Top 15 Anti-inflammatory Foods for Better Health & Well-Being
The World Health Organization (WHO) has acknowledged an inflammatory diet is one of the main contributors to a range of health conditions. Some of these conditions include heart disease, asthma, and arthritis. A good diet consists of foods that reduce inflammation. This helps to prevent the risk of having these associated medical conditions.
The role of food and how important it is in preventing many health conditions is often underrated. This article will explore the role of inflammation in the body and who can benefit from a natural anti-inflammatory diet. We will also discuss some of the worst offenders of causing inflammation and offer some tips on adopting the best anti-inflammatory diet.
Is Inflammation Always Bad?
Inflammation is an important part of the body’s response to illness. Inflammation helps to protect the body by fighting off illness. In most cases, inflammation is a normal and essential part of the body’s healing process. To put it simply, without inflammation, our bodies would struggle to heal. This includes healing wounds, and infections would likely worsen too.
When you are injured or ill, your body floods the affected area with white blood cells. As there is an increase in blood flow and nutrients, you will notice some redness and swelling. This part of the process helps to remove harmful irritants and damaged cells.
Having said that, inflammation may not always be beneficial. There are instances when inflammation can cause more harm than good. Typically, there are two categories of inflammation – acute and chronic. Acute inflammation usually clears up within a few days but may last a bit longer. Chronic inflammation refers to long-term inflammation. This can last years at a time. This type of inflammation happens when the body cannot remove the irritant from the body.
Chronic inflammation can also occur in people who have certain medical conditions. Conditions such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. For people who have these types of conditions, they can live with ongoing low-level inflammation.
What Is A Holistic Anti-inflammatory Diet and What Does It Do?
A natural anti-inflammatory diet is a style of eating rather than a strict diet. There is no such thing as ‘the’ best anti-inflammatory diet. Instead, there are foods to eat (foods that reduce inflammation) and to avoid or reduce (foods that cause inflammation). What is key is that you are getting a varied amount of healthy foods that reduce inflammation. Alongside your natural anti-inflammatory diet, you may also want to consider natural anti-inflammatory supplements. Supplements could help to boost your overall health.
But what can a holistic anti-inflammatory diet do for you? There is evidence that some foods can be the root cause of inflammation. A poor inflammation diet can also cause diabetes and heart disease too. Therefore, one of the best ways you can fight off and prevent inflammation is to adopt an anti-inflammatory diet. There is a link between many medical conditions and inflammation. So, no doubt you will also benefit from the reduced risk of suffering from the associated diseases.
Foods that promote inflammation include processed foods, red meat, carbohydrates, and alcohol. By consuming a lot of these types of foods, you can trigger inflammation in the body. Maintaining a well-balanced diet is essential to achieve a healthy body that fights inflammation. Adopt a healthy diet that includes a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. It is also important to consume antioxidants, minerals, and fatty acids.
Who Can Benefit from A Holistic Anti-inflammatory Diet?
Are you are suffering from a medical condition that has developed worse with inflammation? If so, you could benefit from adopting an anti-inflammatory diet that consists of anti inflammatory foods. Some connected health conditions to inflammation are:
- High Blood Pressure
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Crohn’s Disease
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Type 2 Diabetes
Therefore, by maintaining an anti-inflammatory diet, you could help to improve your overall health.
Top 15 Best Anti-inflammatory Foods
Adopting a healthier diet can help reduce the risk of suffering from a health condition. Especially one that is linked to inflammation. Here are some of the top anti-inflammatory foods to incorporate into your new diet. These will provide a range of healthy fats and antioxidants. Here are some ideas for foods that reduce inflammation:
Fatty and Oily Fish
Some types of fish are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 is known for reducing inflammatory proteins in the body. Fish that are a great source of protein and omega-3 are:Tuna, Salmon, Sardines, and Mackerel.
Not only is broccoli nutritious, but it can also help to reduce heart disease risk due to its powerful anti-inflammatory effects.
Avocados are packed full of potassium, fiber, vitamins, and heart-healthy fats. Not only that, but they contain compounds that protect the body from inflammation. Especially young skin cells. Avocados also help regulate blood pressure.
Everyone knows green tea as a healthy hot beverage. But its health benefits go beyond what you initially thought. Green tea can reduce the risk of heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Many of the benefits of green tea are a result of its antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. It can also prevent cells from damage that ultimately leads to disease.
