Recently I wrote about foods that cause inflammation and today we are going to cover 5 foods that reduce inflammation. Inflammation is a contributor to many modern lifestyle diseases so it is something we want to be concerned about. If you missed my previous articles about acute and chronic inflammation, you’ll definitely want to read those (the links are below).
The great thing is that modifying our diet can help prevent, delay, and even heal many health conditions. That’s what I love so much about nutrition, it’s something we can all control if we choose to and it brings great results when we do implement positive changes.
Anyway enough of that, you’re here to read about some foods or food groups that help reduce inflammation. So here goes…
5 Foods That Reduce Inflammation
1. Natural antioxidants
Oxidative stress increases free radicals and induces inflammation in the body so increasing our intake of natural antioxidants will do the opposite and provide a protective effect. Two of our best sources of antioxidants include vitamin C and vitamin A. Where can we find those? In our fruits and vegetables. Vitmain C can be found in bell pepper (capsicum), watercress, kiwi fruits, kale and green leafy vegetables, lemons and limes. Vitamin A can be found in sweet potatoes, mango, broccoli, carrots, orange foods, green leafy veggies, and eggs.
2. High Fibre Intake
There are many mechanisms to support the role that high fibre intake can have on the body and one of those happens to be reducing inflammation. There are two types of dietary fibre, soluble and insoluble, and both provide great health benefits. The recommended amount of daily fibre is 30g/day for males, 25g/day for females, and most people do not get anywhere near this amount. As above, one of the very best ways to get more fibre is to increase your intake of vegetables to a minimum of 5 serves a day, fruit 2 serves a day. Gluten free whole grains and beans and legumes also provide fibre too, but choosing from veggies before the others is always a good idea.
3. Omega 3 fats
Our Omega 3 fats are one of the most important fatty acids to eat more of in the diet because they are so anti-inflammatory, they also exhibit many other favorable qualities too. In particular it is the EPA and DHA that exerts the anti-inflammatory effect. The best sources of EPA and DHA are found in fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines, mackarel, and herring. Many people take supplements in the form of fish oil and krill oil. Some seed oils can convert to EPA and DHA too. The most common one is flaxseed oil, others include hemp oil, sacha inchi oil, and clary sage seed oil.
4. Herbs and spices
Fresh and dried herbs and spices offer so much incredible value in the way of nutrients, along with providing anti-inflammatory properties. Some of your best choices for anti-inflammatory power include turmeric, ginger, garlic, pepper, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and cloves. Fresh herbs will provide loads of antioxidants and other properties that are anti-inflammatory. So increase your intake of things like parsley, coriander/cilantro, dandelion greens, and basil.
5. Green tea
Green tea is high in polyphenols. Polyphenols are also a potent source of antioxidants. I’ve already explained those above so I won’t go into it again here. Try and replace your other beverages with more green tea 🙂
The BIG message in this story is that fresh fruits and vegetables and natural herbs and spices provide the most potent anti-inflammatory effects on the human body, just the way nature intended it, right? 🙂
If you want to know more about inflammation, here are the links to those resources.
What is inflammation – article
Inflammation in the body – podcast
See you soon
Nutrition & Health Coach