Anti-inflammatory food has always been good for the health. In any diet or meal plan, doctors and nutritionists always advise their clients to stock up on anti-inflammatory foods. But what are these foods anyway? And what are the benefits they give to our bodies? Read on to know all about it.
What Are Anti-Inflammatory Foods?
To be able to understand what anti-inflammatory foods are, it’s best to define what inflammation means. Inflammation refers to a physical condition wherein a part of the body becomes swollen or red. This is usually the result of an infection or an injury. What causes the redness or swollenness is the white blood cells that produce substances that fight bacteria found in the body.
This is why inflammation can either be good or bad for the body depending on the gravity. Yes, it kills and fights bacteria, but it can also cause other diseases to show. In most cases, these diseases and health conditions manifest as weight gain and chronic inflammation.
This is where anti-inflammatory foods come in. These foods are meant to reduce the risk that chronic inflammation poses on the body. Anti-inflammatory foods are known to fight against a number of health conditions, namely asthma, cancer, gout, heart disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and many more.
Benefits Of Anti-Inflammatory Foods
There are several benefits of incorporating anti-inflammatory foods in your diet. Here are some of them:
Reduces Inflammation – The most obvious benefit is, of course, a reduction in inflammation signs and risks. This is important because inflammation, although not deadly, can lead to contracting a chronic disease. Since your body is already fighting bacteria internally, this means that it has already become susceptible to other kinds of bacteria. Stocking up on anti-inflammatory foods can help prevent that.
Lower Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases – Cardiovascular diseases are often caused by blocked blood vessels. When blood vessels are blocked, the person becomes prone to heart attack, chest pain, or worse, a stroke. Cardiovascular diseases are alarming as they involve the heart which is one of the most vital internal organs in the human body. With an anti-inflammatory diet, you can reduce these risks and can even have improved heart health.
Reduces Risk of Getting Diabetes – Diabetes is one of the health conditions common in most people. Studies show that eating more anti-inflammatory foods can help reduce the chances of getting diabetes. This can be attributed to the healthy foods that you eat in place of artificial and sugary counterparts.
Improves Emotional Health – An anti-inflammatory diet involves eating a lot of nuts, berries, and green leafy vegetables those of which are rich in antioxidants. Apart from feeling healthy and improving the body, this diet is known to lift the mood and increase emotional health.
7 Anti-Inflammatory Foods to Eat
It’s now a given that anti-inflammatory foods should always be part of anyone’s diet. But what exactly are these foods? Here are 7 of the most popular anti-inflammatory foods that you can add to your meals.
Berries are #1 on the list simply because they are rich in antioxidants. In fact, they are always part of any healthy diet because apart from antioxidants, they have a wide range of vitamins and minerals. You can even call them as your miracle fruit. Berries like strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries can be eaten in salads, but you can also eat them for snacks.
If you’ve ever tried a weight loss diet, then you might have heard about avocados. Avocados are considered superfoods because they are rich in potassium and fiber. They also have a high number of carotenoids which are known to reduce the risk of getting cancer. It’s ideal to eat at least half an avocado every day.
Another anti-inflammatory food is tomatoes. Tomatoes have always been part of salads not because they are juicy or that they add color. Tomatoes are rich in potassium and lycopene, two important types of antioxidants. The more tomatoes you eat in the day, the less the risk you have of getting cancer. Tomatoes can be consumed fresh, cooked, or juiced.
Salmon is another superfood that you should incorporate in your diet. In fact, any fatty fish can be a great addition to your diet as they contain a lot of omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty fish have EPA and DHA which are known to reduce inflammation and can also improve metabolic health. Alternatives to salmon are sardines, mackerel, and herring.
Walnuts are just one kind of nut that is recommended to reduce inflammation in the body. They are rich in monounsaturated fat and protein which are very important in improving the body’s health. However, this will not may any significant change if it is not consumed with the right amount. For walnuts, you should eat at least a handful of them every day.
Other nuts that can be alternative to walnuts are almonds, pine nuts, and pistachios.
6. Dark Chocolate
If you have a sweet tooth, then you would love to have dark chocolate in your diet. Although it’s not as sweet as your usual milk chocolate, dark chocolate is a great treat to improve overall health. What makes dark chocolate a healthy snack is the flavanols found in it. Flavanols aid in reducing inflammation in the body as it improves blood cells.
And lastly, there’s broccoli. Although not exactly a green leafy vegetable, broccoli is a popular vegetable simply because it is associated with weight loss and decreased risk of heart disease. Broccoli is rich in antioxidants, specifically, sulforaphane which reduces the cytokine levels in the body. Cytokines are a kind of substance produced by the immune system which causes inflammation.
Overall, anti-inflammatory foods are also the foods used to promote weight loss, improved cardiovascular strength, healthy muscles, etc. If you’re not sure about what to eat that has anti-inflammatory properties, then always stick to the well-known healthy foods, doctors always recommend.