Commonly used in Indian dishes such as curries is turmeric. Not only is it a tasty spice, but it also has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric can help to reduce inflammation that is associated with arthritis and diabetes, among other conditions.
As you may be aware, olive oil is one of the healthiest fats. It is rich in monounsaturated fats and there may be a connection with reduced risk of heart disease.
Not only is dark chocolate rich and delicious, but it is also jam-packed with antioxidants. Antioxidants that help to reduce inflammation. Dark chocolate may also help healthier aging. To get the most benefits, you need to consume dark chocolate that has at least 70% cocoa.
While there are a few inflammatory fruits out there. Many berries are full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Berries such as strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries contain antioxidants which have powerful anti-inflammatory benefits.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Some of the best green leafy vegetables to add to your anti-inflammatory diet include:
Kale – contains high amounts of vitamins A, C, and K
Spinach – Rich in vitamins A, C, B9
Swiss Chard – contains antioxidants and is calcium-rich.
Beetroot is a powerful food to help fight off inflammation at the cellular level. It also contains antioxidants that are great at preventing disease while being rich in potassium and magnesium.
Sweet Potatoes are rich in important vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, calcium, and potassium. It is also known to reduce the risk of inflammatory diseases including diabetes.
Walnuts are rich in nutrients that are not seen in a lot of foods. For instance, vitamin E in walnuts is known to prevent the risk of heart disease. It also helps to reduce high cholesterol, rich in fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Chia seeds are protein-rich, omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber. They help protect you from inflammation at the cellular level while promoting good heart health. It also contains vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A, E, D, and B, magnesium, and iron.
Ginger has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that are known to help reduce pain and help mobility for people who have arthritis. It also helps to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Foods That Cause Inflammation
Just as your diet has a role in avoiding inflammation, based on what you eat, you could also increase your risk of suffering from inflammation. The modern diet consists of many foods that cause inflammation and we are so used to this diet that it is difficult to break the habit.
Scientists are now acknowledging that inflammation is connected to many health conditions. They also acknowledge that by reducing your intake of certain foods, you can reduce your risk of suffering from these types of conditions.
Some foods to avoid or limit are:
- Saturated Fats
- Processed Foods
- Omega-6 Fatty Acids
- Unhealthy Oil
- White Bread
- White Pasta
- Junk Food
It may also be a good idea to limit your intake of gluten in your diet. However, if you suspect at any point that gluten is triggering your inflammation, you may want to remove gluten altogether. You can then see if your symptoms improve.
Make the Transition of Your New Diet Easier with These Diet Tips
As we understand that transitioning from one diet to another can be challenging, we have put together a few tips. Hopefully our tips will help you through the process. Once you have settled into your new routine you should find it easy. Soon, your new diet will become second nature. However, getting there may take a bit of time. When you are used to consuming processed foods and foods that cause inflammation, it can be a hard habit to break.
- Gradually introduce anti-inflammatory foods
- Your plate should be colorful
- Consume a variety of fruits and vegetables
- Allow yourself healthy snacks
- Replace your fast food or unhealthy meals slowly
- Reduce excess alcohol consumption
- Swap carbonated beverages with mineral water
- Consider supplements such as multivitamins and cod liver oil
It is also important to note that no single food item will help boost your health. You do this by adopting an anti-inflammatory diet. One that consists of a variety of healthy foods. Variety is key! When shopping for your new anti-inflammatory foods, keep in mind that fresh is best. Many processed foods can change the nutritional content, reducing the health impact of the food.
You should also be checking any premade food you purchase. Ensure that it is healthy and not full of sugar or unhealthy fats. For example, just because a premade food item includes healthy foods, does not mean that it is healthy. A premade sandwich may look healthy, but when you read the ingredients you realize that it contains a lot of additives.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, an anti-inflammatory diet can help reduce inflammation. If your inflammation is a result of a medical condition, adopting a new diet can help. Once you have settled into your new anti-inflammatory diet and removed foods that cause inflammation, you should notice improvement.
If you suffer from a chronic medical condition that is linked to your joint inflammation diet, you should talk to your healthcare professional. Your health care professional will be able to offer advice on the best foods. They may also suggest natural, anti-inflammatory supplements, and a diet based on your circumstance.