7 Foods That Reduce Inflammation

When your alarm clock buzzes as a cruel harbinger of morning, your pain has already started. You feel it all throughout your body, in every joint and muscle. It pulses through you as a reminder of the inflammation that has cruelly affected your body. Inflammation can be one of the most debilitating symptoms of any ailment — resulting in pain, stiffness, and swelling.

7 Foods That Reduce Inflammation

Inflammation is usually a beneficial process. It is your body’s response to infection, and it protects you from harmful foreign substances, such as viruses and bacteria. The problem is that with some people, the body’s response goes haywire, and inflammation runs rampant. This is a common result of the autoimmune disease rheumatoid arthritis. Here are 7 foods that have been found effective in reducing inflammation and, therefore, may potentially relieve your suffering.

1. Olive Oil

Researchers became interested in this acclaimed oil when they noticed that people who ate a Mediterranean diet experienced less health conditions related to inflammation. In fact, extra virgin olive oil contains compounds that work similarly to ibuprofen in reducing inflammation — without the extra work for the liver. This oil is great for cooking, as well as for adding to salad dressings and marinades.

2. Citrus

Citrus foods, such as oranges, grapefruits, limes, and lemons, are the superhero foods that fight against inflammation. These fruits are high in vitamin C, a component which is necessary in the synthesis of collagen, which helps build and repair tendons, ligaments, and bones. Citrus fruits are also packed full of antioxidants that reduce inflammation. As an added bonus, they’re a delicious little snack on their own and are an appealing natural flavor to add when cooking.

3. Very Berry Beneficial

Berries are a great defense against inflammation because they are full of a variety of antioxidants. Berries, such as blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries, are full of proanthrocyanidins and ellagic acid, number one enemies of inflammation — making them your number one friends.

Cherries, a relative of berries, also have a great reputation. Researchers have found that tart cherries, in particular, have a stronger anti-inflammatory effect than aspirin. Adding these little morsels to your diet is a great way to reduce inflammation.

4. The Power of Orange … Vegetables

Vegetables in this family, including carrots, squash, and sweet potatoes, are rich in vitamin A and beta-carotene — compounds that have shown promise in fighting inflammation. The benefits only increase when they are cooked, so be sure to regularly add these little punches of color to your plate.

5. Ginger

This flavorful root has been used for centuries to combat inflammation. Only within the past decades have researchers really broken it down and found that ginger is packed with anti-inflammatory compounds and has an effect similar to that of aspirin and ibuprofen. It’s important to talk to your doctor before taking ginger supplements, since too much can have a thinning effect on the blood.

 6. Basil and Other Herbs

Basil has shown a lot of promise in reducing inflammation. In a recent study, it was shown to reduce inflammation by up to 73% in arthritic patients. Basil inhibits the same inflammatory enzyme that Tylenol and ibuprofen do — except you can eat as much as you want. The great thing about basil is that it can be eaten fresh — by itself or mixed in with a salad.

Your spice cabinet can double as your medicine cabinet with its hidden gems that fight inflammation. Turmeric, dried rosemary, and oregano are all high on the list for their anti-inflammatory properties. Mix these in regularly with your meals for a flavorful experience that will ultimately help reduce your pain.

7. Fish

Oily fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and tuna, kick butt when it comes to fighting inflammation. The high content of omega-3 fatty acids in these fish has been shown to dramatically reduce inflammation when added to your diet several times a week. A fish oil supplement is also a good alternative if you don’t prefer the taste of fish. Something to note, however, is that this must be consumed in the correct ratio with omega-6 fatty acids (found in processed foods and vegetable oil) — a good rule of thumb is two to one, or double the amount of omega-3 fatty acids.

You no longer have to suffer from inflammation — or choose between drugs and pain. Supplementing your diet with these 7 foods can help to relieve your pain so that you can feel normal again.

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