When it comes to many of the diseases plaguing our society, from arthritis and hypertension to asthma and heart disease, long-term changes to your lifestyle are obviously essential. However, what may not be so apparent is that the common factor tying many of these ailments together is inflammation. And one of the best ways of combating it is by introducing anti-inflammatory foods into your diet, as they can help alleviate the symptoms associated with these conditions, if not treat them effectively.
Moreover, you don’t necessarily need to overhaul your dietary regimen entirely to achieve the desired results. Instead, small, gradual adjustments can make it easier and more sustainable for your body to acclimatize to the changes and keep you from going back to old habits. With that said, here are some anti-inflammatory foods that you should consider consuming daily.
Green and leafy vegetables
When looking for food to fight off inflammation, the first place in your pantry or refrigerator to fill should be your produce drawer. Vegetables are generally rich in antioxidant content and anti-inflammatory flavonoids that can restore the body’s cellular health. A good example is Swiss chard, which is a leafy and green vegetable related closely to spinach and beets. It’s high in vitamins C and A. It also has vitamin K, which helps protect the brain from the free radicals that cause oxidative damage.
In many recent studies, celery has been found to possess anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help promote heart health and improve cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Celery seeds—commonly found in extract or whole seed—boast robust health benefits since they combat bacterial infections and lower inflammation. In addition, they’re excellent sources of vitamins and potassium.
But balance is key in freeing your body of inflammation. For example, balancing your consumption of potassium-rich foods and sodium foods will enable you to balance your minerals and keep inflammation at bay. They can bring in nutrients and fluids, as well as flush toxins from the body. The standard American or western pattern dietary regimen typically includes processed foods with a lot of sodium but little potassium, and because of it, the toxins can accumulate in the body easier, inviting more inflammation. And a primary benefit of consuming celery is that it’s rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and potassium.
2. Bok choy
Bok choy, or Chinese cabbage, is one of the best sources of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. In fact, studies have shown that this cruciferous vegetable contains over seventy phenolic compounds, including but not necessarily limited to hydroxycinnamic acids that can scavenge any free radicals in the body. It’s also a versatile vegetable and can be prepared in many different ways, even outside of traditional Chinese cuisine, making it an incredibly tasty and healthy anti-inflammatory food.
Turmeric is a popular ingredient known for its rich anti-inflammatory properties, thanks to its active primary compound, curcumin. It’s been widely documented for the benefits it yields, especially its ability to combat inflammation in various circumstances, and it’s proven to be an invaluable component of any healthy diet. Some journals have even found it to be a more effective, potent anti-proliferative and anti-inflammatory agent than many medications like ibuprofen and aspirin.
Because of its efficacy in reducing inflammation, it’s effective in managing conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. Best of all, it can be consumed in many different dishes and beverages like turmeric latte, which you can find if you click here.
Whether taken as fresh, dried, or through products like extracts and supplements, ginger is an immune system modulator that can aid in reducing inflammation induced by immune responses. Its ability to improve the body’s immune system has been praised in Ayurvedic medicine. Ginger is also believed to help in breaking down toxin accumulation in the organs and ensure that the lymphatic system is cleansed. Some research even indicates that it may help treat inflammation in asthmatic and allergic disorders.
Beetroots, or beets, are versatile and vibrant vegetables that are known for not only their aroma and earth flavors but their rich nutritional profile and medicinal properties. Beyond helping manage one’s blood pressure, boost digestive health, and support a healthy brain, beets may also combat inflammation, thanks to the pigments it contains called betalains. This can benefit health in many ways, as inflammation is linked with many conditions, such as cancer, liver disease, obesity, and heart disease, to name a few.
Additionally, they’re relatively easy to include in your diet. It’s possible to pickle, steam, roast, and juice them. For an even more convenient option, it’s possible to purchase them canned or precooked. If possible, pick beets that are heavy and with unwilted and fresh leafy and green tops.
One of the most popular vegetables associated with healthy eating, it isn’t a secret that broccoli remains an excellent addition to a healthy diet. Aside from having high magnesium and potassium content, its potent antioxidants are helpful in fighting off inflammation effectively. It’s a powerhouse when it comes to antioxidants, carotenoids, flavonoids, and vitamin content, and it should always be a part of one’s diet.
Quercetin is an anti-inflammatory substance that stands out from many antioxidants. Commonly found in blueberries, it’s a flavonoid that can combat inflammation and diseases like cancer. And its quercetin content and presence of various phytonutrient anthocyanins make blueberries a nutritious and delicious addition to your daily dietary regime. In one study involving IBD treatment, the fruit’s extract was found to have a positive effect on colon damage caused by conditions of an inflammatory nature.
Another research also found that blueberry consumption can improve motor and memory function and slow cognitive decline significantly. And many experts believe that the results are due to the antioxidants it contains.
Not many people realize that inflammation is at the core of many conditions and diseases. While there are medications readily available in reducing inflammation, they often come with their fair share of side effects. For this reason, it’s often a better approach to consume anti-inflammatory foods instead. Not only is it healthier, but in most cases, they’re more effective too.