Top 10 Natural Anti-inflammatory Foods

Natural Anti-inflammatory Foods

Inflammation is more than just a sign of injury; it's also one of the most common indications of infection and disease as. Inflammation increases the risk of a wide range of health problems, including heart disease, cancer, and many autoimmune diseases.   The Standard American Diet (SAD) includes a lot of processed foods high in calories, sugar and saturated fats that cause inflammation.  

There are a growing number of studies that show the impact of the SAD diet, including an NCBI research paper that concluded "While today's modern diet may provide beneficial protection from micro- and macronutrient deficiencies, our over abundance of calories and the macronutrients that compose our diet may all lead to increased inflammation, reduced control of infection, increased rates of cancer, and increased risk for allergic and auto-inflammatory disease.:"

When our immune system over reacts and begins to attack healthy body cells and tissues, it can trigger autoimmune disorder like fibromyalgia, leaky gut, arthritis, celiac, irritable bowel syndrome (IBD). and many others..  Reducing inflammation can help to improve body and brain function and restore your body to full health. Below, we've listed a few of the best anti-inflammatory foods to add to your diet to combat inflammation the natural way:

Celery

Natural Anti-inflammatory Foods

Celery is one of the most underrated foods in your fridge! Not only is it loaded with dietary fiber—good for both digestion and weight loss — but it's an excellent food to promote a healthy electrolyte balance.

Celery can increase potassium while moderating sodium, preventing water retention and inflammation. Celery seeds are potent anti-inflammatory agents that can fight off bacteria, and celery as a whole is a great way to get more antioxidants in your life

Dark, leafy greens

The darker and leafier, the better! Bok choy, kale, Swiss chard, spinach, and arugula are just a few of the dark leafy greens that can help to counteract inflammation. The high Vitamin K content of these greens reduces oxidative stress and free radical damage in not just your body, but in your brain as well. The anti-inflammatory properties of these leafy greens make them an excellent addition to your diet.

Beets

Few veggies contain as many antioxidants as beets. Antioxidants give the beets their dark purple color and rich flavor. Beets are loaded with a wide variety of free radical killers that that help to promote a healthier mineral balance in your body. The magnesium in beets will help to prevent inflammation, and ensures your body is able to process calcium (needed for healthy bones).

Beets basically help your body to get enough minerals without overdoing it, leading to less inflammation and better overall function.

Pineapple

Pineapple is so much more than just the base of every delicious tropical cocktail. It's the best source of bromelain, an enzyme that promotes digestion and reduces inflammation in the digestive tract. Bromelain can improve immune function by preventing unnecessary inflammation, giving your white blood cells access to whatever pathogens or carcinogens are causing the inflammation.

The enzyme can also prevent blood clots and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. Thanks to the potassium, Vitamin C, and B vitamins in pineapple, you can fight inflammation the natural way.

Blueberries

Natural Anti-inflammatory Foods

All dark berries contain antioxidants, but few of them contain as many as blueberries. Blueberries are loaded with a potent antioxidant called quercetin, which can help to reduce inflammation and may even be an effective cancer-killer. Quercetin is able to treat inflammation in the digestive tract and improve overall digestive health. It can also reduce inflammatory bowel disease, protect your body from oxidative stress, and combat indigestion. Definitely a good reason to eat more blueberries.

Broccoli

For those with sensitive stomachs, broccoli is usually associated with bloating and gas. However, for the average person, broccoli is all good with no negative side effects.

Broccoli's dark green color gives you a clear indication of just how nutritious it is. It's loaded with Vitamin C, folic acid, and both magnesium and potassium. These minerals are powerful anti-inflammatory agents that will combat low-grade swelling in your body. Broccoli also contains a lot of antioxidants, including flavonoids and carotenoids that can prevent inflammation. They're one of the best anti-inflammatory foods to add to your meal plan.

Salmon

Natural Anti-inflammatory Foods

Salmon is loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are healthy saturated fats your body needs in order to function. One of their primary purposes is to keep your brain working properly, but they also play a role in fighting inflammation.

Omega-3 fatty acids are heart-smart foods, as they reduce arterial swelling and improve heart muscle function. Omega-3s can also reduce swelling around the joints, preventing arthritis pain and flare-ups. If you want to fight inflammation the natural way, eat more fish—not just salmon, but tuna, mackerel, sardines, and pretty much every other fatty fish!

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is another one of those epic anti-inflammatory foods to add to a healthy diet. The oil is rich in both saturated and unsaturated fats, which makes it useful for treating inflammation in the body. A study performed in India found that virgin coconut oil decreased inflammatory genes such as COX-2, iNOS, TNF-α and IL-6 along with the concentration of thiobarbituric acid reactive substance, while it increased Antioxidant enzymes.

Coconut oil is one of the best sources of antioxidants that can reduce inflammation. In fact, the antioxidants may work better than even some of the more common anti-inflammatory medications.

The fats also encourage weight loss—specifically fat loss.

Bone Broth

Bone broth is a unique food. It's made by boiling beef or pork bones. The boiling extracts a lot of the nutrients from within the bones, including silica, calcium, sulfur, phosphorus, and magnesium. All of these minerals play a role in healthy body function, and they can help to counteract low-grade inflammation common with chronic disease.

Bone broth is also rich in glucosamine and chondroitin sulfates, both of which are joint-friendly nutrients. They can prevent inflammation around the joint, particularly arthritis.

