Whether you’re a fitness fanatic or recovering from an injury, you have probably experienced some form of inflammation.
The word inflammation comes from the Latin“inflammo”, meaning “I set alight, I ignite”.
Inflammation is the bodys way of protecting itself from harmful stimuli, damaged cells and pathogens. In other words it’s how our body shows it is trying to heal itself. There are two types of inflammation acute and chronic. Acute inflammation occurs within seconds, minutes, hours or days and is caused by the injury to soft tissue within the body.
When the body is unable to heal itself it becomes chronic inflammation. This type of inflammation becomes non-degradable pathogens that cause persistent inflammation, infection with some types of viruses, persistent foreign bodies, overactive immune system reactions. It can last months to even years. Ouch!
There are many ways of reducing inflammation from tablets, injections, peptides and the more holistic approach, herbs and food! Studies show a diet high in sugar and saturated fat can spur inflammation. Whereas other foods can curb inflammation.
So lets have a look at some of these magical foods. Below is a list of herbs and different foods you can add to your diet to help you recover from ailments and improve your overall health.
Studies show omega 3 are required for a healthy inflammation response. Eating salmon or oysters once a week can help reduce inflammation. Or if you prefer tablet form, studies show taking fish oil on a daily basis reduces inflammation over a 6 month period.
Dark Leafy Greens
Studies show a diet high in vitamin E can reduce and fight against inflammatory molecules called cytokines. The types of greens you can add to your diet include spinach, kale and broccoli.
And I am not talking about your white breads, pasta, cereals and rice. Whole grains contain a lot of fiber and have been shown to reduce the shown to reduce levels of C reactive protein, a marker of inflammation in the blood, and they usually have less added sugar. Whole grains are cereal grains that contain cereal germ, endosperm, and bran, in contrast to refined grains, which retain only the endosperm. Common whole grains include:
- Barley – Hulled and Dehulled (not Pearl)
- Brown rice
Another healthy inflammation fighting food is the omega 3 and antioxidants found in nuts, especially almonds. Nuts, along with the other 4 foods listed above all form part of the Mediterranean diet which studies show can help reduce inflammation within 6 weeks.
Soflavones, estrogen-like compounds found in soy products, may help lower CRP and inflammation levels in women. Try adding soy milk, tofu, soy nuts and endame into your diet. Avoid processed soy products as it probably wont have the same positive effects.
Apart from these few foods I have listed above there are many more inflammation fighting foods including ginger, turmeric, berries, pineapple and avocado. By adjusting your diet to include raw, unprocessed foods will not only assist with inflammation but also your overall wellbeing.