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Which Foods are Anti-Inflammatory?

How does diet influence inflammation?

Anti-inflammatory Foods
Foods that reduce inflammation, known as anti-inflammatory foods, can lessen the severity of inflammation.

Inflammation is the natural defense response of the body to any foreign substance that it perceives as harmful. Microbes, pollens, and chemicals may trigger an inflammatory response when the body is exposed to them. Not just foreign substances, sometimes even components of food may trigger the defense mechanisms of the body and lead to inflammation. The typical characteristics of inflammation are redness, pain, swelling, and warmth in the area of inflammation.

Inflammation can be persistent even when the trigger is gone. Chronic inflammation can promote diseases such as diabetes mellitus, Alzheimer's disease, arthritis, depression, heart disease, and cancer.

Foods that reduce inflammation, known as anti-inflammatory foods, can lessen the severity of inflammation. Changing eating habits by emphasizing anti-inflammatory foods and avoiding inflammatory foods can control the bouts of inflammation. An anti-inflammatory diet lowers the chances of developing chronic diseases.

Inflammation is the natural defense response of the body to any foreign substance that it perceives as harmful. Microbes, pollens, and chemicals may trigger an inflammatory response when the body is exposed to them. Not just foreign substances, sometimes even components of food may trigger the defense mechanisms of the body and lead to inflammation. The typical characteristics of inflammation are redness, pain, swelling, and warmth in the area of inflammation.

Inflammation can be persistent even when the trigger is gone. Chronic inflammation can promote diseases such as diabetes mellitus, Alzheimer's disease, arthritis, depression, heart disease, and cancer.

Foods that reduce inflammation, known as anti-inflammatory foods, can lessen the severity of inflammation. Changing eating habits by emphasizing anti-inflammatory foods and avoiding inflammatory foods can control the bouts of inflammation. An anti-inflammatory diet lowers the chances of developing chronic diseases.

Which foods are anti-inflammatory?

Foods that reduce inflammation include, green vegetables, fruits, blueberries, fresh herbs, spices and fatty fish. They are rich in antioxidants besides foods of plant origin are rich in protective substances called polyphenols.

  • Fruits and veggies — go for bright-colored vegetables and fruits:
    • Tomatoes: Lycopene present in tomatoes are natural antioxidants that reduce inflammation.
    • Green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale contain vitamin K that curbs inflammation.
    • Fruits such as cherries, blackberries and blueberries are rich in antioxidants.
    • Chilli pepper is rich in capsaicin.
  • Whole grains: Fiber-rich, unprocessed foods such as brown rice, whole-wheat bread and oatmeal curb inflammation.
  • Beans: They are fibrous plus they have high amounts of antioxidant, which makes them a suitable anti-inflammatory food.
  • Nuts: 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: Olive oil contains essential fats which lower inflammation.
  • Coffee: Contains polyphenols — when consumed in moderate amounts it fights inflammation.

In addition to lowering inflammation, an unprocessed diet can have considerable impact on your physical and emotional health. It can improve mood as well as the quality of life.

QUESTION

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What are some natural anti-inflammatory foods?

Some herbs and spices, which act as anti-inflammatory foods are:

  • Garlic: Garlic contains allicin which prevents the cells from inducing inflammation.
  • Turmeric: Turmeric consists of curcumin, which is an antioxidant.
  • Green tea: Polyphenolic compounds present in green tea help combat inflammation.
  • Ginger: Ginger contains gingerol and shogaol that obstruct the inflammation pathway.
  • Cinnamon: It has antioxidants to curb inflammation.

Adding these spices in daily meals may curtail the risk of chronic illnesses.

What are foods that cause inflammation?

Along with the understanding of anti-inflammatory foods, it is also important to know about foods that cause inflammation and 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 level.
  • High fat and processed red meat (hot dog, sausage and bacon): Saturated fat, which is abundantly present in processed meat, a significant cause of inflammation.
  • Butter, whole milk and cheese: These food items contain lots of saturated fats resulting in inflammation. 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).

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Reviewed on 6/16/2020
References
Medscape Medical Reference

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