Top 5 Anti-Inflammatory Foods to Include in Your Diet
Inflammation is the body's natural defense mechanism. It may cause swelling, pain, or redness in an infected area. There are two types of inflammation; acute and chronic. Acute inflammation is the immune response when a part of the body is injured or infected. It occurs for a brief period and disappears when the threat has been contained.
However, chronic inflammation is a bad thing. Essentially, it is the body fighting itself either as a response to a perceived threat or automatically over a long period.
Chronic inflammation is a significant contributor to numerous health problems such as heart disease, autoimmune diseases, degenerative disorders, allergies, and others. Stress, trauma, and sickness can trigger chronic inflammation. The good news is that there are anti-inflammatory foods which can help combat this anomaly. Here are five of the best anti-inflammatory foods that can protect you from chronic inflammation.
Curcumin is the active agent in turmeric. Studies show that curcumin is a potent anti-inflammatory with extensive benefits for many ailments. It can decrease inflammation in cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, and heart disease. It has also been shown to help alleviate inflammatory symptoms in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. For maximum benefits, curcumin should be taken with piperine extract from black pepper to increase its ability to be absorbed.
Ginger is a popular spice used in many Asiatic dishes and all over the world. It has been used for millennia to treat morning sickness, indigestion, nausea and we now know the root is rich in potent anti-inflammatory compounds. Studies show that gingerol and zingerone found in ginger have a potential anti-inflammatory effect on inflammation related to breast cancer, colitis, diabetes and kidney disorder. It has also been found to relieve exercise-induced muscle soreness.
The body produces alpha-lipoic acid naturally. It is an important fatty acid in energy production and metabolic processes. Alpha-lipoic acid is an antioxidant which protects the cells from oxidative activities of free radicals as well as replenishes antioxidants like Vitamin C. Research shows that this fatty acid is also anti-inflammatory. Studies indicate it protects against the inflammatory effects of heart disease, liver disease, cancer, and insulin resistance among others.
Fish oil is densely packed with omega-3 essential fatty acids, which provide tons of health benefits. Omega-3 fatty acids, especially EPA and DHA have powerful anti-inflammatory properties which can protect against inflammation related to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other health disorders. While the best source of fish oil is through your diet, it is ideal to supplement it if you can’t get adequate amounts from your nutrition. However, ensure you buy high-quality fish oil supplements with low mercury content.
Spirulina is a strain of blue-green algae known to have anti-inflammatory effects. Studies show that it can help improve inflammatory markers, boost immune function, and make aging healthier. Spirulina is a strong antioxidant, and the US Pharmacopeia Convention considers it safe for human use.
Things to Note When Buying Supplements
- Supplements are great, but many are being marketed without any sound scientific backing. It is vital to consider the following when buying supplements.
- Only buy from trustworthy and reliable manufacturers
- Adhere to the dosage instruction strictly
- Look at the ingredients. If there is a bunch of additives or products you cannot pronounce it’s most likely not the right supplement for you.
- Before using any supplement, seek your doctor’s advice to determine whether it is safe for your health condition so next time you are in the office ask us!
With the New Year upon us this is a great time to start a vitamin regiment that will help you be healthier in 2019. If you don’t know what is right for you we are happy to help you find the supplements that would best benefit your life!
Yours in Health,
Dr. Brian Wallace