Short-term or short-run inflammations are good. It is a natural response of the body to fight any infections, injuries, and wounds. However, in some cases, inflammation may last longer than usual or become chronic. There are various treatments that can help in controlling inflammation. However, anti-inflammatory foods can support the body’s natural ability to augment the treatment response or even prevent inflammation.
Before we get into anti-inflammatory foods, let us understand what causes inflammation and what are the complications involved with it.
What Causes Chronic Inflammation?
There are various diseases, health conditions, and environmental factors that can cause chronic inflammation.
Below listed are few such conditions:
- Autoimmune disorders – a condition where the immune system may attack healthy tissues.
- Constant and long-term exposure to chemicals, pollutants, irritants, allergens, or other harmful conditions.
- Untreated acute inflammations, injuries, infections
Other Factors That Can Cause Chronic Inflammation:
- Alcohol abuse
- Chronic stress
- Frequent illness or injuries
- Chronic health complications
Symptoms of Inflammation:
The common symptoms of inflammation are listed below:
- Abdominal pain
- Chest pain
- Fever or chills
- Mouth sores
- Swollen joints
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle stiffness
List of Anti-Inflammatory Foods
As mentioned earlier, anti-inflammatory foods play a vital role in supporting the body to naturally fight chronic inflammation. Below listed are a few such foods that you can consider to add to your diet:
Avocados are one of the best superfoods that are densely packed with various essential nutrients. These are a great source for antioxidants and monounsaturated fats that can alleviate the body’s inflammation. Besides, avocados also contain magnesium, fiber, potassium, and vitamins A, C, E, & B-complex.
These nutrients and the polyphenols in them will exhibit an excellent anti-inflammatory response on the body. They also help in improving heart, bone, and eye health. These can also help relieve the condition of arthritis, a type of joint inflammation.
Almonds are rich in monounsaturated fats, manganese, and vitamin E. They are also a rich source of healthy fats, fiber, and proteins. These nuts are satiating with high anti-inflammatory response, so eating a handful of these or including them in the diet can be highly beneficial, even when following a weight-loss regimen.
Almonds are also known to lower blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. They also boost bone health, reduce the risk of certain types of cancer and cardiac diseases.
Hazelnuts, peanuts, and pecans are also some other healthy nuts that can help the body in fighting inflammation.
Broccoli is one of the healthiest food choices and is also on top of the mind of health experts and fitness enthusiasts. They are loaded with various essential nutrients, including vitamins C & K, folate, fiber, which can exhibit excellent anti-inflammatory response.
The densely packed nutrients in broccoli help in augmenting the body’s physical and psychological health. They also help in building strong bones, regulating heart health, improving vision, and may also help in preventing specific types of cancer.
4. Green Vegetables
Dark and leafy greens such as arugula, chard, endive, turnip greens, kale, and spinach are some of the best veggies that can fight inflammation.
These foods are known to contain excellent amounts of essential nutrients that can help the body in reducing inflammation. They also contain a good amount of vitamins A, D, E, and K, which may also help in fighting inflammation. Most of these leafy greens also contain omega-3 fats that are widely known for their anti-inflammatory properties.
Other Foods That Exhibit Anti-Inflammatory Properties:
Seafood: Salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines
Fruits: Bananas, blueberries, cherries, strawberries, and grapes
Vegetables: Beans, carrots, legumes, mushrooms, spices such as peppers, ginger, and turmeric.
Also, make sure to get at least 30 minutes of exercise, proper sleeping habits, and good hygiene, which helps in faster recovery or even preventing inflammatory diseases.
In addition, most of the foods that exhibit an anti-inflammatory response are also known to make a significant positive impact on physical and psychological health. It indirectly helps in strengthening the overall body, which can, in turn, augment the body’s ability to respond to any anti-inflammatory treatments or medications.
Note: These foods may or may not solely fight the inflammation in your body. Check with your physician and see if they can interact or might have any negative side-effects on your body.
Foods to Avoid While Suffering From Inflammation:
Foods, in general, are healthy; however, certain types of foods, especially junk or processed foods, may trigger inflammation. Hence, it is important to avoid them. Below listed are few such foods that you must avoid while suffering from inflammation or related diseases.
1. Refined Carbohydrates:
These are known to trigger the inflammatory response in the body. Pasta, pastries, sugars, bread, and food items made from all-purpose white flour.
2. Processed or Red Meats:
These types of foods are known to contain certain chemicals or compounds that can trigger the inflammatory response. Avoid eating burgers, steak, ground beef, processed meats, and other types of red meats.
Sodas are considered to be a type of refined carbohydrates as they are loaded with sugars. Also, make sure to avoid any artificial sweeteners or high-sugary sodas, foods, or other beverages that may trigger inflammation in the body.
Not for every person, but some people may trigger their inflammatory response after consuming gluten products. If you feel that eating gluten is disrupting or causing discomfort, it is better to avoid them. You can check with your physician and see if it triggers the inflammation or interfering with any of the medications or treatments.
Other Foods to Avoid:
- Cookies, cakes, and crackers
- Processed foods
- Unhealthy oils
- Processed or refined carbs
- Excess alcohol
- Fried foods, including french fries, fried chicken.
Inflammation is required by the body to fight off various infections or diseases. However, it may become chronic due to various healthy, lifestyle, or environmental conditions. After noticing redness, swelling, soreness, or any other inflammation-related symptoms, you must immediately consult a doctor. Getting diagnosed in the early stages can help in alleviating the condition and augmenting the treatment(1).