Inflammation is natural. It is a part of life. As such, it can be good or bad.
On one hand, inflammation helps fight against infections and injuries. On the other, when chronic, it can lead to disease.
Our food intake dictates how our bodies will react. If you take a bite out of a big and juicy burger, you will get quite the flavorful experience, a lot of protein, and also some unwanted and potentially unhealthy doses of cholesterol.
It is common knowledge that a lot of our favorite foods are not all that good for us.
Processed meats and refined carbohydrates have their disadvantages. Among these include the fact that they promote unwarranted inflammation that can lead to significant weight gain and possibly serious diseases.
Worry not! What tastes good may be good for your health as well. Here are twelve foods that fight inflammation:
The first food on the alphabet of this list is the avocado.
Avocados are unique fruits that are full of healthy fats rather than carbohydrates. If you have made an oath to live healthily, integrating the avocado into your diet is a must.
That avocados are delicious is just a bonus. It boasts a wide range of benefits for all who fawn over its truly exceptional flavor.
Among the many benefits of avocados include high levels of Vitamins K, B, and C. It is also full of potassium, magnesium, and fiber, and only the good kind of fat.
The fat that can be found in an avocado is called oleic acid. Oleic acids do great work in reducing inflammation in patches of younger skin cells.
With that being said, avocados help get rid of cells that are no longer good for you, and then nurture and protect the new ones.
Jump on the bandwagon of the avocado craze. People are definitely going crazy over it for a reason.
Next up on the list are the fiber-packed pearls that are berries.
Small as they may be, these little fruits are full of vitamins and minerals.
Do you fancy strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries? Whatever variety of berries you pick, the nutritional benefits you will reap will still be the same.
You may not know it, but berries have antioxidants whose anti-inflammatory effects reduce the general risk of disease.
While part of the nutrients you get from berries work toward fighting inflammation, the other keeps your immune system at bay by helping produce the natural killer cells it needs.
That is why you should never take for granted those little blue balls on top of your cheesecake.
Next time you start craving for sweets, opt for this natural source of sugar instead.
Television shows have conditioned us to look at broccoli and think that this is the absolute worst out of all the vegetables out there. Whoever wrote those television shows probably never had broccoli well-cooked.
Broccoli is extremely delicious when paired with the right entree or mixed in well with a good pasta sauce. It is extremely nutritious as well.
Like its fellow cruciferous vegetables brussels sprouts and kale, broccoli is known to help decrease the risk of serious illnesses such as heart disease and cancer.
This is probably because each bite of broccoli has tons of antioxidants brewing from within.
The antioxidant sulforaphane actively lowers levels of cytokines in a system once released inside it. This allows for the reduction of inflammation in areas where the body do not warrant it.
There are a lot more benefits inside the cherry on top of the cake than the cake itself. 100 grams worth of a cheesecake automatically adds more than 300 calories into your system. The same amount in cherries will yield only a sixth of that, but do wonders for your health.
Aside from being delicious, cherries also contain a variety of antioxidants such as anthocyanins and catechins. If ever you want someone to fight the inflammation in your body for you, these are your guys.
Anthocyanins do not only give color to cherries, they give them their anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties as well.
Although catechins are more commonly known to be found in tea particles, they are aplenty in cherries, too. They will give a body the same benefits they would if they had been consumed through tea.
Tea is so good for you because the catechins in it prevent damage from accumulating in your cells. Know now that the same thing goes for cherries.
If you want to lose weight, keep yourself healthy, and have something sweet at the same time, get yourself a bowl of cherries to munch on. Leave the cake in the fridge!
5. Dark Chocolate
Going healthy has never tasted this good.
While so many chocolates pride themselves in being delightfully sinful, dark chocolate revels in the fact that it is the opposite. It is positively sinless.
As are many of the items on this list, dark chocolates are also full of antioxidants. This allows it to help facilitate the reduction of inflammation in the body.
The antioxidants inside it are not the only things that give dark chocolate its anti-inflammatory properties. Its flavonols are also a huge component.
Flavanols are a kind of food compound that helps manage symptoms of cardiovascular disease. They also contain antioxidants that are usually released when the same comes in contact with the inner fluids of the body.
As you can see, there is no need for you to swear off sweets. Simply be mindful of the sweets you take in. There are sweets that are good for you, you just have to figure out which ones they are.
6. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Here is the secret as to why, even in this day and age, the life expectancy of an average Italian is as high as 83 years old: olive oil.
Extra virgin olive oil is a staple in the Mediterranean diet. It is a form of fat, yes. It is probably the healthiest form of fat there is.
The monounsaturated fats in a single drop of olive oil hold tons of health benefits. The antioxidant to thank for this is oleocanthal.
