When our bodies are fighting an injury or illness, we might experience inflammation. Although a necessary process, inflammation can be very unpleasant, especially if it’s chronic. An unhealthy lifestyle can not only lead to inflammation but numerous other conditions as well.
An effective way to reduce inflammation is to carefully choose the foods and drinks you consume. In this article, we’ll discuss what to eat and drink to beat inflammation.
Fruits and Vegetables
This can’t be stressed enough: fruits and vegetables in all ways and forms are essential in fighting inflammation. If you don’t like eating fruits and veggies, find innovative ways to incorporate them into your meal. For example, you can add mushrooms to your burgers, layer salads on sandwiches, add extra veggies to soups, etc. Once you get used to this diet, you’ll notice the body will crave these nutritional health bombs.
Also, try adding more beneficial spices, herbs, and citrus juice to your food. Cinnamon is excellent in cookies and oatmeal, lemon juice makes a perfect salad dressing, and ginger can taste great in your morning lemonade. The combinations are endless, and these small adjustments can do wonders for fighting inflammation.
Different types of tea contain antioxidants called catechins. One of the most powerful catechins is ECGC, found in green tea. This compound is effective against inflammation and offers numerous other benefits, such as preventing brain and heart disease and weight loss. Additionally, green tea is rich in antioxidants that prevent cell damage.
Walnuts are packed with nutrients and omega-3 fatty acids that can help reduce inflammation. Additionally, they relieve joint pain, decrease arthritis symptoms, and keep your blood vessels healthy.
Journal of the American College of Cardiology published a study that proved the walnuts’ anti-inflammatory effect. Namely, it showed that people who consumed one to two ounces of walnuts per day reduced inflammation by up to 11.5% compared to those who didn’t consume them.
Dark Chocolate After Exercising
Although this is a relatively new discovery and scientists are still researching it, dark chocolate can have an anti-inflammatory effect.
Cocoa found in dark chocolate contains flavanols, a group of potent antioxidants. Flavanols can be effective in muscle recovery after exercise, thus reducing inflammation and soreness.
The more cocoa in the chocolate, the better. Since dark chocolate contains less sugar than milk chocolate, it’s generally healthier. In addition to reducing inflammation, dark chocolate can be effective in lowering the risk of heart disease and improving cognitive functions.
Keep in mind dark chocolate has a high level of calories and fat, which is why you should consume it in moderation.
Coffee lovers will be happy to know this drink contains plenty of antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation. More than 1,000 antioxidants have been identified in unprocessed coffee beans.
Coffee also has numerous other benefits for our health. It contains chlorogenic acid that prevents heart disease. Additionally, coffee improves cognitive functions, prevents headaches, lowers the risk of diabetes two, etc.
But, just because it has various health benefits doesn’t mean coffee should be consumed in large amounts. Again, moderation is key.
Turmeric is a spice with a bright yellow color, often added to curry powders, mustards, and cheeses. It gets the color from curcumin, a compound widely known for its anti-inflammatory effect. It helps suppress the oxidative stress that causes chronic inflammation.
You can add turmeric to any meal such as curry, omelets, potatoes, etc. If you don’t like its strong flavor, you can purchase one of the many supplements containing turmeric.
Research shows that fresh orange juice is excellent in combating inflammation for several reasons.
Firstly, flavonoids found in oranges maintain blood vessel cell health, thus reducing the chances of inflammation.
Secondly, vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that can lessen oxidative stress and inflammation. It also protects against free radicals, pollutants, and potentially harmful chemicals.
The Mediterranean diet has been recognized as one of the healthiest, especially for those combating inflammation. It’s rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that have an anti-inflammatory effect.
The diet is recommended not only for those struggling with inflammation but also for all people trying to eat healthy and light. It includes foods such as:
- Fruits and veggies
- Whole grains
- Olives and olive oil
Embrace the Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Inflammation means your immune system is defending the body against injuries, viruses, toxins, or infections. By consuming the right foods and drinks, you can give your immune system the necessary nutrients to successfully fight off inflammation.
Although some of the foods on this list are still being researched, there’s no harm in including them in your diet as they can be helpful for your overall health.