Inflammation is our body’s natural reaction to infections and injuries. It is a complex system that brings immune cells and nutrients to the affected areas to help your body heal itself. Sometimes this system goes out of control and starts to affect healthy tissue, this is what we call chronic inflammation.
Poor nutritional choices are often the culprit of chronic inflammation. It can be a very painful process that affects the quality of life. Many of today’s diseases and allergies are closely associated with chronic inflammation. Arthritis, MS, diabetes, Crohn’s disease, heart diseases, and some types of cancer are only a few examples.
Luckily, this is a problem which can be prevented and fixed through little changes in your diet. Most fresh fruits and vegetables possess strong anti-inflammatory properties.
Here are 10 of the world’s best anti-inflammatory foods you should add to your daily diet to prevent, improve, or cure inflammation.
Not only berries, but all colorful whole foods are high in antioxidants and other anti-inflammatory compounds. Acai, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are high in polyphenols which protect your tissues against free radical or inflammatory damage.
2. Cherries Or Cherry Juice
Multiple studies have shown the beneficial effects of drinking cherry juice twice a day to fight arthritis pain or gout. Cherries, especially tart cherries, are packed with anthocyanins which are found to be as effective as over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen.
3. Raw Cacao
Raw cacao is packed with flavanols which are known to reduce blood clotting and chronic inflammation in our body.
Ginger’s active compound inhibits nitric oxide production and reduces inflammation.
Often referred to as “the queen of spices”, and for some good reasons. Turmeric’s active compound curcumin has strong anti-inflammatory effects, and can be added to your juices, smoothies, stews, soups or salads.
6. Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits such as lemons, limes, and grapefruits are packed with vitamin C and other powerful anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. Lemons are my absolute favorite. Get more lemon health facts here.
7. Leafy Greens And Cruciferous Vegetables
Leafy greens or cruciferous vegetables such as kale, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, and watercress, are packed with antioxidants, chlorophyll, fiber, and other phytonutrients that protect your body from free radical damage and inflammation.
8. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a true superfood. Not only does it fight inflammation, it boost metabolism, balances hormones, works antimicrobial and tastes delicious.
9. Olive oil
A compound found in olive oil, called oleocanthal, interferes with 2 enzymes which are responsible for inflammation. Some people claim that it works as good to fight inflammation as ibuprofen but without the side effects.
10. Chia Seeds
These tiny seed are packed with antioxidants, fiber, and anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. They work great in raw refrigerator jams, chia seed puddings, smoothies, or they can be used as an egg replacement in baked goods.
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And not only is it important to add more anti-inflammatory foods to your daily diet, avoiding foods that cause inflammation is equally important. Inflammation causing foods include processed foods, hydrogenated vegetable oils, wheat, dairy, and sugar.