The foods you eat could impact how you feel. If reducing inflammation is a goal, some foods are better at it than others.
Inflammation happens when your body thinks something is invading it and tries to fight back. Researchers have linked many diseases to chronic inflammation. Picking the right foods can help reduce it. The wrong ones can make it worse.
Foods that increase inflammation
The foods that can inflame include:
– Refined carbohydrates like pastries and white breads
– Fried foods
– Soda and sugar-sweetened drinks
– Processed meat and red meat
– Shortenings, lard, and margarine
Foods that reduce inflammation
Now, for the foods that can help make you feel better and reduce the inflammation. Think colorful. Many of those foods have anti-inflammatory properties.
Colorful vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, beets, and leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale, broccoli, Swiss chard, and collards are good for you. The green ones have vitamin E and high concentrations of nutrients like calcium, iron, and flavonoids. Tomatoes have lycopene that reduces inflammation in the lungs and other places throughout the body. Some hot peppers have capsaicin which is an ingredient in some topical creams marketed to reduce inflammation and pain.
Many nuts including almonds and walnuts have anti-inflammatory impact. Walnuts are high in omega-3s and other antioxidants that can reduce inflammation. Almonds have a lot of fiber, calcium, and vitamin E.
Fatty fish like sardines, tuna, mackerel, and salmon are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Adding these kinds of fish to your plate is the way to get the most benefit. Make sure it’s cooked in a healthy way.
The substance that gives fruits like raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, and tart cherries their color can be good at reducing inflammation. Of those, tart cherries are the best, but only the tart ones. Sweet cherries don’t have the same effect.
Whole grains have more fiber than their refined counterparts. That extra fiber can reduce levels of a protein that shows inflammation in the blood. Make sure to read labels carefully. Not all whole grains are the same. Look for the ratio between the number of grams of carbohydrates compared to the number of grams of fiber. The number of carbs should be fewer than ten times the number of fiber grams.
Additional items like olive oil, basil, ginger, turmeric, and garlic do more than add flavor to foods. They can also fight inflammation.
But what works for one person might not work for another and simply adding these foods is not a magical cure. As with any food, moderation is key since eating too much of anything can cause weight gain, which is a cause of inflammation in the body.
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