When foreign objects or species enter your body, inflammation will occur to protect your health. However, nowadays, chronic inflammation happens even without a foreign invader threatening your body. This problem may eventually lead to serious ailments such as arthritis, diabetes, depression, cancer, and heart diseases. Fortunately, you can prevent and fight this health problem, but the solution is not in the drug store. The products you consume can help strengthen your body. So, what are the best anti-inflammatory foods you can add to your diet?
1. Cruciferous Vegetables
The most common sources of healthful substances are leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, collard greens, and swiss chard. These bitter foods are rich in glucosinolates, compounds with strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. These substances are the reason for the popularity of cruciferous vegetables in combating certain ailments like cancer and heart diseases.
However, keep in mind that cruciferous vegetables are not the only products that have anti-inflammatory properties. A lot of colorful veggies can help improve your health. Take the orange and yellow-colored vegetables as examples. These crops are rich in carotenoids, antioxidants that promote healthy skin and vision.
Aside from veggies, berries are also among the best anti-inflammatory foods you should add to your diet. As you know, these tasty fruits are rich in anthocyanins that can fight free radicals and reduce inflammation. In addition, quercetin is another valuable substance in dark-colored berries. Basically, aside from being a strong anti-inflammatory agent, researchers believe that quercetin can also protect your brain against cognitive decline.
The best part about berries is that they are available year round. If they are not in season, you can opt for frozen fruits, which have almost the same nutrient contents as their fresh counterparts.
3. Healthy Fats
If you’re familiar with the Mediterranean diet, olive oil is one of the staple ingredients in this regimen or meal plan. The main reason is due to the product’s monounsaturated fats and polyphenols that provide numerous health benefits, including reducing inflammation. In fact, one study revealed that the oleocanthal in olive oil has similar properties to the anti-inflammatory drug ibuprofen. However, if you want to reap the health benefits of this natural product, you should opt for extra-virgin olive oil.
Moreover, natural oils are not the only choices. Avocado is another excellent product because of its monounsaturated fats that can also reduce inflammation.
4. Seeds and Nuts
Seeds and nuts are other excellent plant sources of omega-3. In fact, adding some walnuts and olive oil to your leafy salad recipes will result in a nourishing anti-inflammatory meal. Nuts are also great snack you can eat to satisfy your hunger or boost your energy.
Edible seeds may have a tiny structure, but these products are nutrient-dense. As such, these minute products are among the best anti-inflammatory foods you can add to your diet. Some varieties of seeds are also rich in fiber, which can help promote a healthy gut.
5. Herbal Teas
If you’re searching for beverages that can reduce swelling, various herbal teas can provide this effect. One, in particular, is green tea. As you know, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is the most valuable substance in this healthful drink. Basically, EGCG has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can help lower your risk of obesity, cancer, heart problems, and Alzheimer’s disease. Other herbal infusions you can sip are chamomile, rooibos, and ginger tea.
6. Red Wine
Aside from tea, sipping a glass or two of red wine can also offer health benefits. According to a research, red wine has resveratrol, a compound that can reduce inflammation. However, a study also revealed that excessive intake of red wine may lead to high amounts of pro-inflammatory cytokines in your body. As such, always drink red wine in moderation – about one glass for women and two for men.
7. Herbs and Spices
The last in this list of the best anti-inflammatory foods are herbs and spices, which you can use to flavor your recipes. There are numerous healing herbs and spices available on the market. However, turmeric is the most popular product that possesses anti-inflammatory effects. This healing property is due to the spice’s curcumin contents. You can also combine turmeric and black pepper to enhance your body’s absorption of curcumin.
Other herbs and spices with anti-inflammatory effects are ginger, garlic, cinnamon, rosemary, basil, and chili peppers.
The next time you’re feeling sore or inflamed, use this guide to restore your health naturally.