Top Anti-inflammation foods & How an Anti-inflammatory work
Research in progress
When you thin about inflammation, you probably picture a swelling on part of your skin. Did you know that inflammation can also occur inside your body in some of your major organs even without your knowledge? This article aims to delve into what inflammation really is, its causes and possible natural remedies.
What is inflammation?
Inflammation is a mechanism the body uses to fight off infection through the working of white blood cells and the substances they produce. Infection is usually caused by foreign organisms such as viruses and bacteria. However, this is not always the case. In some diseases, such as arthritis, the body’s immune system triggers an inflammation response even when there are no infections to fight off. This is an example of an autoimmune disease whereby the body’s normally protective immune system turns on itself and damages its own tissues.
What diseases are associated with inflammation?
Inflammation has been found to be the root cause of most diseases. Arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma – you name it. Inflammation is the common denominator among them. As we can see, inflammation also affects internal organs such as the heart, lungs and kidneys. Inflammation can cause redness, heat, discomfort and pain, though this is not the same for all cases.
Inflammation can be remedied using an anti-inflammatory diet. This involves doing away with highly processed foods and unbalanced diets that characterise Western habits and moving towards a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables and an abundance of omega-3 foods. Phytochemicals, the natural compounds found in plant foods have been found to reduce inflammation. Diets that are high in omega-6 and low in omega-3 are associated with an increased level of cytokines. These are proteins released from cells that trigger the onset of inflammation.
So, what are these anti-inflammatory foods? Well, in general, a diet rich in antioxidant foods, minerals and essential fatty acids will prevent and treat inflammation. Inflammation can be caused by oxidative stress, which is an imbalance between the cellular production of oxygen and antioxidant defence mechanisms. Antioxidants work by interacting with and eliminating the destructive action of “free radicals” in the body. An abundance of these radicals caused oxidation and hence inflammation.
Below are the top anti-inflammatory foods
- Green leafy vegetables – These are rich in antioxidants that restore cellular health. They also contain flavonoids which are known for their anti-inflammatory properties.
- Beets – whenever you see a vegetable with a deep, rich colour, chances are that it is packed with antioxidants. These fight to repair cell damage caused by inflammation. They also contain magnesium, and a deficiency of magnesium has been strongly linked to inflammatory conditions.
- Berries – All types of berries have a high antioxidant content. Inflammation can also happen in the brain and research shows that a diet rich in blueberries slowed cognitive decline.
- Fruits – To get a variety of antioxidants, choose different coloured foods. This is an easy way to ensure that you are getting a host of antioxidants to fight inflammation