Inflammation is the body’s
protective response to irritation, injury, or infection. However, chronic
inflammation can be aggravated by excess weight and the food that we eat. Fat
tissue secretes chemicals and hormones, which cause and increase inflammation.
Foods that increase blood sugar also increase inflammation. This includes
processed sugar, high glycemic starches, refined white flours and saturated
fats. Therefore when looking to decrease inflammation an anti-inflammatory diet
is essential. Avoid junk food, high fats, fast food, and sugars. A diet high in
vegetables, low in carbohydrates and saturated/trans fats promotes
anti-inflammatory properties. Here
is a list of anti-inflammatory foods to add to your diet.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
These are healthy fats which reduce inflammation. Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, trout, fortified eggs, flaxseeds, walnut, seaweed, and soybeans. Fish oil supplements are available as an additional source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Olive oil contains mono-saturated fats, which are healthy and help to lower blood sugar. It is also an antioxidant because it contains polyphenols, which protect the heart and blood vessels from inflammation.
Garlic is an anti-inflammatory that regulates blood glucose and fights infections. Fresh garlic can be added to most food dishes, however garlic supplement are available as well.
Green tea has anti inflammatory compounds and antioxidants, which decrease inflammation. One cup of green tea a day can greatly reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer and decrease inflammation.
Nuts contain anti inflammatory properties and healthy fats. Almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, and sesame seeds should be consumed daily in moderation.
Fruits & Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are filled with vitamins, minerals, fibers and antioxidants that act as anti inflammatories to reduce inflammation and pain. The phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables reduce the risk of disease and enhance a healthy, high functioning body. Although, vegetables from the night shade family such as potatoes, tomatoes and eggplant can cause inflammation and pain in some people due to the chemicals they contain. However, all other fruits and vegetables have the opposite, anti-inflammatory effects. Leafy green, brightly colored vegetable sand whole fruits should be included in an anti inflammatory diet. Some of these fruits and vegetables include spinach, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, kelp, sweet potato, peppers, shiitake mushrooms, cherries, strawberries, blueberries, papaya, lemons, grape fruits, pineapple and more.