage to the nerves. The most important reason to suppress inflammation is to reduce pain, so the rest of the body can function normally. Pumping anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen will help reduce it, but can also slow down the healing process. That is why it’s necessary to learn about and to use certain foods to fight inflammation naturally.
We are counting down the 15 Foods to Fight Inflammation naturally, and aid in the healing process.
FOODS TO FIGHT INFLAMMATION: #15 through #11
15. Salmon, Sardines, Herring, and Mackarel
Fatty fish is a good source of omega-3 fats (EPA and DHA). These healthy fats have great anti-inflammatory properties. It is challenging to get an appropriate intake of EPA and DHA, but cold water fatty fishes is a good way to get them.
Omega-3 fatty acids also prevent aging, aid in fetal development, and improve cardiovascular function.
14. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Speaking of fats, extra virgin olive oil is a good source of healthy monosaturated fats. Oleocanthal found only in extra virgin olive oil is a significant anti-inflammatory compound. It prevents cartilage damage and works similar to ibuprofen.
It also reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, brain cancer, and other life-threatening diseases.
Berries are the one-two punch against inflammation. They contain anthocyanins and quercetin. Both are anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidants.
Fruits like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are common varieties of berries that contain anthocyanins and quercetin. It is also packed with fiber, vitamin C, and resveratrol.
12. Green Tea
This centuries-old miracle drink is the source of catechins. A specific catechin, EGCG is a powerful anti-inflammatory. EGCG or epigallocatechin gallate is found almost exclusively in green tea.
Green tea can also cleanse the body, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and obesity by “cleansing” the body.
11. Celery seeds
Celery seeds can help manage blood-pressure and cholesterol levels. It can be found in whole seed form, extracted form or grounded. It is a good antioxidant and anti-inflammatory as well as an excellent source of potassium.
It also has an added benefit of fighting bacterial infections.
FOODS TO FIGHT INFLAMMATION: #10 through #6
10. Leafy Greens
Leafy green vegetables are packed with vitamins A, C, E, and K. Kale, spinach, arugula, chard, radish greens, mustard greens, and Chinese cabbage are rich sources of these anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds.
They protect against oxidative damage and increase immunity to common bacterial and viral infections.
The fruit or vegetable tomato is one of the healthiest food on the planet. It is high in vitamin C, potassium, and lycopene.
It protects the body from viruses and other infectious diseases. It helps against depression, cleanses the body, and lycopene in tomato skin is a strong anti-inflammatory.
Lycopene absorption is increased with olive oil. Paired with garlic, it will make a tasty Italian themed dish.
Broccoli is the poster child for nutritious food that people don’t want to eat. Its repugnant reputation as a vegetable is totally unfounded. It is rich in sulforaphane that fights inflammation and its filled with powerful glucosinolates, kaempferol, potassium, and magnesium.
Betalain, not to be confused with betaine, is a red and yellow pigmentation compound found in beets. It is an excellent anti-inflammatory as well as increase healing, metabolism, and reduce the risk of diabetes.
Tasty pineapple contains bromelain, it is an anti-inflammatory compound that also speeds up healing. It helps break down meat proteins and reduces cholesterol build-up. It is a natural aspirin.
FOODS TO FIGHT INFLAMMATION: #5 through #1
5. Black Beans
Black beans and raw oats have starch that ferments into the fatty-acid butyrate. Butyrate protects against colon cancer, increases digestive system health, and boosts the immune system. It is also a powerful anti-inflammatory.
Turmeric spice contains a compound called curcumin. It is one of the most potent anti-inflammatory agents. It is so powerful that it is a recommended treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.
Black pepper which contains peperine, it can boost curcumin absorption by 2000%.
The vampire repellant garlic contains allicin. It is anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory. Aged garlic contains higher concentrates of allicin.
Fresh, dried, crushed, powdered, grated, or extracted ginger will all contain high amounts of gingerol. It is a powerful compound that cleanses the lymphatic system, boosts immune health, and a powerful anti-inflammatory.
1. Hot Peppers
Bell peppers and chili peppers are a rich source of capsaicin. It is also rich in quercetin, ferulic acid, ascorbic acid, beta-carotene, luteolin, and other anti-oxidants with strong anti-inflammatory effects. If berries are a 1-2 punch, then peppers are finishing combos.