Oleocanthal works like a drug. It is similar to Ibuprofen in the sense that it helps relieve pain. It targets inflammation and reduces it.
Take note of the words “extra virgin” before olive oil. While refined olive oils have their benefits, nothing beats the real deal.
It goes without saying that extra virgin olive oils have more benefits than plain old regular olive oil. It does the job of fighting inflammation better, faster, and so much more effectively.
7. Fatty Fish
You don’t have to give up on eating meat the moment you commit yourself to a purely anti-inflammatory diet.
There are meats that can help you in the fight against inflammation. Fatty fish is such a kind of meat.
Seafood is a great source of protein. Fatty fish, in particular, are full of Omega-3 fatty acids that help prevent inflammation.
When we talk about seafood, the entire ocean is not on the menu. The best fish to take in when working on a healthy diet are salmon, sardines, mackerel, and anchovies.
These fish have docosahexaenoic and eicosapentaenoic acids, or DHA and EHA, respectively. When our bodies are introduced to these fats, new compounds are made.
True to their names, it is the compounds of resolvin and protectin that act as the body’s special task force against the negative effects of inflammation.
Do not be alarmed by the term ‘fats.’ There are good ones and there are bad ones. The ones found in these fish belong to the former.
The antioxidant anthocyanin also make an appearance in grapes. It is what makes this fruit inherently anti-inflammatory.
When there are components in your body that are actively working against inflammation, you are sure to decrease your risk of contracting serious diseases. That is what grapes do for you with their anthocyanins.
Also in grapes is the compound resveratrol. Resveratrol is a plant compound that works on your skin, your joints, and your cartilage.
Like anthocyanin, resveratrol is also an anti-inflammatory antioxidant. As it works to prevent inflammation, it also makes great strides in ensuring that no permanent damage to affected joints occur.
Pop grapes in as snacks, or take them in as wine. Either way, you are sure to receive a limitless pot of health benefits with every bite or sip you take.
Before we go any further, let’s make one thing clear. Mushrooms are not fruits or vegetables. They are fungi.
These gifts of the earth can either be poisonous or edible. When they are poisonous, they can be potentially deadly. When they are edible, they are good for the health.
Mushrooms have virtually no fat in them. However, they have a variety of vitamins seeping from within.
As are many of the other food items on this list, mushrooms are rich in antioxidants. Ergo, they are also great fighters against inflammation.
If you are looking for the antioxidant selenium, mushrooms are where you will best find it. It can help you slow down the process of aging, boost the efficiency of your immune system, and, of course, fight the negative effects of inflammation.
Peppers pack quite the punch. That is true in terms of both flavor and the benefits they bring to a human body.
These flavorful fruits are full of Vitamin C and antioxidants. Thus, they help in maintaining one’s eye health and oxygen levels and fighting undue inflammation.
If you want to be specific about it, different kinds of peppers have different positive effects on the people who eat it.
One of the most common peppers in our kitchen is the bell pepper, and the antioxidants found in it are called quercetins. As time-tested damage repair specialists, you can trust that these are reliable combatants against inflammatory diseases.
Chili peppers, on the other hand, are made of sinapic and ferulic acids. While both substances are anti-inflammatory in nature, sinapic acid, in particular, has proven itself to be quite effective in reversing the effects of aging.
It’s amazing how the mighty pepper can do so much more than set fire to your taste buds. Spicy food is good for you. Go ahead and turn up the spiciness levels of the food you take!
Last but not least on this list is the miracle fruit tomato.
Tomatoes contain almost every imaginable vitamin within its traditionally red walls. If there is a component tomatoes are most famous for, though, it is lycopene.
Lycopene is also an antioxidant that is quite effective when it comes to inflammation. It is the main reason why tomatoes are heaven-sent.
When you put lycopene together with all the other compounds that can be found in a tomato, they make for quite a team. The trio that includes Vitamins C and E do not perform the same functions, and that is exactly the key.
A study shows that all three work to battle inflammation in different ways. Instead of clashing with one another, they complement, making tomatoes an even more fast-acting and efficient kind of anti-inflammatory food.
It is always important to keep in mind that when you see the word diet, there are a lot of things to take into consideration.
Diet does not just mean putting in certain foods on the menu. It also means taking a specific set out.
Remember what we said at the start of this list? Stay away from processed meats and refined carbohydrates, among many others, if you want to commit to an anti-inflammatory diet.
There must be a balance in everything that you do. Focus on these kinds of foods, but don’t forget to exercise.
Physical activity is needed to make sure that the body works the way it is supposed to. Food is just the fuel you put to start the machine. You have to make use of your body if you want to keep it running.
While these foods really do wonders, nothing beats the professional expertise of doctors when you encounter more serious concerns with regard to inflammation.
Get yourself checked if needed! Keep yourself healthy, and take in only good food that is also good for you.