Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury or infection. Here are the top 10 plant-based anti-inflammatory superfoods to consume.
However, chronic inflammation can fuel diseases including diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and even autoimmune conditions.
Chronic inflammation is often a result of a poor diet involving artificial trans fats, high fructose corn syrup and sugar, refined carbohydrates, vegetable oil, and processed meat. Read More.
Other elements that can trigger inflammation include alcohol, poor sleep, lack of exercise, and stress.
Adopting an anti-inflammatory lifestyle and incorporating anti-inflammatory foods into your diet can help prevent further inflammation or reverse chronic inflammation and its complications.
Here are the best anti-inflammatory foods you can consume that rapidly lower inflammation in the body. Also, see 10 Foods That Boost The Immune System.
Top 10 Plant-Based Anti-inflammatory Superfoods to Consume
Blueberries are the healthiest food on the planet.
They contain antioxidants, including resveratrol and anthocyanin, a pigment that gives them their blue color.
These antioxidants lower inflammation and the risk of heart-related conditions.
According to research, anthocyanins are highly associated with improved visual acuity, reduced blood pressure, and reduced cancer cell proliferation. Read More.
Broccoli is a nutrient powerhouse. It’s packed with phytochemicals and antioxidants, including vitamin C, which helps fight inflammation.
Broccoli also has significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which are well known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Along with this, broccoli contains sulforaphane, a phytochemical that blocks the enzyme that can cause joint destruction and lead to inflammation. This makes broccoli beneficial in people who have arthritis.
Broccoli is high in other nutrients, including potassium, vitamin A, Vitamin K, and a decent amount of protein.
Broccoli is also high in soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol. It also contains other vital elements like choline which helps boost cognition and memory.
Broccoli can be eaten cooked or raw. Both are perfectly healthy but provide different nutrient profiles.
Different cooking methods such as boiling, stir-frying, and steaming alter the vegetable nutrient composition, particularly reducing vitamin C.
Steaming has the fewest negative effects.
Turmeric is a spice that gives curry its yellow color.
It has been used for over 4000 years and is well known for reducing pain, swelling, and inflammation.
It contains an active compound known as curcumin.
It’s curcumin that gives turmeric its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties.
Other benefits of turmeric:
- Control blood glucose levels
- Aid digestion
- Improve heart health
- Promote skin health
- Help with depression
But due to the slow solubility of curcumin in water, its absorption is minimal. On the other hand, black pepper contains piperine, a compound that increases the absorption of curcumin. So, always combine the two.
Also, curcumin is fat-soluble. This means, taking it with fatty foods like olive oil or sprinkling it on avocado will provide better absorption.
Grapes are rich in a variety of antioxidants, such as resveratrol and flavonoids, which are rich in anti-inflammatory properties.
In one study, consuming grape extract daily showed a decrease in inflammatory markers in individuals with heart disease.
Kale is a cruciferous vegetable high in antioxidants and phytonutrients, which reduce inflammation.
Anti-inflammatory compounds in kale also help reduce the risk for chronic illnesses, including arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and autoimmune conditions.
Other benefits of kale:
- Body detoxification
- Building strong bones
- Enhancing liver functions
- Improving brain health.
Other cruciferous vegetables with anti-inflammatory properties include:
- Swiss chard
- Garden cress
- Bok choy
- Brussels sprouts
- Collard greens.
Incorporating vegetable salads into your daily diet is an essential part of an anti-inflammatory lifestyle.
Pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme that fights inflammation.
Bromelain activates the body’s ability to combat pain and reduce swelling, which makes it suitable for managing chronic inflammation such as sinusitis, allergies, ulcerative colitis, and osteoarthritis.
Bromelain is also effective in aiding digestion, soothing soreness in aching muscles, and boosting overall immunity.
You can add pineapple to your fruit salad, green juices, or smoothies.
Almonds contain numerous nutrients, including healthy fats, and minerals.
They are high in monosaturated fats, which help reduce inflammatory markers.
They are also high in vitamin E, an antioxidant that fights heart disease and protects the body against oxidative stress and cellular damage.
Almonds are also high in prebiotics, a type of fiber that feeds the good gut bacteria, promoting gut health.
A healthy gut will improve digestion, promote blood glucose regulation, aid weight loss, and boost immunity.
Other nutrients found in almonds are:
- Vitamin K
- B vitamins
Almonds can be eaten as a snack but do not overdo them. 8-10 almonds per day are enough to offer the needed nutrients.
Crushed almonds can be sprinkled on salads or used as a garnish for different foods. You can also add them to your smoothie for a protein boost.
Due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer properties, ginger acts as an overall immune booster.
It contains an active ingredient called gingerol, which gives ginger all its exceptional properties.
Ginger has been shown to offer relief from respiratory infections such as the common cold and flu.
Moreover, ginger has been shown to help relieve chronic inflammation, such as in rheumatoid arthritis.
Ginger can be used as a spice in soups and stir-fries, in hot tea, or smoothies.
Garlic is rich in sulfur, an immune booster that triggers an anti-inflammatory response in the body.
Other benefits of garlic:
- Reduced blood pressure
- Improves cholesterol levels
- Improved brain function
- Improve digestion
- Promotes skincare
- Balance blood sugars.
10. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes contain plant compounds and vitamins that contain powerful anti-inflammatory properties. They are rich in an oxidant called betacarotene, a carotenoid that the body uses to convert to Vitamin A.
Sweet potatoes also contain Vitamins B, C, and D. Sweet potato also contains choline which reduces inflammatory responses in the body.
Chronic inflammation is the root cause of most chronic diseases.
Acute inflammation is your body’s response to an attack, and although it’s beneficial, chronic inflammation can be quite damaging to your body and well-being.
Fortunately, with a change in diet and lifestyle, one can reverse inflammation and all its symptoms.
Start by ditching inflammatory habits such as alcohol consumption, incorporating anti-inflammatory foods into your diet, and minimizing stress triggers.
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- How To Improve Gut Health Naturally
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