Foods That Fight Inflammation

When we think of the causes of inflammation in the body, we often think of it as part of our bodies defence system against injuries and invading bacterial viruses, however, there is such a thing as too much inflammation, particularly when it comes to how our diet affects our body. We have spoken to Canyon Ranch to see how changing our diet can reduce inflammation.

In contrary to acute inflammation, inflammation, which may just be with short-lived discomfort or swelling, chronic inflammation can linger for long periods anywhere in the body—from blood vessels to joints to organs to cells. This may not raise a big flag, nonetheless, even low-grade chronic inflammation can put you at risk for heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and certain types of cancer. Your issues may be because of your genetics, environment, stress or your diet. Eating inflammation-fighting foods can keep things in check, especially since some of the other risk factors for chronic inflammation are beyond your control. A diet that is anti-inflammatory can be very similar to those wanting to lose weight: Reduce sugar, processed foods, refined flour and so on. If you are already taking these steps, here are a few additional measures. 

Choose Quality Fatty Acids

Every cell membrane in the body contains fatty acids. It has been shown that Omega-3 fatty acids may lower inflammation and improve heart health. Many of us are taking in far more omega-6s than we need and not enough omega-3. These omega-3s are found in food such as leafy green vegetables, walnuts, whole soy foods, fish, flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, canola oil and grass-fed animal meats. Omega-6s are found in nuts, seeds and vegetable oils like corn, sunflower, safflower and soybean oils.
In order to make that shift towards anti-inflammatory fatty acids:

Choose oils and fats wisely - It is best to use unprocessed fats and heat-treated oils, Replace corn and sunflower oils with canola or extra-virgin olive oil, which contains fewer omega-6s. 

Eat more fish - Fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies and sardines are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Cry to get two to three servings a week. Most of us can improve our intake of fish by taking fish oil. In addition, fish is also an excellent source of vitamin D, which is also anti-inflammatory. 

Include whole - food sources of fat - Aim for one to two servings a day of nuts, seeds, avocado, ground or chia seeds. Walnuts and pumpkin seeds are particularly anti-inflammatory if eaten raw or lightly toasted at home. 

Minimize arachidonic acid from food - This omega-6 fatty acid may increase inflammation. The biggest sources are the visible fat on cuts of meat. Meats that are also high in saturated fat can promote the build-up of plaque in the vessels that often lead to heart disease. Try to trim all meat fat that you can see and when eating eggs try to choose the omega-3 enriched variety. 

Try Probiotics

Probiotics or healthy bacteria plays an anti-inflammatory role in our bodies. You can find them in fermented foods like kimchi and kombucha drinks. Pobiotic supplements may be an option for some people, too. 

Look Through Your Food at Home

Many anti-inflammatory foods contain salicylate, the same active ingredient found in aspirin and are often found in our cupboards. 

  • Cinnamon 
  • Curry powder
  • Dill powder
  • Fenugreek powder
  • Garam masala
  • Honey
  • Mustard powder
  • Oregano
  • Paprika
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Tarragon
  • Thyme
  • Turmeric
  • Worcestershire sauce

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