Let us discuss about the list of anti-inflammatory foods we have and how they affect our well-being. Inflammation helps the body fight illness and can protect it from harm. In most cases, it is a necessary part of the healing process.
However, some people have a medical condition in which the immune system does not work as it should. This malfunction can lead to persistent or recurrent low level inflammation.
Chronic inflammation occurs with various diseases, such as psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, and asthma. There is evidence that dietary choices may help manage the symptoms.
An anti-inflammatory diet favors fruits and vegetables, foods containing omega-3 fatty acids, whole grains, lean protein, healthful fats, and spices. It discourages or limits the consumption of processed foods, red meats, and alcohol.
The anti-inflammatorydiet is not a specific regimen but rather a style of eating.
Whatis an anti-inflammatory diet?
Some foods containingredients that can trigger or worsen inflammation. Sugary orprocessed foods may do this, while fresh, whole foods are less likelyto have this effect.
Inflammation can beboth good and bad.
On one hand, it helpsyour body defend itself from infection and injury. On the other hand,chronic inflammation can lead to weight gain and disease.
Stress, inflammatoryfoods, and low activity levels can make this risk even greater.
However, studiesdemonstrate that some foods can fight inflammation.
An anti-inflammatory diet focuses on fresh fruits and vegetables. Many plant-based foods are good sources of antioxidants. Some foods, however, can trigger the formation of free radicals. Examples include foods that people fry in repeatedly heated cooking oil.
Dietary antioxidants are molecules in food that help remove free radicals from the body. Free radicals are the natural byproducts of some bodily processes, including metabolism. However, external factors, such as stress and smoking, can increase the number of free radicals in the body.
Free radicals can leadto cell damage. This damage increases the risk of inflammation andcan contribute to a range of diseases.
The body creates someantioxidants that help it remove these toxic substances, but dietaryantioxidants also help.
An anti-inflammatorydiet favors foods that are rich in antioxidants over those thatincrease the production of free radicals.
Omega-3 fatty acids, which are present in oily fish, may help reduce the levels of inflammatory proteins in the body. Fiber can also have this effect, according to the Arthritis Foundation.
Now let us discussabout the complete list of anti inflammatory foods we have and theircontents:
Berries are smallfruits that are packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Although dozens of varieties exist, some of the most common include:
Berries contain antioxidants called anthocyanins. These compounds have anti-inflammatory effects that may reduce your risk of disease.
Your body producesnatural killer cells (NK cells), which help keep your immune systemfunctioning properly.
In one study in men,those who consumed blueberries every day produced significantly moreNK cells than those who did not.
In another study,adults with excess weight who ate strawberries had lower levels ofcertain inflammatory markers associated with heart disease.
SummaryBerriesprovide antioxidants known as anthocyanins. These compounds mayreduce inflammation, boost immunity, and reduce your risk of heartdisease.
Fatty fish are a greatsource of protein and the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA.
Although all types of fish contain some omega-3 fatty acids, these fatty fish are among the best sources:
EPA and DHA reduceinflammation that can lead to metabolic syndrome, heart disease,diabetes, and kidney disease.
Your body metabolizesthese fatty acids into compounds called resolvins and protectins,which have anti-inflammatory effects.
Studies have found that people consuming salmon or EPA and DHA supplements experienced reductions in the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (CRP)
However, in anotherstudy, people with an irregular heartbeat who took EPA and DHA dailyexperienced no difference in inflammatory markers, compared withthose who received a placebo.
SummaryFattyfish boast high amounts of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, whichhave anti-inflammatory effects.
Broccoli is extremelynutritious.
It’s a cruciferous vegetable, along with cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and kale.
Research has shownthat eating a lot of cruciferous vegetables is associated with adecreased risk of heart disease and cancer.
This may be related tothe anti-inflammatory effects of the antioxidants they contain.
Broccoli is rich in sulforaphane, an antioxidant that fights inflammation by reducing your levels of cytokines and NF-kB, which drive inflammation.
SummaryBroccoliis one of the best sources of sulforaphane, an antioxidant withpowerful anti-inflammatory effects.
