What foods will help to reduce inflammation? I know that omega-3 fatty acids like those in wild salmon are supposed to be good for that. Are there other others? How does one know if they have internal inflammation? Thanks.
If you have heart disease, high blood pressure, bacterial or viral infections, osteoporosis, arthritis, acid reflux, candidiasis or acne, then you could also have chronic, low-grade inflammation. In fact, if you have any number of other diseases, it is likely you have inflammation. And if you want to get or remain healthy, you definitely want to reduce the damaging effects of it!
Inflammation has a positive and negative affect in your body. Inflammation has a positive side because it helps your body respond to stress. But chronic low-grade inflammation is thought to be one of the leading causes of disease, premature aging and illness.
When you get a cold, your body responds with inflammation in the form of a fever that helps you heal. The inflammation does its job, gets rid of the virus, and disappears. But if your immunity is compromised and your body is constantly stressed, you might experience chronic low-grade inflammation that leaves you more susceptible to illness and disease.
Learn more about inflammation by reading Inflammation: The Real Cause of All Disease and How to Reduce and Prevent It.
Fight Inflammation the Natural Way
You can help your body fight inflammation by reducing stress, eliminating sugar and processed foods, and getting enough sunshine.
Diet is a key part of your inflammation-fighting plan, and some foods have amazing anti-inflammatory properties.
Here 10 excellent inflammation-fighting foods and ways to incorporate them into your lifestyle:1
- Broccoli has tons of vitamin C and plenty of calcium. It also fights eye inflammation. Make sure you lightly steam your broccoli to digest it well.
- Hemp oil (and all other oils with omega-3 fatty acids) reduce inflammation. Most Americans consume too many omega-6 fatty acids, so it’s important to incorporate more omega-3 fatty acids. Hemp oil also has gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) to further fight inflammation. Remember to look for unrefined organic oils.
- Wild-caught salmon is another way to get beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. You can also try other fatty fish like cod and sardines.
- Tart cherries can reduce inflammation ten times better than aspirin! Once your inner ecosystem is well underway you are in stage 2 of Body Ecology. Tart cherries help reduce your risk for heart disease. They are certainly more delicious than the popular over-the-counter pill you are likely familiar with.
- Soaked walnuts make a delicious and inflammation-fighting snack when you are ready for stage 2 of Body Ecology because of vitamin E and more heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Soak your walnuts and other nuts before you eat them to remove the enzyme inhibitor. This makes them easier to digest.
- Onions and Garlic. Onions not only provide a sweet taste to your savory meals, but also they have lots of quercetin, a potent antioxidant that can help your body fight inflammation. Try onions with your grain dishes, or prepare with eggs and greens. Garlic has long been a folk remedy for colds and illness, and its anti-inflammatory properties are amazing! Garlic contains sulfur compounds that stimulate your immune system to fight disease.
- Fermented Foods and Liquids like Dong Quai, InnergyBiotic, and Coco-Biotic should be at the top of your list of inflammation-fighting foods. They are anti-inflammation super stars for many reasons. One example is that they build immunity and help control infections that are often an underlying cause of inflammation.
- Pineapple is a tart fruit that you can begin to eat in Stage 2 of the Body Ecology diet. It has bromelain, an antioxidant that boosts your immunity naturally.
- Spinach has plenty of carotenoids, one kind of inflammation-reducing antioxidant and it also contains vitamin E.
- Spices: Ginger & Tumeric
* Turmeric is a spice used extensively in other cultures, and for good reason. It contains curcumin, a substance that actively reduces inflammation. Try sprinkling turmeric onto cooked squash or quinoa for a different flavor.
* Ginger works in a way similar to tumeric to lower inflammation and in some studies has been shown to reduce pain associated with arthritis.
While processed foods may seem like the easier choice at first, they deplete your health over the long haul.
Developing a healthy eating plan can sometimes seem difficult but like anything that is new, it becomes second nature over time. And the payoff is well worth it: with a proper diet, you can take a proactive stance against inflammation and disease by incorporating these superfoods into your life.
With diet and lifestyle choices that support your health, you’ll fight disease, illness and the signs of aging!
Dominick, Heather, “4 Foods PROVEN to Fight Inflammation”
Underwood, Anne, “Anti-Inflammatories: The New Superfoods,” Health.com.
Ginger, University of Maryland Medical Center, UMM.edu. http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/ginger-000246.htm
Turner, Lisa, “10 Foods to Fight Inflammation,” BetterNutrition.com.