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Power Foods to Fight Inflammation

September 6, 2019 by

Your body responds to any damaged tissue with inflammation. This marks the beginning of the process of healing, and without inflammation, your body could not recover or heal from this damage. Inflammation is your body’s response to any trauma, including cuts, fractures, infections, muscle tears, and anything else that results in swelling and pain.

However, there is another type of inflammation that goes on in your body that is less obvious. Systemic inflammation occurs inside your body, where there are not as many internal nerve endings, so you can’t necessarily feel it. This inflammation often turns chronic and can impact many areas of your overall health. The symptoms of chronic inflammation can be different from person to person, but some common symptoms are fatigue, mouth sores, joint pain, bloating, chest pain, and skin rashes.

There are several factors that could lead to chronic inflammation, such as high stress levels, insufficient sleep, and eating a diet high in sugar and processed foods. If you eat inflammatory foods on a regular basis, you could experience discomfort while eating that mirrors that of a food intolerance or allergy. However, what is really going on is inflammation in your intestines from the continued exposure to these foods.

Following a diet that is made up of foods that fight inflammation can greatly reduce your discomfort that is associated with inflammation. Essentially, an anti-inflammatory diet has to be full of foods that are high in antioxidants and monounsaturated fats, low in sugar, and high in omega-3s. It is best to consume lean meats, such as turkey and fish, nuts, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats.

For example, following a Mediterranean diet is considered to be anti-inflammatory, as it focuses on eating a lot of fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, fish, whole grains, and just small and occasional portions of lean meat and dairy.

Following a low-carb diet that is high in fats can also reduce inflammation. Some consider eliminating gluten as well. Some great foods to eat when trying to fight inflammation are extra virgin olive oil, curcumin (which is found in turmeric), mushrooms, spinach, wild salmon, and blueberries, as these are all foods that are dense in antioxidants, micronutrients, and omega-3s. Some other great foods to eat on an anti-inflammatory diet include almonds, oranges, walnuts, broccoli, dark chocolate, and blackberries.

However, here are some foods that can really help fight inflammation and the reasons why they are so powerful.

1. Berries

Berries are high in anti-inflammatory properties and they will not contribute to weight gain. They are rich in antioxidants and are a great source of vitamins and minerals. Also, they are versatile and easy to eat because you can either eat them plain or add them to another dish.

2. Fatty fish

Fatty fish offers protein and the healthy omega-3s, DHA and EPA. Omega-3 fatty acids are long-chain acids that your body breaks down into protective elements that fight inflammation. Fatty fish like wild salmon, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, and herring are healthy sources of omega-3 fatty acids, however, it is important to watch the mercury content in the fish that you’re eating.

3. Extra-virgin olive oil

Olive oil is high in healthy fat and contains an antioxidant that acts as a strong anti-inflammatory. However, pay attention to the fact that refined olive oils (those that are not extra virgin) have fewer anti-inflammatory benefits.

4. Turmeric

This spice is often used in flavorful dishes that also contain curcumin, as this spice is highly related to reduced inflammation.

5. Mushrooms

Mushrooms contain vitamins and minerals which both offer anti-inflammatory for your body. Mushrooms are also rich in the health B-complex vitamins. However, it is important to only eat edible mushrooms that you purchase from a store and avoid mushrooms found in the wild, as most of these mushrooms are poisonous.

6. Spinach

Spinach is a superfood because of its high micronutrient content. It is rich in vitamins and minerals such as folate, potassium, iron, vitamins A and K, and magnesium. It is also a good source of fiber.

Eating a balanced diet that is rich in these six foods will not completely stop inflammation, but it can help your body fight it and give off an appropriate immune response. In order to reduce inflammation, you must also get sufficient sleep, manage stress, and get exercise.

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