Inflammation is a natural response when the body reacts to harmful things like germs and artificial chemicals. It is usually followed by symptoms like heat, swelling, and pain. However, sometimes too much inflammation can lead to a host of health issues like fatigue, chronic disease, and cancer.
There are a host of foods that can help combat excess inflammation in the body.
Here are nine foods to get you started.
Tomatoes are packed with lycopene, an anti-inflammatory carotenoid and antioxidant. In many studies, tomatoes have been shown to reduce weight-based inflammation and may even be linked to preventing cancer. Try adding them to a sandwich, as a fresh juice, or cooked lightly in omega-3 rich olive oils.
Much like tomatoes fruits, especially tart cherries, have large amounts of anti-inflammatory antioxidants associated with them. They have been linked to the suppression of an inflammatory marker known as CRP. In one study where cherries were consumed for 28 days, CRP stayed at a reduced state for almost a month after the tests ended!
Strawberries and blueberries are some of the best sources of anthocyanin, a polyphenol that has anti-inflammatory properties. They also promote the production of cells essential to defending your body from foreign invaders, such as diseases.
Olive Oil is an anti-inflammatory and one of the healthiest fats to consume. It’s so powerful that in some studies, it has been linked to a reduced risk of cancers, heart diseases, and other health complications. It even rivals the anti-inflammatory properties of over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen!
All cruciferous vegetables (leafy greens) are rich in anti-inflammatory antioxidants. Broccoli stands out with its abundance of sulforaphane, an especially potent antioxidant. It lowers your cytokines, one of the key drivers of inflammation.
Fatty fish like salmon are rich in fatty acids, specifically omega-3 acids EPA and DHA. These acids are essential for producing natural defenses which relieve inflammation. Much like cherries, these reduce CRP in your body.
Mushrooms are an often overlooked source of essential nutrition with numerous medicinal properties. Many even contain phenols and other antioxidants that reduce inflammation. A specific type known as lion’s mane even works on low-grade, obesity-related inflammation. For best results, mushrooms should be eaten raw.
Green tea is wonderful for reducing inflammation. That’s because of the polyphenol epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which reduces cytokine production. Drink it daily with lemon, turmeric, or ginger for an extra health boost.
The heat and pain in a pepper’s taste are caused by capsaicin, a substance rich in flavonoids and phenolic compounds. These reduce biomarkers of inflammation in studies and may even lead to healthier aging.
Fight Inflammation With the Food on Your Plate
Your body is a complex machine, and its response to the constant exposure to chemicals, artificial ingredients, and germs can cause a lot of health issues. Luckily, foods like these can help offset inflammation and help you live your best life!