We hear about inflammation all the time and what it can do to our bodies. Inflammation can be a factor in a myriad of diseases including Alzheimer’s, arthritis, cardiovascular, cancer, diabetes type 2, and pulmonary diseases. So inflammation something we need to watch as we age.
What causes inflammation in the body?
Inflammation is the body’s natural defense and repair mechanism. It is necessary to hea and repair cells, injuries, and trap bacteria and viruses. However, too much inflammation is a ticking bomb for future disease states. Several things can cause inflammation. For simplicity sake, we’ll say that any harmful stimuli such as harmful foods, irritants, or pathogens and trauma such as a bruise or injury can cause inflammation. There are two types of inflammation, acute and chronic. Acute lasts for a short time and things such as a rash or minor injury are examples of acute inflammation. Chronic inflammation is the main one we need to be worried about long-term. Chronic inflammation can eventually cause several diseases and conditions, including some cancers, rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis, and periodontitis.
Foods That Fight Inflammation
This potent vegetable contains the inflammation-fighting flavanoid kaempferol. Broccoli also contains sulforaphane which experts claim helps the body cleanse itself of cancer-causing compounds. So your mom was right, EAT YOUR VEGGIES!
Walnuts and any food that contains a high level of alpha linoleic acid (ALA) are potent inflammation fighters. In a 2004 study in the Journal of Nutrition researchers found eating 2.3 ounces of walnuts and flaxseed daily reduced levels of C-reative protein, a marker of inflammation.
Cranberries and Grapes
Rich in antioxidants and reserveratrol, both of these fruits fight inflammation by different routes. There are many other health benefits with regards to this pairing as well. Remember, there are more benefits by eating them than drinking them with the exception of grapes. Red wine has long been known to promote heart health and have anti-inflammatory properties. Again, this can be linked to the grapes used to produce it.
Salmon and other oily fish
Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, salmon, sardines, and tuna all help to reduce inflammation and improve one’s cholesterol. Many experts agree to consume at least two servings of these types of fish per week or supplement with a high-quality fish oil supplement.
Regular beef has been raised on a diet of corn and grain. Corn and grain are full of omega-6 fatty acids which have been linked to increased inflammation. Grass-fed cows are leaner thus providing less fat while being richer in omega-3 fatty acids which fight inflammation. Look for grass-fed protein? Prescription Nutrition has whey and casein from grass-fed USA cows.
Pick any tea, other than sweet tea, and it will be full of catechins, a type of antioxidant compound, that reduce artery plaque and inflammation. Tea also has many other health benefits.
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
The ingredient in EVOO, oleocanthol, has been found to interfere with COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes in the body. It does so in an identical way to ibuprofen. One less pill you have to take.
We hope this was enlightening or at least helpful in providing you a few natural ways to reduce inflammation. Everything cannot be fixed with drugs and medicine. Sometimes prevention is the best protection. As always, feel free to comment or continue the discussion further by leaving comments.