Whole Foods | When most people hear the word “inflammation,” they automatically think of the redness and swelling associated with injuries that occur to the outside of their bodies.
However, many remain unaware of the type of inflammation that occurs on the inside of their bodies, and how inflammatory cells can increase the risk for illness and major, life-threatening diseases, such as cancer.
Obese individuals are often host to a number of inflammatory cells as a result of carrying excess weight, considering inflammation originates from fat cells. Suffering from chronic inflammation can result in major hormonal imbalance, and lead to overeating, poor food choices, and further weight gain.
The best way to fight inflammation in addition to exercising regularly is eating a diet high in foods that curb and specifically help battle inflammation. Amp up your diet to include these six foods that fight inflammation, as well as these five additional superfoods listed below.
Sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12, which help curb inflammation as well as reduce the risk for heart disease. These tiny fish contain high, concentrated amounts of these nutrients, which also help lower high cholesterol levels. If the thought of eating sardines turns you off, browse the web and social media websites such as Pinterest for recipe ideas and creative ways to prepare this fish.
2. Bok choy
Bok choy is commonly associated with Asian cuisine but can be used in salads, on sandwiches, and in a host of other meals that call for dark, leafy greens. This vegetable is highly potent in vitamin A and beta carotene, both of which can help protect cells from toxic damage. Additionally, just one serving of bok choy contains as much as 70 mg of omega-3 fatty acids, which further contributes to the battle against inflammation.
3. Extra virgin olive oil
Extra virgin olive oil is rich in polyphenols, which are antioxidants that have been shown to help reduce inflammation, as well as protect against secondhand smoke and other common toxins. Polyphenols have also been found to improve breast tissue health and protect against breast cancer and improve colon and heart function. Replace all creamy store-bought salad dressings with olive oil and your favorite seasonings, and cook food using olive oil instead of butter or margarine — which can contribute to worsened inflammation.
Ginger is commonly used in Asian, Indian, and Arabic cultures as a form of natural medicine due to its unique anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger helps promote good digestion, and reduces pain associated with major inflammatory illnesses such as osteoarthritis and liver cancer. Add freshly grated ginger to curries, soups, and stir-fry meals, and drink ginger tea following meals to help remove excess waste and toxins from your body.
The turmeric spice is a powerful anti-inflammatory ingredient due to its high amounts of curcumin, which helps protect your body against free radicals and oxidative stress. Turmeric tastes great in most eastern dishes, and can even be found in mustard products. If you don’t enjoy the taste of turmeric, talk to your health care provider about supplementation so you can continue to enjoy the anti-inflammatory benefits of the spice without having to include it with your meals.