The Top Ten Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Inflammation and Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Inflammation occurs when the body’s white blood cells and substances they produce fight infection from bacteria, viruses, and germs. Thus temporary inflammation isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
But there are also illnesses like arthritis that produce chronic inflammation even when there are no invading organisms to fight, and unfortunately, chronic inflammation means chronic pain. If you’re one of the sufferers, you may have discovered that chronic pain can be severe.
Fortunately, there are anti-inflammatory foods that can do a great deal to fight chronic inflammation. In other words, it’s beneficial to eat anti-inflammatory meals. With that in mind, here’s a list of ten superior anti-inflammatory foods to help you move to a low inflammation diet.
Anti-Inflammatory Foods: Anti-Inflammatory Vegetables
Broccoli is a highly nutritious anti-inflammatory food. It’s a cruciferous vegetable like Kale, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower, and studies indicate eating cruciferous vegetables is associated with a lower chance of heart disease and cancer. That may well be because cruciferous vegetables are full of antioxidants that fight inflammation. Broccoli specifically contains sulphoraphane. That’s an antioxidant that reduces inflammation by suppressing levels of NF-kB and cytokines, substances that drive the inflammatory process.
Mushrooms contain phenol and other antioxidants that fight inflammation. They also give you all the B vitamins, copper, and selenium. Additionally, there’s some evidence to suggest that lion’s mane, a particular variety of mushroom, may be particularly good at fighting the inflammation associated with low-grade obesity.
There’s also some reason to believe that cooking mushrooms diminishes their inflammation-fighting properties somewhat. Therefore, when preparing your anti-inflammatory meals, it might be better to serve the mushrooms raw or only lightly cooked.
Tomatoes are full of lycopene, an antioxidant with potent anti-inflammatory properties that may decrease the likelihood of several types of cancer. Drinking tomato juice reduces inflammation in women carrying excess weight, although not in those classified as obese.
Cooking tomatoes in olive oil will maximize the amount of lycopene you absorb because lycopene is a carotenoid, which means it’s best absorbed in the company of fat.
Tomatoes also give you potassium and vitamin C.
Like the anti-inflammatory foods already mentioned, chili peppers and bell peppers are likewise loaded with powerful inflammation-fighting antioxidants. Bell peppers contain the antioxidant quercetin, which research suggests may lower one marker of oxidative damage in individuals suffering from the inflammatory disease sarcoidosis. Chili peppers give you ferulic acid and sinapic acid, antioxidants that may promote healthier aging.
Anti-Inflammatory Foods: Anti-Inflammatory Fruits
Berries contain antioxidants called anthocyanins. They have anti-inflammatory properties and may well reduce your risk of getting sick.
The body produces cells called NK cells that are part of a well-functioning immune system. One study found that daily consumption of blueberries was associated with higher production of NK cells.
Another study found that in people who were overweight, eating strawberries was associated with lower inflammatory markers linked to heart disease.
Berries in general are full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Cherries contain anti-inflammatory antioxidants like catechins and anthocyanins. Research indicates that eating cherries every day can lower the inflammatory marker CRP and that the improvement may even persist for a month after the individual stops the daily intake of cherries.
Grapes are another good source of anti-inflammatory anthocyanins. One study discovered that people with heart disease who took grape extract daily lowered inflammatory gene markers including NF-kB. They also boosted their levels of the hormone adiponectin. That’s meaningful because low levels of adiponectin are associated with gaining weight and even a higher chance of developing cancer.
One study found that avocados may reduce inflammation in young skin cells. Another indicated that consuming avocado reduces the levels of the inflammatory markers IL-6 and NF-kB.
Additionally, avocados give you caretonoids and tocopherols, both associated with a lower risk of cancer, as well as fiber, magnesium, potassium, and the monounsaturated fats that are good for your heart.
Anti-Inflammatory Foods: Other Anti-Inflammatory Foods
The fatty fish salmon, anchovies, sardines, mackerel, and herring give you the long chain fatty acids DHA and EPA. Inside the body, these are metabolized into protectins and resolvins, both of which have anti-inflammatory properties. Research provides evidence that eating salmon or taking DHA and EPA supplements lowers the level of the inflammatory marker CRP.
Fatty fish give you plenty of protein as well.
Dark chocolate provides antioxidants too. It gives you flavonols that are anti-inflammatory and promote good health in the endothelial cells lining the arteries. It can reduce the risk of becoming ilk and promote healthier aging.
Just be sure to eat dark chocolate that’s 70% cocoa or higher. That’s the chocolate with the powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
That concludes our list of ten superior anti-inflammatory foods. We hope you’ll find it useful when planning anti-inflammatory meals for your low inflammation diet.