Acute Inflammation is important to help your body heal infections and injuries. These days, however, many people suffer from chronic inflammation due to our fast-paced modern lifestyle and poor nutritional choices.
Chronic inflammation is the culprit of premature aging and many diseases such as arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes, heart diseases, chronic joint pain, Alzheimer’s, food intolerances, and even some types of cancer.
Nutrition is a very powerful way to keep your body healthy and inflammation-free. Avoid processed food, refined grains, sugar, hydrogenated oils, and trans fats and add more nutritious, healing anti-inflammatory foods to your diet.
Here are 16 foods you should include in your diet to prevent and fight chronic inflammation
The fruit papaya is loaded with antioxidants and protein-digesting enzymes which help reduce or prevent inflammation.
Berries are packed with antioxidants and other beneficial phytonutrients that fight inflammation and cell damage. They are a great addition to smoothies, salads, or desserts. Always opt for organic berries, most conventional are heavily sprayed with nasty chemicals.
Muraleedharan Nair, Ph.D., professor of natural products and chemistry at Michigan State University, found that cherry extract is up to 10 times more efficient to cure inflammation than Aspirin. Although these experiments were done with pure cherry extract, adding sweet or tart cherries to your diet will definitely have some effect too and won’t harm your body.
4. Citrus fruits
Vitamin C is the main component in the citrus fruits. Along with that, there are other anti-inflammatory antioxidants in the fruits as well. Start your day with the healing power of lemons, limes, oranges or grapefruits. For instance, we always start our day with lukewarm lemon water. Click here to learn more about why you should start your day with lemon water.
Bromelain is an enzyme found in pineapples. It can reduce inflammatory pain and swelling in both osteoporosis and arthritis. As a matter of fact, pineapple works great in smoothies or baked in savory dishes to add a sweet-and-sour zing.
I love avocados and can’t wait till we live in Asia to grow my own trees. Avocados protect your cells against inflammation and free radical damage. Not to mention, they are loaded with antioxidants, and vitamins (C and E). Along with this, they also have minerals that include selenium, manganese, and zinc. Additionally, they are full with the anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids.
Add them to salads, salsas, soups, smoothies, dressing or desserts.
7. Chia, Flax Or Hemp Seeds
All three are good sources of inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids. In fact, chia seeds are my absolute favorite because they are easy to come by. Moreover, they don’t need to be ground to release their beneficial compounds. Furthermore, I love chia seeds jams, and puddings. And I also add them by the spoon in my green smoothies to give an extra energy kick.
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Almonds, and other nuts like walnuts or Brazil nuts, are another great source of healthy fats. In addition to this, they also contain antioxidants to fight and repair the damage caused by inflammation.
Celery protects your cells against free radical and inflammatory damage. One study found 20 anti-inflammatory compounds in celery or its seeds. In short, add celery to your smoothies, soups, and stews for a healthy diet. Additionally, they can even be used as a healthy substitute for salt. Click here to learn more about the different types of salt or sodium.
Antioxidants make up the beets, which give this vegetable its bright red color. Also, they are a rich source of vitamin C, fiber, and betalains to reduce inflammation. Along with this, they can protect your body against cancer and heart diseases
Tomatoes are an excellent source of lycopene. And this might also help to reduce chronic inflammation. Did you know that cooked tomatoes contain even more lycopene than raw?
12. Dark Leafy Greens
Vitamin E may play a significant role in protecting our body against cytokines, which are known to cause inflammation. Moreover, dark leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables also contain many other beneficial nutrients. And these are also high in alkaline material to alleviate inflammation.
Ginger is well known for its belly soothing and anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, studies show that it is as effective as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and aspirin. Additionally, this versatile, delicious root adds zing to your dressings, stir-fries, soups, teas, smoothies, and juices.
Turmeric is another great spice with strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. In fact, it has shown some great results in relieving chronic pain caused by arthritis. And some even claim it to work better than some pharmaceutical drugs like Motrin and hydrocortisone. Furthermore, turmeric can be added to your teas, soups, stir-fries, rice, and smoothies. But don’t forget to add some black pepper as well. And this is to increase the bioavailability of turmeric’s active and healing ingredient, curcumin.
15. Cayenne Pepper
Capsaicin is the active ingredient of cayenne pepper known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Moreover, it has shown some great results in treating chronic painful gout and joint pain
As a matter of fact, carrots and other bright orange-colored vegetables like squash and sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A and beta-carotene, which fight inflammation. To take their full benefit, it is better to eat them cooked to increase their availability.
Consequently, inflammation is the culprit of many diseases. And if you add these 16 foods regularly to your diet, it would help your body to protect its cells and fight inflammation from the inside out. Not to mention, avoid inflammation causing foods such as processed foods, refined carbohydrates, sugar, gluten, casein, hydrogenated vegetable oils, and Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) as much as possible.
If you are interested in changing your lifestyle and/or lose pounds, while fighting chronic inflammation and heal your body from the inside out, click here.
Thanks for reading. Until next time!
Crazy cat lady, life and food lover, certified biologist, and holistic health coach.