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5 foods that Fight Inflammation | RMHP Blog

5 foods that Fight Inflammation | RMHP Blog



The Best Anti-Inflammatory Foods to Incorporate Into Your Diet

Inflammation occurs when your immune system attempts to fight off something that could harm your body, such as infections, injuries, and toxins. The immune system’s response typically lasts for a few hours or days until the threat has been extinguished. However, some people suffer from chronic inflammation, which occurs when the immune system’s response lingers much longer than necessary.

Chronic inflammation is linked to serious health conditions, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and depression. There are a number of anti-inflammatory medications that can reduce inflammation, but some of the best treatments for this condition are found in the grocery store, not the pharmacy. Here are the top five foods that can naturally fight inflammation in your body.

1. Cherries

Cherries are packed with anthocyanins, which is a type of antioxidant found in red- or purple-colored fruits and vegetables. Studies show that the long-term consumption of foods containing this antioxidant can reduce inflammation in the body.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to incorporate cherries into your diet. Drink cherry juice, add fresh cherries to a smoothie, or sprinkle a few over the top of your yogurt. You can even eat these tasty fruits on their own for a sweet treat.

2. Green Tea

Experts often refer to green tea as one of the healthiest, most nutritious beverages, and it’s not hard to see why. In addition to improving heart health, increasing blood flow, and lowering cholesterol, green tea can also fight chronic inflammation.

Green tea is a powerful anti-inflammatory because it contains a substance called epigallocatechin-3-gallate, or EGCG. Studies show that EGCG can reduce the production of cytokines, which are proteins the immune system releases. Cytokines trigger inflammation, so by reducing the production of these proteins, EGCG can minimize your immune system’s inflammatory response.

3. Fish

Fish contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are often referred to as the “good fats” due to their health benefits. Every type of fish contains some of these fatty acids, but the fish with the highest levels include:

  • Salmon
  • Mackerel
  • Herring
  • Anchovies
  • Sardines

Your body converts omega-3 fatty acids into resolvins and protectins, which are compounds that play an important role in the inflammation resolution process. In other words, these compounds can help your body turn off proinflammatory signals in the body after an immune system response. Turning off these signals prevents an episode of acute inflammation from turning into harmful chronic inflammation.

4. Leafy Greens

Dark, leafy greens, such as kale, spinach, and collards, all have anti-inflammatory properties. Leafy greens contain lutein, folate, and vitamin K, which are three nutrients that are proven to reduce levels of inflammation in the body.

You don’t need to eat a lot of leafy greens to experience the anti-inflammatory benefits. Eating just one salad a day may provide your body with the tools it needs to effectively fight inflammation.

5. Turmeric

Turmeric is a strong-tasting spice often used in Indian cuisine. This spice does more than just add flavor to meals, though: it also fights inflammation. Turmeric contains curcumin, which is a nutrient with anti-inflammatory properties. Studies show that consuming just one gram of this nutrient daily is enough to significantly reduce inflammation.

Incorporate turmeric into your diet by sprinkling a pinch of this spice over your scrambled eggs, omelets, vegetables, soup, or rice. There are also many kinds of turmeric teas available in most grocery stores.