As I talked about in our last post on diet and inflammation, occasional inflammation is part of our body’s natural response to injury or certain immune system triggers. But many Americans battle out-of-control chronic inflammation. And that sort of inflammation is going to have a major impact on your health.
Chronic inflammation is often related to the foods we do and don’t eat. Some foods, like the ones we talked about in a previous post, cause inflammation flare-ups. Other foods like the ones we’re talking about today can reduce the number of flare-ups and lessen the pain you’re in.
These Foods Will Help. Eat Them!
Most of the foods that will help battle chronic inflammation are the same things health experts would advise you to eat anyway. Here are the best foods you can eat to fight inflammation with your diet:
Eating more fiber is going to help your body fight inflammation. It’s important to opt for whole, unrefined grains instead of eating processed white flours. Adding oatmeal and healthy rices to your diet and opting for whole-grain types of bread is a good starting place. Beans are another high-fiber food, plus they also contain antioxidants and other anti-inflammatory nutrients.
Trans fats and saturated fats will trigger inflammation. But healthy fats will help you fight it. The type of fats found in olive oil, avocados, and nuts is what you want to go for. About a handful of nuts like walnuts or almonds a day is enough to make a difference in how you feel.
Omega-3 fatty acids help you fight inflammation. You’ll find high concentrations of it in salmon, tuna, mackerel, and sardines. Researchers advise eating a serving of fish at least twice a week. You can also get part of your omega-3s from spirulina algae.
Adding a wide variety of different vegetables to your diet is going to be a big help in fighting inflammation. Red peppers, beets, and tomatoes are all good choices. Also, make sure your diet includes vitamin K-rich broccoli, cabbage, and leafy greens like spinach and kale. Research shows they’re especially helpful in fighting inflammation.
You’ll also want a wide variety of fruits in your diet. As a general rule, the more colorful the better. Cherries, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries, for example, get their color from a type of pigment that fights inflammation. Pineapple is another good option.
Certain herbs and spices are powerful inflammation fighters. Turmeric is one of the best things you can add to your diet if you want to stop inflammation in its tracks. It contains high levels of an inflammation-fighting substance called curcumin. Garlic and ginger are two other spices that can help.
Eating an anti-inflammatory diet isn’t an instant cure for inflammation-related conditions like colitis, diverticulitis, fibromyalgia, and rheumatoid arthritis. But taking inflammation triggers out of your diet and eating more anti-inflammatory foods is definitely going to help you in a fight against chronic pain.