Inflammation is the body’s response to threats from injury, foreign bodies and microbes. It’s beneficial in most cases. However, chronic inflammation can lead to health issues, such as heart disease, COPD, cancer and autoimmune diseases, such as lupus. How do you reduce inflammation? What you eat does make a difference. There are foods that aggravate inflammation and make it worse, like food with added sugar, and those that reduce inflammation. Switching your diet is one way to make a difference in your overall health.
Go green to reduce inflammation.
Those leafy green veggies are perfect for reducing inflammation, but don’t stop at the kale or the oakleaf lettuce. Tomatoes, blueberries, strawberries and cherries also pack a punch that helps reduce inflammation. Make a big salad with spinach, the healthiest lettuces such as oakleaf, green and red leaf and Romaine, and collard greens. Toss in some berries, broccoli and walnuts to make it the perfect healer.
Fish also can reduce inflammation.
While red meat doesn’t increase inflammation, replacing it with fatty fish or beans a few days a week can reduce inflammation significantly. Dry beans contain tons of fiber and are high in protein. Most research indicated they help reduce heart disease. Fatty fish like salmon, contain omega-3 fatty acids that are anti-inflammatory. Choose olive oil and vinegar for the salad dressing to boost the anti-inflammatory benefits.
Sprinkle on some anti-inflammatory benefits with herbs and spices.
Chili peppers, at least the white pith that are the membranes in the chilies, are loaded with anti-inflammatory properties. The capsaicin in the chilies is what gives them the benefits. You may have heard of capsaicin before, since it’s found in cream to help reduce muscle inflammation. Make your own. Dry peppers then grind them with everything below the stem and mix it with lotion or cream and a crushed aspirin. If you want anti-inflammatory properties internally, don’t forget that magic gold spice, turmeric. Ginger root is another that also has anti-inflammatory benefits.
- Other foods that increase inflammation are fried foods, processed meat, refined carbs, such as pastry and white bread. It’s not just what you eat, but what you drink that makes a difference, avoid soft drinks, especially those with artificial sweeteners.
- If you want fruit that provides digestive aid and reduced inflammation, slice a pineapple. Studies show it’s great for reducing the inflammation of arthritis.
- You can grow your own anti-inflammatories. Chili peppers, sage, lemongrass and rosemary are highly anti-inflammatory and make a good tea. Keep a pot of aloe on the shelf and break off a leaf to help heal a cut or burn. The juice is anti-inflammatory.
- Sweet potatoes are a great option if you want vitamin A, C, K, and B complex. It also has potassium. These antioxidants are boosted when topped with other anti-inflammatories like broccoli.
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