The old adage ‘you are what you eat’ is very relevant when it comes to managing inflammation. Even doctors believe that medicines are not the best way to reduce it.They are learning that one can fight off inflammation by following an anti-inflammatory diet.And the best part is that there are plenty of tasty anti-inflammatory foods available that ease inflammation.
The process of inflammation starts when our body recognizes any foreign substance like plant pollen, invading microbe or chemical, and activates the immune system. Intermittent bouts of inflammation, when directed at these invaders, protect our health. But inflammation can really become your enemy if it persists even when you are not threatened by a foreign invader. There are several diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, and depression that have been linked to chronic inflammation.
One of the best ways to deal with this is to have an anti-inflammatory diet. “Many experimental studies have shown that components of foods or beverages may have anti-inflammatory effects,” says Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health.
Here’s the list of anti-inflammatory foods:
- Olive oil
- Green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, and collards
- Nuts like walnuts, hazelnuts, and almond
- Fatty fish like mackerel, salmon, tuna, and sardines
- Fruits such as blueberries, strawberries, apple, oranges, and cherries, pineapple
- High fiber foods like whole grains and beans
There are a lot of benefits of these anti-inflammatory foods. According to Dr. Hu, some particular fruits – like apple and blueberries – and leafy green vegetables are rich in natural antioxidants and good for health.
Studies have also found that coffee may also protect against inflammation as it contains polyphenols and other anti-inflammatory compounds.
There are certain foods that cause inflammation and doctors also suggest that one should avoid or limit these foods as much as possible. Some of these foods are refined carbohydrates, such as pastries and white bread, fried foods like French fries, soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages, red meat, and processed meat.