You know your body best and you should always consult a medical and health professional when it comes to what you consume; however, there are a few foods that are widely known to fight inflammation in the body. According to Dr. Frank Hu, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, “Many experimental studies have shown that components of foods or beverages may have anti-inflammatory effects.”
If currently, your main food groups consist of fried chicken, french fries, and soda, you may be doing yourself more harm than you might think. If you are consistent about this, the results will show and they may not be pleasant when it comes to your next doctor’s visit. You may experience, the most obvious, an increased waistline, but the more dehabilitiating and more serious outcome, is an acceleration of inflammation in your body.
There are certain scientifically proven foods that either promote or fight off inflammation. First let’s briefly share what foods promote inflammation – none of which should come as too much of a surprise.
Foods that promote inflammation
- Refined carbohydrates such as white bread and pastries
- Fried foods (this includes french fries!)
- Soda and other sugary drinks
- Red meat and processed meat (hot dogs, sausage)
- Margarine and any type of shortening or lard
Foods that fight off inflammation
Tomatoes are nature’s antioxidant powerhouse
Vibrantly red and bursting with flavor, tomatoes are more than just a kitchen staple; they’re a potent weapon against inflammation. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Lycopene helps neutralize harmful free radicals in the body, preventing cell damage and reducing inflammation at the cellular level. Whether in salads, sauces, or salsas, incorporating tomatoes into your diet can be a delightful and healthful choice.
Olive Oil is liquid gold for inflammation management
Renowned as a cornerstone of the Mediterranean diet, olive oil is a true culinary gem. It’s not just a delicious addition to your dishes; it’s a wellspring of monounsaturated fats and antioxidants that can alleviate inflammation. Its primary antioxidant, oleocanthal, functions similarly to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), but without the side effects. Incorporating extra-virgin olive oil into your cooking or drizzling it over salads can bestow a myriad of health benefits.
Leafy vegetables are nutrient-packed
Leafy greens like spinach, kale, and Swiss chard are packed with essential nutrients that combat inflammation. These greens are rich in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as minerals like iron and calcium. Furthermore, they contain phytonutrients like quercetin and sulforaphane, which possess anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. Incorporating these greens into your diet not only adds vibrancy to your plate but also supports your body’s fight against inflammation.
Nuts are bite-sized anti-inflammatory packages
Nuts are not only crunchy and satisfying; they’re also brimming with inflammation-fighting compounds. Almonds, walnuts, and pistachios, for example, are excellent sources of healthy fats, fiber, and antioxidants. Omega-3 fatty acids found in walnuts and flaxseeds have been linked to reduced inflammation and improved heart health. Snacking on a handful of nuts or incorporating them into your meals can be a delicious way to support your body’s well-being.
Fatty fish are Omega3 rich
Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines are nutritional powerhouses rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These essential fats play a crucial role in reducing inflammation by suppressing the production of inflammatory compounds. Omega-3s have been linked to a lower risk of chronic diseases and improved brain health. Regularly including fish in your diet can be a savory way to give your body the anti-inflammatory boost it deserves.
Fruit is nature’s candy
Nature’s candies, fruits are not only a delight to the taste buds but also a source of valuable antioxidants and vitamins. Berries like blueberries, strawberries, and cherries are especially rich in anthocyanins, which possess potent anti-inflammatory properties. Citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits are packed with vitamin C, an antioxidant that supports the immune system and fights inflammation. Enjoying a colorful array of fruits can be a scrumptious strategy to promote wellness.
In essence, if you aim for an overall healthy diet (one that looks similar to the Mediterranean diet – which is high in fruits, veggies, nuts, whole grains, and fish) you can not just reduce levels of inflammation but can see the byproducts of this healthy diet in your skin, weight, mood, and overall quality of life.
Eating healthy can be difficult but we recommend simplifying your eating habits and taking a simple approach can set you up for success.