How can Anti-Inflammatory Foods Help in Reducing Inflammation in your Body?
Let us first understand what inflammation is and what is an anti-inflammatory diet. Inflammation has always been looked upon in a negative way and something that is harmful to the body. But imagine if you hurt yourself internally or externally and do not come to know till the wound really becomes serious? Inflammation is your body’s way of letting you know that you need to pay attention to that wound. Even before going for any medications, it would be wise to include anti-inflammatory foods in your diet. People have tried various types of diet ranging from going on plant-based diets/vegan to a gluten-free diet and even keto diets!! Whether you are sensitive to gluten or not, cutting down on gluten has known to be anti-inflammatory.
These anti-inflammatory foods contain certain anti-inflammatory agents which can help in reducing inflammation and the intensity of pain and improve overall health. There are several naturally gluten-free foods that are recommended to reduce inflammation. Besides reducing inflammation, these foods are also significantly nutritionally dense and hence helps improve overall health.
Here is a list of 5 important foods that are known to be anti-inflammatory:
- Whole grains and lentils: Whole grains such as quinoa, millet, mung beans, and yellow lentils are high in fiber. Consuming a high-fiber diet helps in easy digestion and helps reducing inflammation
- Spices such as Turmeric and Black Pepper – These spices naturally contain anti-inflammatory agents in them. Even consuming small amounts of these spices in your diet plays a very important role. They not only help in reducing inflammation but also help in relieving the pain. Consuming turmeric and black pepper on a regular basis may help keep your body free of any inflammation
- Nuts and Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Consuming healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil, not only keeps your heart healthy but also plays an important role in reducing inflammation. Try to substitute butter and other oils with extra virgin olive oil. Another very important item to add to your diet is walnuts. Walnuts are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids and are also high in heart-healthy unsaturated fatty acids. Including at least 5 pieces of walnuts, every day in your diet can help in reducing inflammation.
- Avocado – Avocados are very rich in antioxidants and a great source of monounsaturated fats. Due to these two very important properties, avocados help reduce inflammation and improve heart health since it aids in reducing the triglycerides which tend to create a layer of fat around the arteries and thus creating a blockage to the blood flow to the heart
- Berries – All types of berries, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries, help in reducing inflammation. Blueberry however tops the list because of its excellent antioxidant properties. Besides the antioxidant properties, they also contain some chemicals that help in the regulation of the immune system, thereby helping in the reduction of any kind of inflammation in the body
Besides including the above foods in your diet, it is also very important to eliminate some foods from your diet. The classic ones which could possibly trigger inflammations are sugars in any form including chocolates, cakes, pastries, soda, refined flour, processed food, especially meat, and the most important one is the consumption of excessive alcohol.
Consumption of high amounts of alcohol can lead to a condition called as the leaky gut. A leaky gut can cause a lot of inflammation throughout the body which could eventually lead to damaging of a lot of organs.
Pollution and stress are also major contributors. While you cannot do much about pollution, you can work on reducing stress levels.
Then there are other conditions that can cause inflammation like cancer, surgeries, or injury. While diet alone may not help cure the inflammation caused due to the above factors, they would surely help in the process of healing.
So besides consuming the above-mentioned foods and avoiding the ones that trigger inflammation, it is also very important to live a balanced lifestyle which could also help in stress reduction. Practicing yoga or even going for regular walks in the fresh and open-air can help reduce stress.
Take away points:
Work towards including high fiber foods and foods rich in antioxidants in your diet. Replace the fat in your diet with extra virgin olive oils and try to include plant-based, gluten-free foods in your everyday meals. This along with living an active lifestyle can lead to the elimination of all the inflammation in your body.