Eating to help reduce inflammation
Inflammation is a natural response of your body's immune system to fight off infections, injuries, and other harmful toxins. Periodic bouts of inflammation directed at these threatening invaders can protect your health.
But chronic inflammation, on the other hand, is when your body continues sending inflammatory cells even when there is no outside danger. Excessive stress, irregular sleep patterns, and your diet can all contribute to chronic inflammation.
Symptoms of chronic inflammation include body discomfort, especially around the joints or muscles, chronic fatigue, digestion issues, and weight gain.
How your diet contributes to inflammation.
Digestive bacteria from the food you eat release chemicals in your gut that can lead to or suppress inflammation.
Fried foods, refined flour and sugars, red meat and processed meat, artificial sweeteners, and artificial food additives have been known to encourage the growth of bacteria that stimulate inflammation. These foods can also contribute to weight gain.
Which foods should you eat to fight inflammation?
If you suffer from chronic inflammation, there are many foods you can add to your diet to help fight and prevent it.
Fruits are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation. Some of the best fruits to eat include:
These fruits are rich in antioxidants called anthocyanins, which help reduce inflammation by neutralizing free radicals in your body.
Vegetables are an important part of any healthy diet and are also great for helping reduce inflammation. Some of the best vegetables to eat include:
- Leafy greens
- Brussels sprouts
These vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats that your body needs to function properly. These fatty acids are found in fish, such as:
Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation by inhibiting the production of inflammatory cytokines in your body.
Quick tip: when creating balanced meals, try to use extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil. These healthy oils have monounsaturated fats that help add more omega-3s to your diet.
Nuts and seeds:
Nuts and seeds are also high in omega-3 fatty acids. Include these heart-healthy foods in your diet to help reduce inflammation:
- Chia seeds
Spices not only add flavor to your food, but they also have anti-inflammatory properties. Some of the best spices to use to help reduce inflammation include:
Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin, which has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger contains compounds called gingerols and shogaols, which reduce inflammation by inhibiting the production of inflammatory cytokines in your body.
Whole grains are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, which can help reduce inflammation by feeding healthy bacteria in your gut. Some of the best whole grains to eat include:
- Brown rice
Coffee and green tea:
The polyphenols and antioxidants in coffee and green tea are also thought to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Your diet plays a huge part in how you feel!
By incorporating these foods into your diet, you can help reduce inflammation and improve your overall health.
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