Odds are, if you read the news, listen to the radio or check social media, you’ve heard the word “inflammation” sprout up. While this popular buzzword sounds complex, it actually refers to a normal bodily function that occurs when your immune system responds to an injury, infection or some other irritant with a fleet of white blood cells as protection.
There are two types of inflammation – chronic and acute. While acute inflammation is a natural immune response to common symptoms and injuries, chronic inflammation can trigger a whole host of health-related issues. In fact, a common denominator with many diseases, from arthritis to heart disease, is chronic inflammation.
In a nutshell, chronic inflammation is bad, and an effort should be made to prevent or reduce it. Eating healthy, anti-inflammatory foods, is one way to help naturally prevent or alleviate the symptoms of inflammation. To provide you with a roadmap for success, here are 10 of the top foods to help fight inflammation:
Vitamin E is best known for protecting the body from harmful free radicals and has been shown to reduce inflammation. What’s more, almonds are an excellent source of vitamin E and make an excellent snack!
Salmon is considered the best fish for one of the most vital anti-inflammatory substances — omega-3 fatty acids. In fact, one 4 oz serving of wild caught salmon can provide nearly 55 percent of your daily recommended value of omega-3s!
An avocado a day will absolutely help keep the doctor away. Avocados are high in fiber and anti-inflammatory fat content. They also contain high amounts of potassium, magnesium, carotenoids and tocopherols.
Blueberries are a must-have superfood! These little berries are a powerhouse of phytoflavinoids and antioxidants, such as anthocyanins. These compounds may help reduce inflammation while also boosting your overall immunity.
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Extra-virgin olive oil contains the antioxidant, oleocanthal. Studies have linked this antioxidant to risk reduction of heart disease when consuming 50 ml of extra-virgin olive oil daily. You can easily reach this consumption level by drizzling extra-virgin olive oil on salads in place of salad dressing or over roasted veggies while they’re cooking.
The deep green color of kale is a telltale sign of its antioxidant content. In fact, research has shown that kale contains around 45 different inflammation fighting flavonoids! To maximize its anti-inflammatory capabilities, avoid boiling or sautéing it for too long as this can break down the nutrients and enzymes.
Green tea is rich in catechins (antioxidant compounds), specifically epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which protects your cells from damage leading up to disease. The key is to purchase high-quality tea – preferably matcha – and be mindful of your brewing technique to best extract the catechins.
Beets signature deep red color is due to the anti-inflammatory antioxidant, betalain. Not sure how to add beets to your day? Keep it simple by shredding them into a leafy green salad for an antioxidant powerhouse.
There is a strong link between magnesium deficiencies and inflammation. Fortunately, broccoli has a whopping 51 mg of magnesium per cup, making it a staple in any well-informed anti-inflammatory diet plan.
Bone broth has topped the anti-inflammatory food charts for some time now! It contains chondroitin and glucosamine, two compounds shown to reduce inflammation specifically related to joint pain.