Avocados may be one of the few supposed superfoods worthy of the title.
They’re packed with potassium, magnesium, fiber, and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.
They also containcarotenoids and tocopherols, which are linked to reduced cancer risk.
In addition, onecompound in avocados may reduce inflammation in young skin cells.
In one study, whenpeople consumed a slice of avocado with a hamburger, they had lowerlevels of the inflammatory markers NF-kB and IL-6, compared withparticipants who ate the hamburger alone.
SummaryAvocadosoffer various beneficial compounds that protect against inflammationand may reduce your cancer risk.
You’ve probably heard that green tea is one of the healthiest beverages you can drink.
It reduces your riskof heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, obesity, and otherconditions.
Many of its benefitsare due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties,especially a substance called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG).
EGCG inhibits inflammation by reducing pro-inflammatory cytokine production and damage to the fatty acids in your cells.
You can buy green tea in most stores or online.
Summary Green tea’s high EGCG content reduces inflammation and safeguards your cells from damage that can lead to disease.
Bell peppers and chili peppers are loaded with vitamin C and antioxidants that have powerful anti-inflammatory effects.
Bell peppers providethe antioxidant quercetin, which may reduce one marker of oxidativedamage in people with sarcoidosis, an inflammatory disease.
Chili peppers contain sinapic acid and ferulic acid, which may reduce inflammation and lead to healthier aging.
Summary Chili peppers and bell peppers are rich in quercetin, sinapic acid, ferulic acid, and other antioxidants with strong anti-inflammatory effects.
While thousands of varieties of mushrooms exist worldwide, only a few are edible and grown commercially.
These include truffles, portobello mushrooms, and shiitake.
Mushrooms are very lowin calories and rich in selenium, copper, and all of the B vitamins.
They also containphenols and other antioxidants that provide anti-inflammatoryprotection.
A special type of mushroom called lion’s mane may potentially reduce low-grade, obesity-related inflammation.
However, one studyfound that cooking mushrooms lowered their anti-inflammatorycompounds significantly. Thus, it may be best to eat them raw orlightly cooked.
SummarySomeedible mushrooms boast compounds that may decrease inflammation.Eating them raw or lightly cooked may help you reap their fullanti-inflammatory potential.
Grapes contain anthocyanins, which reduce inflammation.
In addition, they maydecrease the risk of several diseases, including heart disease,diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s, and eye disorders.
Grapes are also one of the best sources of resveratrol, another compound that has many health benefits.
In one study, peoplewith heart disease who consumed grape extract daily experienced adecrease in inflammatory gene markers, including NF-kB.
What’s more, theirlevels of adiponectin increased. Low levels of this hormone areassociated with weight gain and an increased risk of cancer.
SummarySeveralplant compounds in grapes, such as resveratrol, can reduceinflammation. They may also reduce your risk of several diseases.
Turmeric is a spicewith a strong, earthy flavor that’s often used in curries and otherIndian dishes.
It has received a lotof attention for its content of curcumin, a powerfulanti-inflammatory nutrient.
Turmeric reduces inflammation related to arthritis, diabetes, and other diseases.
In fact, consuming 1 gram of curcumin daily combined with piperine from black pepper caused a significant decrease in the inflammatory marker CRP in people with metabolic syndrome.
However, it may behard to get enough curcumin to experience a noticeable effect fromturmeric alone.
In one study, womenwith excess weight who took 2.8 grams of turmeric per day showed noimprovement in inflammatory markers.
Taking supplementscontaining isolated curcumin is much more effective. Curcuminsupplements are often combined with piperine, which can boostcurcumin absorption by 2,000%.
If you’re interested in using turmeric in cooking, you can find it in most grocery stores or online.
SummaryTurmericcontains a powerful anti-inflammatory compound called curcumin.Eating black pepper with turmeric can significantly enhance theabsorption of curcumin.
10.Extra virgin olive oil
Extra virgin olive oil is one of the healthiest fats you can eat.
It’s rich in monounsaturated fats and a staple in the Mediterranean diet, which provides numerous health benefits.
