Although most of us strive to live a healthy life through exercise and a well-balanced diet, there are times when our bodies let us know that things aren’t going exactly to plan.
Inflammation is our body’s way of responding to injury and infection, but the regular symptoms of pain, swelling, and redness should go away quite quickly after an accident or illness.
Chronic inflammation is a common and dangerous symptom that can can be indicative of and lead to more serious health issues over time.
We think that one of the best ways to fight inflammation is to maintain a healthy diet, so we’ve compiled a list of the best inflammation fighting foods to help you stay healthy and aware of your body.
What Is Inflammation?
Chronic inflammation, brought about by health issues such as high blood pressure, heart disease, osteoporosis, arthritis, and autoimmune diseases (to name only a few) is a debilitating condition that affects everyday life for sufferers.
Although inflammation is the body’s natural response to mild medical issues such as injury, infections, and sunburns, chronic inflammation differs because it does not go away. If you are struggling with symptoms of inflammation such as recurring pain, swelling, fatigue, constipation, and diarrhea, you may be suffering from inflammation.
Avoid Inflammatory Foods
While chronic inflammation often points to more serious medical issues and requires guidance from your doctor, there are several ways to reduce the risk of, and possibly prevent, inflammation through everyday practices. Exercise, fresh air and sunlight, less stress, and a better diet can all help reduce or prevent inflammation and promote health.
While we all know that healthy eating is good for our bodies, there are several foods that should be limited (if not cut out entirely) when you’re suffering from inflammation. Refined carbohydrates, fried foods, sodas and sugary drinks, and red and processed meats are all known to contribute to inflammation in the body.
Top Inflammation Fighting Foods
When an anti-inflammatory, healthy diet is suggested or prescribed, it can be difficult to know exactly which foods will best help your body to recover and stay in top form. While opinions vary on exactly which are the best inflammation fighting foods, there are several universally recognized anti-inflammatory options:
1. Spinach (And Other Dark Greens)
Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and collard greens are essential for a healthy diet, but they are particularly useful in fighting inflammation. That’s because of their high vitamin E content and high concentration of other vitamins and minerals.
2. Blueberries And Oranges
Fruits that are high in antioxidants, including blueberries and oranges, also fight off inflammation-causing molecules and should be considered diet staples.
3. Olive Oil
While some people believe that fats are bad for healthy eaters, olive oil (and other healthy oils) contain omega 3 fatty acids that help to protect the body from a host of issues, including but not limited to inflammation.
When eaten in moderation, nuts—which are rich in vitamin E and omega 3s—are an excellent addition to your anti-inflammatory, healthy living shopping list.
5. Salmon (And Other Fatty Fish)
While most of us know that fish are a healthy alternative to red meats as a protein, fatty, omega 3 rich fish such as salmon, cod, and sardines can also help to fight inflammation.
This is a guest post written by Kaitlin Krull for Modernize. If you enjoy her list with top inflammation fighting foods, share it with your friends and family. Stay fit!