Inflammation is a biological process during which the immune system sends out inflammatory responders and cytokines.
Broadly speaking, there are two types of inflammation: acute and chronic. Acute inflammation is the immediate response to any physical damage, such as a bruise or injury. The body sends inflammatory cells to the injury site to repair and start the healing process.
However, chronic inflammation is a condition where the body constantly sends out similar signals. It's generally related to medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or fatty liver. Symptoms of acute inflammation include swelling and pain. Chronic inflammation is associated with fever, joint pain, weakness, skin rashes, fatigue, chest pain, and abdominal pain.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, fatty liver, asthma, and polycystic ovarian syndrome are some conditions associated with chronic inflammation. Smoking and the consumption of alcohol also contributes to this type of inflammation.
Best Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Foods containing antioxidants and naturally occuring anti-inflammatory compounds are known to help lower both acute and chronic inflammation in the body.
When consumed regularly, these foods often help people with medical conditions like diabetes. These food items are widely available and can be incorporated in any type of diet.
So, let's have a look at the five best anti-inflammatory foods:
Broccoli is a suporfood and is ideal for a weight loss diet. It's versatile and can be added to a variety of food items.
It's rich in Vitamin C, which is an antioxidant. Broccoli is known to prevent certain diseases due to the beneficial plant compounds present. These compounds have both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Brocccolis are also rich in dietary fibers, which keep the gut healthy.
2) Green Tea
Green tea is a popular drink and loved by many. It's refreshing and can be consumed at any time of day. It contains L-theanine and epigallocatechin-3-gallate, which have anti-inflammatory properties.
These chemicals act by reducing pro-inflammatory cytokine production and preventing damage to fatty acids susceptible to oxidation, preventing inflammation.
Berries contain antioxidants called anthocyanins, which are compounds with anti-inflammatory effects. These fruits, including blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries are superfoods. They are also high in dietary fiber and help promote good gut bacteria and a healthy gut.
Berries prevent constipation and flatulence. They are also known to lower the risk of heart disease and some cancers. Beneficial plant compounds present in berries are also useful for mental health and may prevent dementia and mental decline.
4) Fatty Fish
Fatty fish are rich in protein and contain omega-3 fatty acids known as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The best fatty fish are sardines, herring, salmon, mackerel, and anchovies.
EPA and DHA help reduce inflammation and prevent heart disease, diabetes, and kidney disease. Studies have found that regular consumption of fatty fish helps reduce C-reactive protein, which is a marker for inflammation.
Turmeric is a popular Indian spice with an earthy flavor used in curries and other Indian dishes. It contains curcumin, a powerful anti-inflammatory compound. Turmeric is known to reduce inflammation related to arthritis, type 2 diabetes, and other diseases.
Studies have found that turmeric also reduces CRP, which is an inflammatory marker. Isolated curcumin as a supplement is more effective than turmeric alone. Curcumin supplements are often combined with piperine from peppers, which increases curcumin absorption.
Inflammation can be acute or chronic in nature and are associated with various disorders and diseases. It’s important to limit the consumption of inflammatory foods and increase the consumption of foods that are anti-inflammatory.
Fried food and partially hydrogenated seed oils are rich in omega 6 fatty acids, which are highly inflammatory compounds. Other foods like sugar and refined carbs have also been shown to aid inflammation.
Foods rich in antioxidants and naturally occuring anti-inflammatory compounds can help reduce inflammation and prevent many conditions. These foods are widely available and can be incorporated into the diet easily. People with chronic inflammatory conditions should take regular advice from health professionals.