Studies link extravirgin olive oil to a reduced risk of heart disease, brain cancer,and other serious health conditions.
In one study on theMediterranean diet, CRP and several other inflammatory markerssignificantly decreased in those who consumed 1.7 ounces (50 ml) ofolive oil daily.
The effect ofoleocanthal, an antioxidant found in olive oil, has been compared toanti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen.
Keep in mind thatextra virgin olive oil offers greater anti-inflammatory benefits thanthose provided by more refined olive oils.
It’s easy to find extra virgin olive oil at your local grocery store, but you can also buy it online.
SummaryExtravirgin olive oil provides powerful anti-inflammatory benefits, whichmay reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, and other serioushealth conditions.
11.Dark chocolate and cocoa
Dark chocolate is delicious, rich, and satisfying.
It’s also packed withantioxidants that reduce inflammation. These may reduce your risk ofdisease and lead to healthier aging.
Flavanols areresponsible for chocolate’s anti-inflammatory effects and keep theendothelial cells that line your arteries healthy.
In one study, smokersexperienced significant improvements in endothelial function within 2hours of eating high-flavonol chocolate.
However, make sure to choose dark chocolate that contains at least 70% cocoa a greater percentage is even better to reap these anti-inflammatory benefits.
If you forgot to grab this treat on your last run to the store, you can always buy it online.
Summary Flavanols in dark chocolate and cocoa can reduce inflammation. They may also reduce your risk of several diseases.
The tomato is anutritional powerhouse.
Tomatoes are high in vitamin C, potassium, and lycopene, an antioxidant with impressive anti-inflammatory properties.
Lycopene may be particularly beneficial for reducing pro-inflammatory compounds related to several types of cancer.
One study determinedthat drinking tomato juice significantly decreased inflammatorymarkers in women with excess weight but not those with obesity.
Note that cookingtomatoes in olive oil can maximize the amount of lycopene you absorb.
That’s becauselycopene is a carotenoid, a nutrient that’s better absorbed with asource of fat.
SummaryTomatoesare an excellent source of lycopene, which may reduce inflammationand protect against cancer.
Cherries are deliciousand rich in antioxidants, such as anthocyanins and catechins, whichfight inflammation.
Although the health-promoting properties of tart cherries have been studied more than other varieties, sweet cherries also provide benefits.
In one study, whenpeople consumed 280 grams of cherries per day for 1 month, theirlevels of the inflammatory marker CRP decreased and stayed low for 28days after they stopped eating cherries.
SummarySweetand tart cherries contain antioxidants that reduce inflammation andyour risk of disease.
In addition to filling your diet with nutritious anti-inflammatory ingredients, it’s important to limit your consumption of foods that can promote inflammation.
For example, processedfoods like fast food, frozen meals, and processed meats have beenassociated with higher levels of inflammatory markers like CRP.
Meanwhile, fried foods and partially hydrogenated oils contain trans fats, a type of unsaturated fatty acid that has also been linked to increased levels of inflammation.
Other foods likesugar-sweetened beverages and refined carbs have likewise been shownto promote inflammation.
Here are some examplesof foods that have been linked to increased levels of inflammation:
- Junk foods: fast food, convenience meals, potato chips, pretzels
- Refined carbohydrates: white bread, pasta, white rice, crackers, flour tortillas, biscuits
- Fried foods: french fries, donuts, fried chicken, mozzarella sticks, egg rolls
- Sugar-sweetened beverages: soda, sweet tea, energy drinks, sports drinks
- Processed meats: bacon, beef jerky, canned meat, salami, hot dogs, smoked meat
- Trans fats: shortening, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, margarine
SummaryCertainingredients like sugar-sweetened beverages, processed foods, friedfoods, and partially hydrogenated fats can increase levels ofinflammation in the body.
Even low levels ofinflammation on a chronic basis can lead to disease.
Do your best to keep inflammation in check by choosing a wide variety of delicious, antioxidant-rich foods.
Peppers, dark chocolate, fish, and extra virgin olive oil are just a few foods that can help you combat inflammation and reduce your risk of illness.