10 Foods You Can Eat to Fight Against Inflammation
Inflammation refers to the process when the immune system defends the body from harmful agents, including bacteria and viruses. For example, when a wound swells up, turns red and hurts, it may be a sign of inflammation. Inflammation can be both good and bad. On the good side, inflammation helps you to defend your body against injury and infection. On the other hand, the immune system fights against the body’s own cells by mistake, causing harmful inflammation in some diseases. Inflammatory foods, stress and low activity levels can increase the risk of getting inflammation. However, choosing the right food may be able to reduce your risk of illness. Here are 10 most anti-inflammation foods you can consume.
There are various types of berries such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. Berries contain antioxidants called anthocyanins. These compounds possess anti-inflammatory properties, which can reduce the risk of disease. Besides, these compounds can boost your immunity system where a study showed that men who consumed blueberries every day produced natural killer cells (NK cells) which are part of the immune system.
Like berries, cherries also contain antioxidants including anthocyanins and catechins, which can help in reducing inflammation. According to a study, those who consume 280 grams of cherries per day for a month had a lower level of the inflammatory marker CRP, which continued low for another 28 days after they stopped eating cherries. You can incorporate cherries in your diet with smoothies, like a yogurt or oatmeal topper or simply on their own for an easy, naturally sweet snack.
Avocados contain potassium, magnesium, fiber and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. A study showed that those who consume a hamburger with a slice of avocado will have a lower level of inflammatory markers NkF-kB and IL-6 compared to those who eat hamburgers alone.
4. Fatty fish
Fatty fish are commonly known to be a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids including EPA and DHA, such as salmons, sardines, herring, mackerels and anchovies. EPA and DHA help to reduce inflammation that can lead to metabolic syndrome, heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease.
Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that can reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer owing to the anti-inflammatory effects of the antioxidants they contain. Broccoli contains sulfophrane, an antioxidant that fights inflammation and reduces cytokines and NF-kB which functions to drive inflammation.
6. Green Tea
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of green tea are mainly due to the compound called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). EGCG reduces pro-inflammatory cytokine synthesis and fatty acid damage in your cells, which helps to reduce inflammation.
Chili peppers and bell peppers are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants that have powerful anti-inflammatory effects. Chili peppers provide sinapic acid and ferulic acid which can reduce inflammation and lead to healthier aging while bell peppers contain antioxidants, quercetin which can help to reduce the oxidative damage in those who is suffering from sarcoidosis, a type of inflammatory disease.
8. Goat Milk
Goat milk contains a higher level of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus compared to cow milk and human milk. Previous studies showed that it is also possessing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, making it useful for treating mild digestive issues and preventing allergy conditions in children.
Tomatoes have always been well known to provide various nutritional benefits. Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C and lycopene with anti-inflammatory properties. Lycopene is helpful in lowering pro-inflammatory chemicals linked to a variety of cancers. According to one study, consuming tomato juice reduced inflammatory markers in women who were overweight but not obese.
Similar to cherries, grapes contain anthocyanins which can help in reducing inflammation. They may also reduce the risk of several diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, and eye problems. A study demonstrated that those with heart disease who consumed grape extract experienced a reduction of inflammatory gene markers, including NF-kB.
InformedHealth.org [Internet]. Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG); 2006-. What is an inflammation? 2010 Nov 23 [Updated 2018 Feb 22]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279298/