There are many autoimmune conditions that cause inflammatory issues in the body. Inflammation leads to pain and other health complications. Therefore, anti-inflammatory diets are more popular than ever. However, many anti-inflammatory diets just tell you which foods to avoid that could potentially add to inflammation. What can you do if the inflammation is already in your body and you need to reduce it, rather than simply not add to it?
While avoiding inflammation triggers is a must, discovering dietary changes that can reduce inflammation is just as important. For example, if you are living with arthritis, you don’t want to increase joint pain by eating at a fast-food restaurant. However, you also want to try and reduce your pain levels by eating healthy foods that can get rid of the swelling in your joints.
For these reasons, we will focus today on the top foods you need to add to your anti-inflammatory diet. These foods can counteract swelling in the body to help provide some relief.
You always hear about dark leafy greens being good for you, but has anyone ever explained why? The secret is in the antioxidants that these vegetables contain. These antioxidants combat oxidative stress – an imbalance that occurs when your body can’t detoxify from free radicals. In other words, antioxidants can give your body the ability to combat free radicals. Why does this help with inflammation?
All sorts of stress create inflammation in the body, and that includes oxidative stress. Therefore, these dark leafy greens like kale, mustard greens, spinach, collard, and others are a vital part of your diet.
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An anti-inflammatory diet is always going to include turmeric (unless you are allergic, of course). However, while turmeric’s reputation is that of a natural helper for just about everything, few articles provide the reason that this is the case. It actually has to do with one particular component of turmeric – a polyphenol called curcumin. Polyphenols are micronutrients, and this specific nutrient contains high amounts of antioxidants.
Remember that antioxidants combat oxidative stress and that this is crucial for reducing inflammation in the body. In fact, researchers recognize just how essential curcumin is for many different aspects of health. Piperine, a nutrient in black pepper, makes curcumin easier for the body to absorb. Therefore, seasoning your food heavily with turmeric and black pepper may be one way to curb inflammation in the body.
Avocados get the reputation of being a superfood and with good reason. They contain antioxidants and are an alkaline food that can reduce the acidity level of the body. These are both essential for reducing swelling. Avocado is also a significant source of healthy fats for a vegan. It is no wonder that avocado toast is so popular.
To illustrate just how effective avocados are when it comes to reducing inflammation, researchers checked to see if it could counteract food that causes swelling. In the study, healthy participants were asked to eat hamburgers. Some of the burgers contained a slice of avocado. A comparison of the inflammation response of the participants reveals something exciting. The avocado slice seems to reduce the onset of inflammation. Thus, the participants who ate the avocado slice had less of an inflammatory response to the burger.
This is not to recommend eating a burger. If you want to reduce inflammation, skip the burger, and just have the avocado.
Berries also contain antioxidants that reduce inflammation. In fact, they provide a particular antioxidant (anthocyanin) that inhibits the inflammatory reaction of the body. This is crucial if you have an autoimmune condition that causes that body to have an inflammatory response when there should not be one. An example would be celiac disease, which causes the body to have an inflammatory response to gluten. You, of course, should still avoid gluten. However, if you accidentally encounter cross-contamination, having this antioxidant in your diet regularly may reduce the intensity of the inflammation that results.
Just a few types of berries that contain this particular antioxidant include blueberries, acai berries, blackberries, boysenberries, and raspberries. These berries can make a nice anti-inflammatory sweet treat since you will be cutting out sugary desserts that cause swelling.
It should be no surprise that ginger reduces inflammation since it is a relative of turmeric. They are both rhizomes in the Zingiberaceae family. That is just a fancy way of saying that it is a stem that grows below the ground. So this is a fun little factoid: turmeric and ginger are actually stems rather than roots (despite the fact that ginger often appears with the label “ginger root” in supermarkets).
Back to our primary topic, there is a scientific research that backs up the claim that ginger is an anti-inflammatory and it reduces oxidative stress. Thus, ginger is yet another seasoning to add to your diet. You can even make tea from ginger.
Researchers acknowledge that ashwagandha shows potential as an anti-inflammatory, mainly because it contains withaferin. Therefore, an ashwagandha supplement may be a great way to complement your anti-inflammatory diet.
Where can you find the best ashwagandha supplement? Warrior Strong Wellness would like to introduce you to our Pure Organic Ashwagandha Max. This is an affordable and effective way to add yet another essential component to your anti-inflammatory diet.
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