A buzzword in the wellness and health industry is ‘inflammation’ and so you would find anti-inflammatory diets all around. If you really don’t have any idea about inflammation or confused what it exactly means and how does it affect your body then I would suggest reading this post!
My today’s post will clear all your doubts regarding inflammation. Even I will tell you about some food options, which are great to fight inflammation.
So, let’s get started!
Remember, inflammation is nothing really bad. In fact, we actually require it!
Inflammation can be two types – Acute or Chronic.
Acute inflammation is the natural way your body responds to safeguard itself from infection and heal. If the inflammatory response of your body stays longer then it results in chronic inflammation, which indicates a weakened immune system of your body.
Over time, chronic inflammation damages the immune system. For this reason, chronic inflammation is considered as the root cause for any health concern or modern ailment like arthritis, obesity, dementia, diabetes, accelerated aging, IBS, heart ailment, and even cancer.
What Causes Chronic Inflammation?
Some of the prominent causes of chronic inflammation are:
- Issues with the Gut Health
- A diet high in gluten, refined sugars, hydrogenated oils, and dairy
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Lack or improper sleep
- Environmental toxins
You can experience chronic inflammation in a number of ways including acne, weight gain, allergies, and issues with the digestive system, depression, fatigue, and joint pain.
However, in some cases, chronic inflammation may fester within, but may not show up any signs or symptoms, and hence, they may not be able to know about their condition.
So, what I suggest!
I recommend you to go for an annual physical checkup of your body. Moreover, you must ask your doctors to include a C-reactive protein or CRP, which is a pro-inflammatory marker released by the liver as a part of your regular lab work.
So, if you are experiencing any above warning signs or your CRP levels are higher than the standard 1mg/L then you are at risk of inflammation. But you don’t have to worry about it. Our food menu has some really powerful inflammation fighters, which you can include in your everyday routine to extinguish the fire of inflammation. With a diet rich in anti-inflammatory products, it is possible to offset the damage as well as combat inflammation completely.
What Do You Mean By an Anti-Inflammatory Diet?
An anti-inflammatory diet is one that comprises foods, which are widely considered healthy for you, including foods high in fiber, vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, phytonutrients, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Now, here I share some of my favorite foods that are great to combat chronic inflammation.
Checklist of Inflammation-Fighting Foods
A highly common food found in every Indian home, ginger, is considered an excellent Ayurvedic medicine. It is great to boost the immune system and comprises rich cleansing properties. Ginger contains high levels of inflammation-fighting compounds, which are known to alleviate pain relief.
Prescription – Try adding dried ginger powder or a tablespoon of ginger to your meals a few times in a week. Alternatively, you can use fresh, grated ginger root and add it to salad dressings and sauces.
Turmeric contains an active compound, curcumin. This compound has rich anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help to reduce pain as well as manage chronic ailment. As per the studies, curcumin is highly effective in reducing pain and inflammation than medicated anti-inflammatory prescriptions.
Prescription – Add half a teaspoon of dried turmeric powder or ½ inch of fresh root to the diet few times in a week in dal or breakfast. You can combine turmeric with a pinch of black pepper, which will significantly boost the intestinal absorption of turmeric.
- Green Tea
This is another product rich in anti-inflammatory polyphenols, specifically EGCG. It is a highly powerful antioxidant known to inhibit the cancer cell growth and reduces the risk of heart disease.
Prescription – Consume green tea like matcha latte or cooled green tea as a liquid base of your smoothie.
- Leafy Green Vegetables
The leafy green vegetables are one of my favorites on the list. The vegetables are super rich in antioxidants, vitamin E, C, and A, as well as other minerals and phytonutrients. It protects against oxidative stress, which is caused by free radical damage.
You can choose from a range of leafy green vegetables collard greens, watercress, mustard greens, spinach, dandelion greens, and more. If possible, then mix all these vegetables and consume them each week.
Prescription – Try to get two servings of cooked or raw leafy greens each day.
- Coconut Oil
This oil has numerous health benefits like it is great to boost metabolism, anti-microbial, and balance hormones. It even contains high levels of antioxidants and is great to heal inflammation.
Prescription – You must include MCT oil or a tablespoon of coconut oil each day. Try to add smoothie, which is a good source of fat and would keep you full all morning. Roast and sauté the veggies or you can consume a tablespoon after lunch to quench your sugar craving.
- Fermented Foods
If you have issues with your gut then consuming fermented foods is a great way to manage it. Fermented foods are great to cure gut issues like dysbiosis and leaky gut and are excellent to boost the immune system.
The microbes of your gut system team up with the immune cells to enhance the overall defensive process against bad bacteria, toxins, and other pathogens. By consuming fermented foods, you can include good bacteria in your diet as this will boost the gut defense system and decrease chronic inflammation. Some of the best-fermented foods are – yogurt, kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut.
Prescription – You can include any one of these foods into your diet each day. It is best if you consume fermented foods in the day time.
- Cruciferous Veggies
Vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, bok choy, kale, brussels sprouts, and cabbage possess excellent anti-inflammatory properties. Their carotenoids and flavonoids work together to combat chronic inflammation as well as reduce the risk of cancer.
Prescription – You must include a serving of such veggies each day. You can boil them and create a salad or even prepare a soup.
There you go! Using such foods as medicine will surely kill the fire of chronic inflammation. While I have mentioned some of my favorites, you can always add your own favorite options in order to prepare a nutrient-rich defense system for your body. But it is not only your diet that you have to focus on. Make sure you focus on other aspects too like managing stress, exercising, taking proper sleep, gut health, using organic personal care products, and minimizing the intake of toxins in your food.