Your immune system activates when it notices anything foreign in your body, such as a microbe, chemical, or pollen. This typically results in a process known as inflammation. Intermittent inflammation aimed at protecting your body against threatening invaders helps keep you healthy. However, sometimes inflammation becomes chronic despite the fact that there are no threatening invaders present in your body. Many diseases, such as diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and depression, have been linked to chronic inflammation. Anti-inflammatory foods can help reduce your risk of inflammation and chronic diseases.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, certain kinds of fish contain omega-3 fatty acids, which decrease interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein (CRP). CRP and interleukin-6 are two inflammatory proteins in your body. The best sources of omega-3 fatty acids include anchovies, tuna, salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, and oysters. Eat three to four ounces of fish twice a week to reap its benefits.
Fruits and Vegetables
According to WebMD, research indicates that vitamin K-rich leafy greens reduce inflammation. Vegetables containing vitamin K include kale, mustard greens, collard greens, raw Swiss chard, and spinach. Research also shows that broccoli and cabbage decrease inflammation in the body.
All fruits can help fight inflammation in the body as they contain antioxidants. However, berries are especially powerful anti-inflammatories. Berries contain anthocyanins, antioxidant flavonoids that give them their color. According to Health, research indicates that red raspberry extract helps prevent arthritis from developing in animals, that women who eat strawberries may have lower levels of C-reactive protein, and that blueberries can help protect you from intestinal inflammatory conditions, such as ulcerative colitis. Blueberries can also help lower your blood pressure and risk for a heart attack.
All nuts contain antioxidants that can help reduce and repair the damage caused by inflammation. Almonds and walnuts may be especially good at fighting inflammation. Almonds contain a lot of fiber, vitamin E, and calcium, and walnuts are rich in alpha-linolenic acid, a kind of omega-3 fatty acid. As a bonus, the fiber, protein, and monosaturated fat nuts contain may help you lose a few pounds. It’s recommended that you only eat a handful of nuts each day because the fat and calories from nuts can quickly add to your waistline.
Beans possess fiber and phytonutrients, which help reduce C-reactive protein in the body. Beans are also a good source of folic acid, protein, and minerals, such as zinc, magnesium, iron, and potassium. The Arthritis Foundation recommends eating at least one cup of beans twice a week. Kidney, pinto, garbanzo, and black beans are good sources of anti-inflammatory properties.
Garlic and Onions
The organosulfur compounds found in garlic may decrease substances in the blood that increase inflammation. A flavonoid in onions called quercetin helps stop inflammation-causing agents associated with arthritis.
Health suggests that to reap the most benefits from onions, select yellow or red onions instead of white or sweet ones. Eat garlic raw or allow chopped or crushed garlic cloves to sit for 10 minutes before cooking with them.
Inflammation is a natural process in the body that helps you stay healthy. However, when inflammation becomes chronic, it can lead to some serious medical problems. Eating these foods may help you reduce inflammation in your body and lower your risk of chronic inflammatory diseases.