Inflammation helps the body fight illness and can protect it from harm. In most cases, it is a necessary part of the healing process.
However, some people have a medical condition in which the immune system does not work as it should. This malfunction can lead to persistent or recurrent low level inflammation.
Chronic inflammation occurs with various diseases, such as psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, and asthma. There is evidence that dietary choices may help manage the symptoms.
An anti-inflammatory diet favours fruits and vegetables, foods containing omega-3 fatty acids, whole grains, lean protein, healthful fats, and spices. It discourages or limits the consumption of processed foods, red meats, and alcohol.
Here are our top super anti-inflammatory foods.
One of the most under-rated vegetables, celery contains high concentrations of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that assist with blood pressure levels and fluid retention. Consider adding celery seeds to your salads. Keep celery sticks in your fridge in a glass of water – for snacks.
High levels of potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium, and vitamins B9 and C are found in beets. Potassium and magnesium are 2 essential minerals to help reduce inflammation. A beetroot salad with walnuts and avocado is packed with goodness.
It is highly recommended that you eat broccoli raw, as it loses over 50% of its nutritional value when cooked. Raw broccoli salad with bacon bits, almond slivers and spring onion is so very tasty. Cytokines are molecules that encourage inflammation, and broccoli is rich in sulforaphane, which is an antioxidant that reduces the cytokine levels. When you have too many cytokines in your blood, this causes a severe immune reaction and chronic inflammation. Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and Brussel sprouts. Eating a lot of these veggies is associated with a decreased risk of heart disease and cancer.
Nutrient dense fruits are blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and blackberries, all packed with fibre, vitamins and minerals. Containing antioxidants called anthocyanins, these compounds have anti-inflammatory effects and help your body create natural killer cells, which are essential for a healthy immune system.
5. FATTY FISH
Vitamins D, B6, B12 and selenium are found in salmon. Also loaded with omega 3 fatty acids, salmon is one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. Studies show that if you regularly consume salmon, you have a lower risk of heart disease and dementia. Mackerel, herrings, sardines and anchovies are also excellent fatty fish to eat regularly. By metabolising the fatty acids, your body receives the anti-inflammatory effects.
Containing high concentrations of antioxidants, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin E and manganese, walnuts are an exceptionally healthy option to add to your diet. Oxidative stress and inflammation are combatted by the polyphenols in walnuts. You have gut microbes that convert the polyphenols into urolithins, where the anti-inflammatory properties come from. Almonds and Brazil nuts are high-performing nuts too.
7. CHIA SEEDS
Large amounts of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, make chia seeds an anti-inflammatory food. Also plentiful in manganese, selenium and amino acids, this little seed is packed full of benefits.
Undoubtedly the very best anti-inflammatory herb due to its curcumin properties, a renowned anti-inflammatory compound over the centuries. Arthritis and diabetes can have reduced symptoms with a daily intake of turmeric. Turmeric Australia recommends 1 teaspoon each day or 4 capsules.
For an anti-inflammatory boost, add ginger to your casseroles and stews. Since very ancient times, ginger has been used medicinally. With anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral properties, ginger is a popular remedy for inflammation.
Containing quercetin, bromelain, potassium, magnesium and large amounts of antioxidants, pineapples are a powerfully nutritious fruit.
11. LEAFY GREEN VEGETABLES
Spinach, chard, kale, and collards have superior concentrations of nutrients, including vitamin K. Vitamin K has firm associations with reducing inflammation, especially in rheumatoid arthritis by reducing CRP levels.
Rich in healthy monounsaturated fats and antioxidants, avocados are an excellent source of magnesium, potassium, and fibre. With polyphenols that fight against cell damage, avocado can be treated as a daily food intake source of vitamins C, A, E and B complex. A fabulous anti-inflammatory food, avocados can be eaten at all meal times.
There are numerous other anti-inflammatory foods such as cherries, tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, grapes, mushrooms, capsicum and green tea. If you make a dietary change to include these ingredients, then also consider avoiding dairy, sugar, white flour, saturated fats in most junk food, soft drinks, refined carbohydrates, artificial sweeteners and artificial flavouring. Your body is not designed to eat processed and refined foods. Natural is best!
Ingesting processed food, which the body considers as ‘foreign’; causes your immune system to activate and triggers an inflammatory response. By continually eating processed food, the inflammation persists and becomes your enemy, producing disease reactions.
Concentrate on a diet of fresh fruits and vegetables. Both the DASH diet and the Mediterranean diet are good examples to adhere to.
Check the Turmeric Australia website for a varied range of products to fight inflammation.