Artichoke (cooked)

Natural Anti-inflammatory Foods

Artichokes are not a vegetable as most people think, but are actually an unusual variety of thistle! However, this thistle has many health benefits as it strengthens your immune system, lowers cholesterol levels, and protects against diabetes, heart attacks, alzheimer's, atherosclerosis and stroke. Artichokes also serve to detoxify your body and improve your liver health, and aid in digestive issues like diarrhea , indigestion, constipation, and IBS.According to a recent study done by the USDA which researchers say is the most comprehensive to date,

Artichokes ranked #1 for antioxidant levels out of all vegetables, and ranked #7 for antioxidant levels out of 1,000 plants and different types of foods. The antioxidant properties of artichokes is derived from a couple of sources, the most important being high levels of polyphenols that have chemopreventive qualities, which means they can reduce, halt, or even reverse cancer in a patient. Their antioxidant properties are augmented by their high levels of quercetin and rutin, two important antioxidants that have been proven to reduce the chances of developing cancer.

Bonus Snack and Supplement Anti-inflammatory Foods:

Here are a few other anti-inflammatory snacks, spices, and supplements that you can take between meals or add to your meals. These can provide a huge health benefit if you substitute any of your snack foods that are high in refined sugar or saturated fats with the following choices.

  • Turmeric Extract - Tumeric Extract includes Curcumin which is well known for its potent anti-inflammatory properties. The compound has been shown to inhibit both the activity and the synthesis of 5-lipooxygenase (5-LOX) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2), as well as other enzymes that have been found to cause inflammation. Research has found that a turmeric extract made up of curcuminoids blocks inflammatory pathways, effectively preventing the launch of a protein that triggers swelling and pain. It has been effectively used to reduce pain, and does not have the adverse side effects of using non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) such as Ibuprofen and naproxen and analgesics like Tylenol.
  • Chia Seeds This seed is grown in South America and Mexico and were eaten originally by the Mayan and Aztecs who associated them with strength. These seeds are widely consumed for numerous health benefits due to presence of phenolic acid and omega 3/6 oil which is important to maintain healthy serum lipid level. These antioxidants protect the sensitive fats in the seeds from going rancid, and can have positive effects on health. Most importantly, antioxidants fight the production of free radicals, which can damage molecules in cells and contribute to ageing and diseases like cancer
  • Flax Seeds This little seed is known as one of the most powerful plant foods. There’s some evidence it may help reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes The Babylon’s cultivated flaxseed as early as 3000 BC and in the 8th century, King Charlemagne passed laws requiring his subjects to consume it due to his belief of health benefits.

    Flax seeds have 3 important healthy components:

    - Omega-3 essential fatty acids, "good" fats are heart-healthy and reduce cardiac disease. Each tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains about 1.8 grams of plant omega-3s.
    - Omega-3 essential fatty acids, "good" fats are heart-healthy and reduce cardiac disease. Each tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains about 1.8 grams of plant omega-3s.
    - Lignans are antioxidants that have both soluble and insoluble fiber. They also have anti-estrogenic effects. Flaxseed contains 75 to 800 times more lignans than other plant foods.

  • Ginger The Chinese and Indians have used ginger tonics to treat ailments foralmost 5,000 years, and it was a priceless commodity during the Roman Empire trade around the time of Christ because of its medicinal properties. Ginger contains very potent anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols. These gingerols are believed to be the reason why so many people with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis experience reductions in their pain levels and improvements in their mobility when they consume ginger regularly.
  • Cinnamon.  Some researchers have rated cinnamon #1 in terms of its protective antioxidant levels, out of twenty-six of the most popular herbs and spices commonly used today. The health benefits of cinnamon are derived from the bark of the Cinnamon tree which contains several special compounds that are responsible for its many health promoting properties. This includes cinnamaldehyde, cinnamic acid, and cinnamate.

    Researchers have determined that the health benefits of cinnamon can be obtained in the form of its pure bark, essential oils, in ground spice form (bark powder), or in extract form when its special phenolic compounds, flavonoids, and antioxidants are isolated. As little as 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon daily can have positive effects on blood sugar levels, digestion, immunity, and more. However stronger doses are needed for improving heart disease risk and reducing your risk for cancer, diabetes, and neuro-degenerative diseases like Alzheimer's.
  • Chile Pepper - The health benefits of chili peppers is due to it’s high concentration of capsaicin that acts as an anti-inflammatory agent, reducing or alleviating the pain and swelling of sore joints. It also helps to increase blood flow and can ease rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and diabetic neuropathy.
  • COQ10 - It is a fat-soluble, vitamin-like compound found in every cell of your body. COQ10 is used by the mitochondria (“power plants”) of cells to produce energy and is found in highest concentration in cells of organs like the heart that require large amounts of energy.. Although your body naturally produces CoQ10, a deficiency may occur due to use of statin drugs, low dietary intake, disease or high CoQ10 use by the body. Symptoms of a deficiency include heart failure, high blood pressure, and chest pain.

    CoQ10 also functions as a powerful antioxidant, and studies show a benefit for use to treat heart disease. Antioxidants help protect cells from free radical damage. Free radicals are harmful compounds generated during normal body processes, such as breathing and digestion, but also upon exposure to environmental influences such as chemicals, smoke, and UV sunlight. Free radicals attack healthy cells, damaging their membranes, DNA and other components, compromising normal cell function.

All of these foods are 100% healthy, so they deserve a place on your menu. They will improve your digestion, increase your mineral intake, provide antioxidants, and deliver the fatty acids your body needs to function properly. You'd do well to emphasize these foods when trying to deal with inflammation, especially if you have an autoimmune disease,. If you switch from eating processed foods loaded with sugar and saturated fats to eating some of these natural anti-inflammatory foods you'll feel healthier and reduce your chance of many diseases.

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