Doctors are learning that one of the best ways to reduce inflammation lies not in the medicine cabinet, but in the refrigerator and food pantry. By following a diet high in anti-inflammatory foods, you can fight off inflammation for good. Here are some foods that we can easily incorporate into our diet to reduce inflammation.
Food that Reduce Inflammation
Berries, whether they’re blueberries, strawberries, raspberries or blackberries, they all contain antioxidants known as anthocyanins. Not only do berries reduce existing inflammation, but they train our cells to respond better to any episodes of future inflammation.
I’m sure you know leafy greens are good for you, but do you know why? Spinach, kale, Swiss chard, arugula, dandelion greens and other leafy greens are rich in antioxidants and are alkalizing to the body. They’re packed with vitamins and nutrients including folate, fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin K along with a variety of minerals.
Salmon & Other Cold-Water Fish
Salmon and other fatty fish such as trout, sardines, anchovies and mackerel are high in essential omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA), which have significant anti-inflammatory properties.
When most think of avocados they think of healthy fats. And that’s because avocados are loaded with monounsaturated “good” fats – the kind which help to reduce cholesterol and soothe inflammation of the joints. Avocados are also high in vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin E, manganese, selenium and zinc. They are also a good source of fiber!
Broccoli & Other Vegetables
Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, like cauliflower and Brussels sprouts are jam-packed with antioxidants, vitamins and phytochemicals. Broccoli is rich in vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium and fiber, but it’s the sulforaphane which makes broccoli extra special. Sulforaphane is one of the most studied compounds in broccoli. It’s shown to have protective effects against cancer and detoxify harmful chemicals from the environment that would otherwise trigger inflammation in our body.
Of course, fresh garlic adds an enormous amount of flavor to recipes, but the wide-ranging health benefits are where garlic shines. Garlic contains anti-inflammatory chemicals such as quercetin which naturally inhibits histamine and sulfur compounds that stimulate your immune system to fight disease. If you have arthritis, garlic may be your best friend as it can help fight the pain, inflammation and cartilage damage of arthritis.
Ginger contains substances known as gingerols that reduce inflammation and turn off pain-causing compounds in the body.
Pineapple & Other Fruits
Fruits like pineapples, cherries, apples and grapes also possess inflammation fighting nutrients. Pineapples are a good source of bromelain which is a protein enzyme that a very potent anti-inflammatory enzyme. Cherries produce anthocyanoses which gives the fruit its color and helps fight inflammation the same way aspirin does. Apples Contains quercetin which is an anti-inflammatory antioxidant. And grapes contain resveratrol which inhibits inflammatory enzymes in the same way aspirin does.
A healthy person needs 30 to 50 ounces of fluid per day. Drinking fluids is crucial to staying healthy and maintaining the function of every system in your body including your heart, brain and muscles. Fluids carry nutrients to your cells, flush bacteria from your bladder and prevent constipation. So, make sure proper hydration is a part of your daily nutrition plan!
Inflammatory Foods to Avoid
Sugars & High Fructose Corn Syrup (Soda, Candy, Sauces/Condiments)
Sugar and high fructose products contain increased amount of uric acid which increased inflammation shown in a trial done by assigning certain people to drink regular soda, diet soda, milk, and water which resulted in people who drank regular soda having an increase in uric acid. Another study showed that the omega 3 fatty acids, which fight inflammation, have been decreased in mice that were fed high sugar diets.
Artificial Trans Fats (Cakes, Pies, Cookies, Margarine, Doughnuts)
Artificial trans fats are created by adding hydrogen to unsaturated fats. Trans fats are linked to high levels of inflammatory markers such as IL6, TNF and CRP.
Vegetable/Seed Oils (Soybean, Canola, Corn)
Due to the structure of poly-saturated fatty acids found in these oils, they are prone to damage by oxidation. It was also found that they are high in Omega 6 which has the opposite effect that Omega 3 has on the body.
Refined Carbohydrates (Pasta, White Rice, Rice Snacks, Crackers)
Refined carbohydrates have most of the natural fiber removed. They also contain high levels of GI which increases blood sugar.
Excessive alcohol increases the inflammatory marker known as CRP.
Processed Meats (Sausage, Bacon, Ham, Beef Jerky)
Processed meats are created by cooking in increased temperatures, leading to advanced glycation end products which increase inflammation.
You should always make sure you are on a healthy eating plan that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, low glycemic and minimally processed carbohydrates (rice, quinoa, oatmeal, potatoes) and lean meats before adding supplements. Your body was designed to absorb nutrients through foods, which is why we recommend Standard Process whole food supplements. The following is a list of supplements from Standard Process that can help with pain and inflammation. We carry all of these in our offices. If you have any questions please call us at 822-BACK. We provide quick and easy pick up.
Daily Fundamentals should be the cornerstone of any supplement regimen – this has a daily multi-vitamin and mineral supplement to make sure you are getting all essentials every day, high potency fish Omega-3 fish oil capsule and B-vitamin tablet.
Supports cardiovascular health, immune system response function, and the maintenance of cells and tissues. It also helps the body to manage inflammation and help your muscles and joints to recover faster after activity or injury.
Omega-3 fish oil
Omega-3 oils support focus and concentration supports emotional balance, like keeping you calm in stressful situations. They also contain DHA, which is important for brain & nervous system function & recovery. Omega-3s support the body’s natural inflammatory response function as it relates to periodic challenges like a long day of yard work.
Maintain and support healthy joints, supports healthy circulation and provides antioxidant activity to help fight inflammation caused by free radicals.
Turmeric forte supports a healthy inflammatory response and will help maintain and support healthy joints and joint function. Turmeric forte also supports healthy liver function and healthy digestion and is a potent antioxidant.
Ligaplex 1 is an acute muscle, joint and ligament support supplement that supports the body’s normal connective tissue repair and synthesis processes. And helps with the growth and formation of cartilage.
Ligaplex 2 is best for long term joint and muscle support as it helps the body’s normal connective tissue repair and synthesis processes, supports healthy joints and muscle recovery and healthy and supports bone growth/healing and the formation of cartilage.
Nutrition is a vital component of any program of rehabilitation and recovery from injury. There are very easy steps that can be taken to incorporate more anti-inflammatory foods into your diet and eliminate pro-inflammatory foods. So, before you reach for the aspirin or ibuprofen check for some cherries or other foods that will help ease your pain the natural way and without side-effects.
And remember, if you’re interested in Standard Process Supplementation we carry all of their products in our offices. If you have any questions please call us at 822-BACK. We provide quick and easy pick up.
Article written by Dr. Marshall Dornink