Top 10 Foods and Recipes to fight Inflammation in the body
Inflammation is a common term we hear often, when somebody has body pain or fever. We take it quite casually and just pop in some pills to sort out the inflammation, without bothering about its cause. Inflammation is basically the body’s reaction to some kind of stress, and the good thing is that it indicates that the body is working to overcome the problem. When you get a cold, cough or running nose your body responds with inflammation in the form of a fever that helps you heal. The inflammation does its job, gets rid of the virus and disappears. However, if this inflammation persists, it can indicate or even lead to severe problems.
Chronic or prolonged low-grade inflammation leaves you more susceptible to illness and disease. So, if your body has unresolved inflammation for 24 hours or longer, you must treat the underlying cause and not just pop pills. If you ignore it for months or years at a stretch, the inflammation can lead to serious problems like obesity, type-2 diabetes, cholesterol, arthritis, heart diseases, cancer and Alzheimer’s. The good news is that you can control the inflammation through a clean diet. Just cut out the bad carbs, reduce Omega-6 fatty acids, avoid white stuff like refined flour or refined white sugar, and go for long-chain Omega-3 fatty acids.
Stay away from processed foods like French Fries, frozen meals, canned food high in sodium, doughnuts, aerated drinks etc. Adopt an anti-inflammatory diet, which is high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, fish and healthy oils. Apart from lowering inflammation, a more natural, less processed diet can make you feel lighter, healthier and happier.
Clean up your diet and choose the right, anti-inflammatory foods suggested in this mailer. We have also included recipes using these ingredients, to make it easier for you to incorporate them in your diet.
Top Foods to Reduce Inflammation
Turmeric powder (haldi), which is found in everyone’s masala dabba, contains Curcumin, an anti-inflammatory compound that helps relieve inflammation of the joints. Start your day with a glass of Warm Honey Lemon Water with Turmeric, to keep inflammation at bay.
2. Berries and other low Glycemic Index fruits
Blueberries, strawberries and raspberries have antioxidants that work effectively against inflammation. Choose fresh berries that are in season, or if none are available go for the frozen ones. Blueberry is a super food high in Potassium and Vitamin C, while strawberry is rich in Vitamin C, which repairs the body’s tissues and boosts immunity. Try including these in the form of a smoothie like the Coconut Blueberry Smoothie. Other low GI fruits are Apples, Oranges, Peaches, Pears, Plums and Pomegranate. These are rich sources of flavoniods and carotenoids, which are great antioxidants.
3. Green leafy vegetables
Go for green leafy veggies like Spinach, Broccoli and kale. Spinach has flavonoids and carotenoids that reduce inflammation in the digestive tract. Sulforaphane in broccoli and other antioxidants in kale also help reduce inflammation. There are several interesting ways to include these in your diet, such as the Kale and Apple Salad and the Broccoli Broth.
4. Nuts and seeds
Nuts are seeds like Almonds and Walnuts, chia and flax seeds are a good source of protein. Almonds are rich in Vitamin E Rich, Magnesium, Calcium and Potassium. A great source of protein, they help reduce Cholesterol and inflammation. The best part is that nuts and seeds are so easy to consume – you can just eat them as is or sprinkle them on a salad! Go for something exciting like the Walnut and Cherry Tomato Salad.
5. Onions, garlic and ginger
Both onion and garlic have good anti-inflammatory properties. Sweet yet spicy, onions reduce sugar cravings and regulate blood sugar. You can include thinly sliced raw onions in your salads. Together with garlic, they have also been used to cure colds since hundreds of years. Garlic contains sulphur compounds that strengthen your immune system. Ginger too has been traditionally used for its anti-inflammatory properties. From treating stomach upsets to certain types of cancer, this common spice delivers a wide range of therapeutic benefits. Try Ginger Tea.
6. Whole grains
Consuming most of your grains as whole grains, as opposed to refined, white bread, cereal, rice, and pasta can help keep harmful inflammation at bay. That’s because whole grains have more fibre, B-vitamins and protein. Whole grains have a low glycemic index and are digested slowly into your bloodstream, keeping your blood sugar levels stable. Have lots of Quinoa, Barley, bajra, Jowar, brown rice, Buckwheat and bulgur wheat. Try Barley Khichdi, Quinoa Feta and Mixed Veg Salad.
7. Veggies like beet, carrot, onions, peas, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower and cabbage
Cooked as well as raw vegetables are rich sources of Vitamin A and Vitamin C, which are Antioxidant compounds. Beet and its juice fight inflammation and protect against cholesterol and cancer. You can also have it in the form of salads like the Beetroot and Dill Salad.
8. Red cherries
Red cherries get antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits from the flavonoid anthocyanin.
The beta-carotene found in capsicum is a carotenoid, a fat-soluble compound that helps in reducing a wide range of cancers, as well as the risk and severity of inflammatory conditions such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Red capsicum is better than green and yellow capsicum.
10. Olive oil and extra virgin olive oil
These are high in MUFA and Omega-3 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory. The fact that you have started understanding the true nature of inflammation is the first step towards fighting it! Cheers to a new healthy lifestyle and inflammation-free body.
We would love to hear from you if you liked the article. Here is a list of Foods which create inflammation in the body and best to avoid. Please post your comments. Thanks!