If you have heart disease, bacterial or viral infections, high blood pressure, arthritis, acid reflux, candidiasis or acne, then you can also have chronic, low-grade inflammation. Excess inflammation is a main cause of disease in our modern times. This makes reducing inflammation one of the most crucial ways to enhance health and longevity. Fortunately, our diet is the key in controlling the inflammatory process and everyday food choices could make a huge difference between health and disease. By avoiding the foods that worsen inflammation and consuming more foods that reduce inflammation, we can decrease the risk with each meal. Here VKool.com uncovers top best foods to reduce inflammation in the body. Just take a look!
Best Foods To Reduce Inflammation – Eat To Beat Inflammation
1. Fatty Fish
The oily fish, such as mackerel, salmon, tuna, and sardines, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to help decrease inflammation. In order to take advantage of this type of fish, you should eat fatty fish a few times per week, and it should be cooked healthily.
It is said that those people who ate boiled or baked fish might cut their potential risk of heart disease by 23% compared to those who did not.
If you are not a fan of fish, then now you can take fish-oil supplements as they could also help you reduce inflammation.
2. Whole Grains
Consuming most of grain as whole grains, as opposed to refined, white bread cereal, pasta, and rice could help you keep inflammation at bay. Because whole grains contain fiber, thereby reducing the levels of C-reactive protein which is a marker of inflammation in the blood. Besides, whole grains have also less added sugar.
3. Dark Leafy Greens
When it comes to the best foods to reduce inflammation, we cannot overlook dark leafy greens as they contain a lot of vitamin E, which plays an important role in protecting the human body from pro-inflammatory molecules named cytokines. Some types of dark leafy vegetables are kale, broccoli, spinach, and collard greens. Also, these veggies have high concentration of different vitamins and minerals such as iron, calcium, and disease-fighting phytochemicals compared with those veggies with lighter-colored leaves.
4. Nuts And Soy
The next one in the list of foods to reduce inflammation in the body is nuts. When it comes to nuts, you should opt for almonds, which are really high in calcium, fiber, and vitamin E; and walnuts, which are high in alpha-linolenic acid, a kind of omega-3 fat. Though, all nuts are often packed with a large amount of antioxidants, helping the human body fight off and repair the damage resulted by inflammation. in fact, nuts, aside from leafy greens, fish, and whole grains, are a great part of the Mediterranean diet that has been pointed out to reduce inflammation in as little as 6 weeks.
On the other hand, soy is also a good source for reducing inflammation. Studies showed that isoflavones – the estrogen-like compounds found in soy products, might help reduce CRP and inflammation levels in women. However, you should avoid heavily-processed soy if possible as they might not contain the same benefits and is often paired with preservatives as well as additives. Rather than, you should choose soy milk, edamame, tofu to include in your diet.
5. Low-Fat Dairy
Many milk products are considered as the trigger food for inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis as those people who have intolerances or allergies to casein – a protein found in many dairy products reported their complaint when consuming dairy products. However, for those who could tolerate it, non-fat or low-fat milk are the good source of nutrients. Besides, yogurt also consists of probiotics which can decrease gut inflammation.
In other words, foods with vitamin D and calcium, like skim milk and yogurt, are good for people. Apart from their anti-inflammatory properties, it is crucial to get enough vitamin D and calcium for bone strength, and possibly reduction of different heath problems.
In general, colorful veggies are important to a healthy diet. Actually, colorful peppers, squash, tomatoes and leafy veggies have a large amount of antioxidant vitamins and small amount of starch. Additionally, there are many colors of bell peppers while hot peppers, such as cayenne and chili, are high in capsaicin, a chemical which is often used in many topical creams for reducing inflammation and pain.
Nevertheless, peppers are nightshade veggies, so many doctors believe they could exacerbate the inflammation in those with rheumatoid arthritis. Sometimes, what helps a person might be harmful to another. Just pay attention to your symptoms and your own diet, and stick with things that work for you.
Tomatoes are also considered as one of best foods to reduce inflammation that you can make use of. Especially, those juicy red tomatoes are high in lycopene, which could decrease the pain and inflammation in the human lungs and throughout the entire body. In other words, cooked tomatoes are even much rich in lycopene than the raw ones, so consuming tomato sauce can bring the similar result, too.
The brilliant red color of this type of veggies comes with antioxidant properties. Beets can reduce inflammation and protect the human body from some health risks like heart disease and even cancer due to the content of vitamin C, fiber and plant pigments named betalains.
9. Ginger And Turmeric
Ginger belongs to a class of herbs named bitter herbs. It consists of potent anti-inflammatory compounds named gingerols, preventing the human body from producing prostaglandins and leukotrienes, the triggers of inflammation. Many studies have shown that ginger extract can reduce the swelling and pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Consuming ginger tea and making use of fresh ginger in both soups and stir-fries can help you prevent the risk of inflammation.
For turmeric, the ingredient that gives curry its yellow color, it works in the human body by supporting to turn off a NF-kappa B, the protein which can regulate immune system and trigger inflammation. This Asian spice is a medicinal superfood and a relative of ginger. It can protect your liver from toxins and is efficient in killing various bacteria as well as yeasts. One of the most important constituents in turmeric is curcumin, the yellow pigment. This can block inflammatory chemicals, decreasing inflammation in the body. You can make use of turmeric by adding it to beans, curries, rice, smoothies and sauces. Be careful as curcumin is rather powerful which might stain everything like counter tops, towels, and clothing. Turmeric is best absorbed when combining with black pepper or other aromatic spices.
