We've spoken about inflammation here on the Vitasave blog before, and today we want to talk about some of the most anti-inflammatory foods that you can include in your diet.
There is no question that we are more inflamed nowadays with increased access to more nutritionally lacking foods, less physical activity, more stress, and an increased exposure to toxins and chemicals in the environment.
This all creates more inflammation in the body, when chronic, can become a real problem. In fact, an abnormal inflammatory response is closely associated with autoimmune diseases which are steadily on the rise in our society.
Now this doesn't mean we need to panic, instead, we need to focus on what we can do to lower inflammation on a daily basis, and that includes what you are putting on your plate. Find out below what are some of the top foods to reduce inflammation!
We're sure you've heard of this spice before but we should it would be useful to provide a little Turmeric 101 lesson.
Turmeric is a herb used in traditional Indian cuisine and as a therapeutic herb for thousands of years. Turmeric provides many health benefits but it's potent anti-inflammatory compound curcumin, has been shown to be effective in reducing inflammation and treating inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, bowel disease, pancreatitis, and even certain cancers (1)
Turmeric's absorption is relatively low by itself but when combined with pepper or a fat in cooking you can boost its bioavailability. You can use turmeric in cooking such as curries, stews, and even drinks!
So delicious but also anti-inflammatory due to the proteolytic enzymes that they provide. Proteolytic enzymes help to modulate and regulate inflammation levels in the body and also break down cellular waste in the body to be cleared out. They have even been shown to outperform NSAIDS in their ability to bring down inflammation.
The core of the pineapple is also rich in bromelain, which is a protein-digesting enzyme that can help to reduce digestive systems and soothe inflammation in the digestive tract. Bromelain has also been shown to help improve immune function, accelerate wound healing, reduce inflammation and swelling, and promote healthy blood flow.
So what are you waiting for? Grab a pineapple and make a delicious smoothie!
Known for its soothing digestive properties, ginger is another traditional nutritional remedy that has been used for thousands of years. Ginger contains certain compounds such as gingerol and shogaol that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
This herb has shown promising evidence in treating conditions such as indigestion, arthritis, ulcers, migraine headaches, joint and menstrual pain, cardiovascular disorders, diabetes, and even certain cancers (2).
Studies show ginger can actually be just as effective as medications for alleviating menstrual pain by inhibiting proinflammatory cytokines associated with cramps around the menstrual cycle (3).
You can use ginger fresh or dried during cooking or as a tea or healthy cider!
You might think of aloe vera as a topical treatment to help heal wounds and sunburns but did you know it also has many benefits when taken internally?
This plant also dates back thousands of years being recorded as a medicinal herb used during ancient Egyptian times.
Aloe vera has been reported as a healing treatment used by the likes of Queen Cleopatra, Alexander the Great, and Christopher Columbus.
Aloe vera is a soothing anti-inflammatory, alkalizing, and antioxidant plant that can help relieve heartburn and ulcer formation, kills off harmful pathogens like yeast, reduce constipation, improve cardiovascular health, boost immunity, lower blood sugar, and improve skin aging.
Aloe is a particularly nutritive plant containing 75 potentially active constituents including vitamins, enzymes, minerals, sugars, fatty acids, lignin, saponins, salicylic acids and amino acids(4).
Though it can provide many benefits, it is most commonly used to treat inflammatory digestive conditions as well as skin conditions.
You can use aloe vera gel topically or internally from a juice, just make sure you are buying a quality product. Many people don't enjoy the taste of aloe vera juice which is why we recommend adding it to a fruit juice or smoothie to mask the taste.
Fatty cold-water fish
Wild salmon, sardines, anchovies, are examples of fish that are less toxic but teeming with beneficial omega 3 fats. What's the big deal about omega 3's?
Omega 3 fatty acids include ALA, DHA, and EPA. EPA and DHA in particular can help to reduce inflammatory chemicals.
In the Standard American Diet, most people are getting more omega 6 fats but not enough omega 3 fats which can drive up inflammation. Higher intake of omega 6 fats compared to omega 3 fats has been shown to promote inflammatory conditions and even depression (5).
Omega 3 fats have been scientifically supported to improve cardiovascular health, mental health, metabolic syndrome, behavioral disorders, arthritis, and age-related mental decline.
If you don't eat fish, algae is a good vegan alternative to supplement with as nuts and seeds are poorly converted in the body.
Laurence Annez is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner and Health Coach, specializing in PCOS and women's hormones. She also holds a degree in Creative Writing and has extensive experience writing on health and wellness topics. Laurence's mission is to inspire and motivate individuals to take control of their own health and reach their ultimate health goals.
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