10 Anti-Inflammatory Foods Your Diet Needs To Include
Written by: Kavata Kithome
I recently dropped hot oatmeal on my foot and suffered second and third degree burns. While very painful, my body immediately inflamed in that area to help keep my foot from infection.
Believe it or not, some inflammation is healthy and necessary to prevent illness and infection, protect injuries and help wounds heal such as my burns. Inflammation to some degree is essential to keep you healthy and strong. Yet, this natural bodily function gets a bad reputation to the point it is often downplayed for its positive purposes.
It is important to remember that inflammation is only bad when your immune system starts overacting and attacking your healthy body tissue. Inflammation of this kind can lead to weight gain, autoimmune disease, dementia and even cancer. High stress levels, smoking, food allergies, environmental factors and poor diet can all lead to this long-term inflammation.
The good news is that a healthy diet free of common digestive triggers can counteract the damage, reduce free-radical damage, flush toxins and speed recovery.
Here are 10 anti-inflammatory foods to include in your diet as often as possible:
1. Berries: Berries have a high content of both fiber and antioxidants like quercetin, a flavonoid compound that supports healthy bacterial growth in the gut and prevents colon damage.
2. Beets: Beets contain the antioxidant betalain, which works to repair cellular damage caused by inflammation. Beets can also improve blood flow and supply high levels of inflammation-fighting potassium and magnesium.
3. Broccoli: Along with other nutrient-dense cruciferous vegetable such as cauliflower, cabbage and brussels sprouts, broccoli is packed with flavonoids, carotenoids and vitamin C. These nutrients work together to lower oxidative stress in your body and help battle chronic inflammation and reduce the risk of developing cancer.
4. Bone Broth: This nutrient dense broth helps repair the lining of an inflamed gut. This stops your immune system from acting on overdrive and attacking the body’s healthy tissues from the skin to the brain. This broth also has collagen and the amino acids proline and glycine.
5. Coconut Oil: Coconut oil has a lot of love, simply because it does practically everything. Coconut oil has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and this awesome oil is both easy to digest and helpful in restoring gut health. It can help the body fight bacteria, yeast and other infections within the digestive tract; it is beneficial for both preventing and treating inflammation.
6. Leafy Green Vegetables: Leafy greens like kale, spinach, bok choy and swiss chard are rich in flavonoids that help restore cellular health, which is essential to stop inflammation. To give you more incentive to eat your leafy greens, the vitamins A, C and K help protect the brain against the oxidative stress of free–radical damage, offer anti-aging properties and also help fight diseases.
7. Probiotic Foods (Such As Yogurt, Kefir, Kimchi, Kombucha And Sauerkraut): A large part of the immune system is your gut, which is mainly run by bacterial organisms. Microbial imbalance (where there is more bad than good bacteria) is associated with heightened inflammation and increases risk of various diseases. Probiotic foods help restore balance, help your gut function properly, uplift your mood and improve the immune, cognitive, digestive and endocrine system functions and bones.
8. Salmon: It is important to balance the ideal ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 essential fatty acids as it is one of the keys to fighting inflammation. Wild-caught salmon and other oily fish like mackerel and sardines are dense omega-3 fatty acid sources, able to reduce risk for inflammatory disease, such as heart disease, arthritis, depression and cognitive disorders.
9. Super Seeds (Flax, Hemp And Chia): Rich in plant based omega-3 and omega-6, super seeds help stop our immune systems from over producing cytokines and oxidant molecules that can lead to inflammation. They are high in fiber, antioxidants, proteins and minerals that regulate cholesterol and lower blood pressure levels, preventing further damage.
10. Walnuts: Truly a superstar in the nut world, walnuts are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and trace minerals. They are considered “brain food,” because they provide phytonutrients that help protect against cognitive decline. Walnuts can calm an overactive immune system and significantly reduce widespread inflammation.
If you suffer from any type of inflammation, chronic or longterm, consider giving some of these foods a try and lets us know how they work out for you. We love hearing from you.
Kavata Kithome is an advocate for living your best life, full of health and longevity. While working closely with gym owners and personal trainers, she was able to sculpt a well-rounded view of fitness and understands how to incorporate it with a healthy balanced diet. She is a regular contributor to the One More Step Lifestyle brand.
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