REDUCING INFLAMMATION WITH HEALTHY EATING

Inflammation is the body’s response to external stimuli that have been internalized. When the body intercepts diet or environment harmful to the body, it releases chemicals to fight the foreign invader, and the response that is mounted is termed inflammation. While inflammation is essential for our survival, it also brings with it unwanted changes, such as aging and degeneration. On the inside, inflammation can lead to chronic conditions such as diabetes, liver disease and cardiac problems.

Our life styles have a significant effect on the inflammation going on within us, and can greatly reduce or increase it. Nature holds within itself the cure to most of man’s ailments, and inflammation is no different. There are certain foods that can tackle ongoing stress within our bodies very well, and can curb unwanted effects of aging and damage to our body. Some of the foods that have been proven to help our body fight off stress are listed below.

BERRIES

Berries contain potent antioxidants called anthocyanins, which protect against free radical damage and have anti-inflammatory effects. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are some common berries you might like to include.

BROCCOLI

Broccoli contains superstar substances, such as sulforaphane and indoles, as well as being high in vitamin C. Indoles are phytochemical substances that behave like antioxidants, reduce inflammation and have been shown to support healthy estrogen metabolism. Sulforaphane is an antioxidant and stimulator of natural detoxifying enzymes. Studies show that people who regularly eat plenty of cruciferous vegetables have reduced incidences of many cancers.

GINGER

Aside from adding flavour to your meals, ginger contains gingerol, an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory substance. It’s also a natural remedy for nausea and may assist in relieving pain.

OILY FRESH FISH

Oily fish such as salmon and mackerel contain the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which are known for their powerful anti-inflammatory actions. They take up residence in the membrane (outside layer) of the cell and are able to exert their anti-inflammatory effects to keep the cells flexible.

EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats as well as polyphenols, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Extra virgin olive oil contains more antioxidants than a refined option.

TURMERIC

This spice contains curcumin, a substance with potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Add turmeric to curries or enjoy a turmeric tea.

Remember that any food that contains antioxidants is also great for helping to reduce inflammation through the mopping up of free radicals to prevent oxidative damage. An abundance of antioxidants are mostly found in colourful plants.

 

Dr. Annie

Physician, mom and wife

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