To sum up, these spices have been shown to have powerful anti-inflammatory properties and should be added into a healthy, vegetable-rich diet.
Amaranth is a seed that can act as a grain. It includes about 4 times as much calcium as wheat and twice as much magnesium and iron. Moreover, it is easy-to-digest and gluten-free, so it will be a good option for those people who are suffering from food sensitivities as well as allergies.
11. Garlic And Onions
There is a great reason why garlic and onions should be added to your diet if you want to reduce inflammatory. They are all well-known for their immunity-enhancing properties thanks to those anti-inflammatory chemicals containing the phytonutrient quercetin and the compound allicin, breaking down to manufacture free radical-fighting sulfenic acid.
12. Good Oils
If you have not started cooking with olive oil yet, now it is the exact time for you to do it. It is incomparably high in oleic acid, the omega-9 fatty acid which can keep inflammation down. On other hand, anything which fits into a heart-healthy diet might be also good for inflammation, and that contains healthy, plant-based fats like olive oil. Thanks to the compound oleocanthal, a substance giving olive oil the good taste, this good oil can bring positive effect, in terms of beating off inflammation, to the human body.
Besides, you can also opt for other healthy options of oils like avocado, and grape seed oil. Even, using additional virgin olive oil in both cooking and on salad will stimulate the food to work faster for you. It is also great for your brain and heart, too.
13. Kiwis And Other High Enzyme Foods
Enzymes are one of the oldest natural treatments for inflammation and the most efficient enzymes might be the ones that can break down proteins. They are found in kiwis, green papaya, and pineapple. Kiwis are famous for its nutrients for many aspects of the overall health and are basically a winter fruit in California.
If consume raw, a portion of the enzymes will be absorbed intact into the blood stream where they break down inflammatory complexes. Therefore, you should not overlook kiwis as they are one of great foods to reduce inflammation.
14. Berries And Tart Cherries
In general, all types of fruits can assist in fighting inflammation, as they are very low in calories and fat and especially high in antioxidants. However, berries, particularly, have been claimed to have anti-inflammatory properties. That might be due to the presence of anthocyanins, the powerful chemicals which gives them their rich color.
Moreover, prestigious studies have shown that red raspberry extract can help prevent animals from developing arthritis; that blueberries could protect against intestinal inflammation and ulcerative colitis; and that women who consume more strawberries have significantly lower levels of CRP in the blood.
With tart cherries, this fruit has the highest anti-inflammatory content of any other foods. It is found that tart cherry juice could decrease the inflammation in those lab rats’ blood vessels by up to 50%. That means it might have the similar effect to human beings. Indeed, consuming tart cherries could promote the performance of athletes and reduce decrease their use of the anti-inflammatory pain meds significantly. Doctors recommend people to eat 1.5 cups of tart cherries or 1 cup of tart cherry juice per day for getting positive effects.
Fortunately, eating healthy does not mean that you have to give up the sweet stuff. Chocolate might be one of the favorite foods of many people. Chocolate with at least 70% pure cacoa will be your great choice for anti-inflammation. In addition, other desserts which are low in fat and heavy in fruits and nuts mentioned before are also good ways to reduce inflammation naturally.
16. Tea And Coffee
There are many benefits of green tea that you can make use of, such as preventing heart disease and even cancer. Green tea works like the liquid veggies because it stages an anti-inflammatory fight within the human body. If you are not a fan of pure green tea, then you can add some lemon juice for perking up its flavor and promote the antioxidants as well. Both hot and cold forms are good. However, you should not skip water and go for totally tea. It is still necessary for everyone to get take enough 8 glasses of water per day.
Another drink is coffee which provides relief from headaches and offers might antioxidants that even a normal serving of berries. A research pointed out that consuming coffee might decrease the risk of some types of cancers.
17. Crunch Carrots
From now, if you are looking for best foods to reduce inflammation, then carrots are yours. You had better add carrots, sweet potatoes, and squash to your shopping list. These foods and other orange-hued veggies are high in vitamin A and beta-carotene, which are often believed to defeat inflammation. Cooking seems to enhance the availability of these compounds. To get the biggest benefits, you should consume these veggies more regularly in recommended serving sizes instead of overdoing it by consuming them in large amounts. In reality, a single serving of carrots is about a half of cup, about 7-10 baby carrots or 1 large carrot.
18. Kale And Mushrooms
Those bitter veggies like spinach, radishes, kale, broccoli raab and mustard greens come with anti-inflammatory effects due to their high antioxidant levels.
However, most light colored fruits as well as veggies, from red bell peppers to blueberries, are high in inflammation-quelling antioxidants, like mentioned earlier. These can help neutralize those harmful free radicals which trigger disease and inflammation.
Additionally, mushrooms are considered as the only vegetable source of vitamin D. This hormone plays an important role in boosting immune system health. Especially, if mushrooms are grown under ultraviolet light, the content of vitamin D might be much higher. Like humans, plants like mushrooms manufacture vitamin D if exposed to UV light. It is said that vitamin D is the key for inhibiting the “inflammatory cascade” within the human body, especially in those with chronic inflammatory illnesses like arthritis, prostate cancer, and asthma. With 1 cup of mushrooms, you will get 400 IU of vitamin D.
This type of herb includes an active agent called rosmarinic acid which is very high in free radical-fighting antioxidants. Yet, nearly most herbs are high in antioxidants, which could be beneficial in fighting inflammation.
Importantly, maintaining healthy weight also appears to be helpful for reducing inflammation and these 19 best foods to reduce inflammation will not only help you take control of that issue but also help you get in shape naturally. Just include them to your diet now and see how beneficial they are.
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