Inflammation is an important part of the bodies natural immune response to injury and infection, and without it, wounds and injuries would take far longer to heal. However, chronic inflammation, which is inflammation that persists for a long period of time, can lead to certain diseases and autoimmune disorders such as arthritis and lupus. One of the ways to keep inflammation under control is through a healthy diet. You are what you eat, so here are five foods that can help to reduce inflammation.
Garlic and garlic extracts have been proven to have anti-inflammatory properties which can help reduce levels of proinflammatory cytokines and prevent autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. Garlic is also an efficient anti-oxidant and natural antimicrobial agent meaning that it can help to protect against bacterial, fungal and viral infections. So put an extra clove in your dinner tonight or try a garlic supplement if you want to avoid garlic breath.
Turmeric is a vibrant yellow spice whose active ingredient is curcumin. Curcumin is the phytonutrient responsible for turmeric’s vivid yellow colour, it is a strong antioxidant and has been proven to help slow down the inflammation pathway. Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties have been compared to those of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) which makes it a great natural alternative. The amount of curcumin in the turmeric we buy in the supermarket can vary and so it may be best to get it from a health food store in supplement form but there’s no harm in putting an extra teaspoon in your curry too.
Omega-3 fatty acids are one of the most potent edible anti-inflammatories and they’re found in many types of oily fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel. Omega-3 can help calm inflammation at a cellular level and research has found that people who regularly consume omega-3’s are less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis. If fish isn’t something you can stomach then you can also take omega-3 as a supplement, though some research has suggested that the body finds it harder to absorb omega-3 in supplement form.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a cannabinoid found in the hemp plant. When isolated from the plant CBD produces no high effect and has a host of health benefits which have made it a very popular supplement in the natural health sector. CBD has both immunosuppressant and anti-inflammatory properties as well as providing relief from pain which makes it a popular supplement for those with multiple sclerosis and arthritis. CBD is often infused into an oil which can then be added to food, creams or lotions. You can find out more about the benefits of CBD at Hemp Headlines.
- Leafy greens
There’s a reason why we’re told to eat our greens and that’s because they’re very good for you. Dark, leafy greens such as kale, spinach and arugula are filled with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that can help to reduce inflammation. Broccoli is also a fantastic green vegetable to make sure you get into your diet as it contains a compound called quercetin which has the ability to act in the same way as the anti-inflammatory drugs, aspirin and ibuprofen.