How does diet influence inflammation?
Inflammation is the body’s natural defense mechanism to any foreign substance that it considers harmful. Microbes, pollens, and chemicals may trigger an inflammatory response when the body is exposed to them. Sometimes even components of food may trigger the defense response of the body and lead to inflammation. The typical characteristics of inflammation are redness, pain, swelling, and warmth.
What foods reduce inflammation in the body?
Foods that reduce inflammation include green vegetables, fruits, blueberries, fresh herbs and spices, and fatty fish. They are rich in antioxidants. And foods of plant origin are rich in protective substances called polyphenols.
- Fruits and veggies – go for bright-colored vegetables and fruits:
- Whole grains: Fiber-rich, unprocessed foods such as brown rice, whole-wheat bread (if you don’t have a gluten allergy), and oatmeal, curb inflammation.
- Beans: They are fibrous plus they have high antioxidants, which makes them suitable as an anti-inflammatory.
- Nuts have omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fats in addition to monounsaturated fats that prevent inflammation.
- Fish: Consuming salmon, tuna and sardines twice a week fights inflammation as they contain omega-3 fatty acids.
- Olive oil contains essential fats, which lowers inflammation.
- Coffee contains polyphenols – when consumed in moderate amounts, coffee fights inflammation.
- Herbs and spices: Turmeric, garlic, ginger, and cinnamon are some of the best anti-inflammatory agents.
Are eggs anti-inflammatory?
Various functional foods, nutrients and vital components have shown to modify the inflammation response in the body. Functional foods such as eggs contain a variety of essential nutrients and vital components including egg proteins, phospholipids, lutein and zeaxanthin that curb inflammation.
What are the foods that cause inflammation?
Along with the understanding anti-inflammatory foods, it is also important to know about foods that cause inflammation. Try to limit these foods as much as possible:
- Sweets, cakes, cookies or soda: Consumption of foods high in sugar content can lead to an inflammation response as well as weight gain and high cholesterol levels.
- High fat and processed red meat (hot dog, sausage and bacon): Saturated fat, which is abundantly present in processed meat, is a significant cause of inflammation.
- Butter, whole milk and cheese: These food items contain lots of saturated fats resulting in inflammation. It is best to switch to low-fat dairy products.
- French fries, fried chicken and other fried foods: Deep fried foods can lead to an imbalance between omega-6s and omega-3s resulting in inflammation.
- Coffee creamers, margarine and anything else with trans fats: Trans fats can increase the amount of undesired cholesterol [Low-density lipid (LDL) cholesterol] leading to inflammation.
- Wheat, rye and barley: These contain gluten, which may cause an autoimmune inflammatory reaction in some people (patients with celiac disease).