Complete List of Anti-Inflammatory Foods (and natural ways to treat inflammation)

Ever had an accident like burning your finger or falling off of a bike? 

I’m sure afterward the injured area becomes red, warm, and swollen. 

This is your body going into defense mode to heal itself naturally. 

Inflammation is the immune system’s response to fight infection and repair injury and; it also fends off foreign intruders such as: 

  • germs 
  • wounds 
  • allergens 
  • other causes

Without our bodies’ inflammatory response, diseases could be fatal, and wounds could intensify.

But inflammation is a “Goldilocks” condition. Too little and infection can beat our bodies, too much and it can cause horrible health problems of its own.

In short, inflammation is a shapeshifter. It can be both a symptom of a disease or a cause of symptoms.

2 Types of Inflammation

There are two types of inflammation:

  • Acute inflammation – This happens after a sprain, scrape, splinter, and stings. This is a quick response where inflammation fixes the problem at the precise place.
  • Chronic inflammation – This type can keep going for months or years since symptoms can go undetected. 

Instead of fighting foreign invaders and defending us from disease, the inflammation now attacks the body itself. 

As inflammation progresses, it damages the following:

  • Arteries
  • Organs
  • Joints

Left unchecked, this can drive illnesses such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Stroke
  • Respiratory disease
  • Arthritis. 

It can also happen when people are obese or feeling stressed.

4 Common Signs and Symptoms of Inflammation

Listed down are the common symptoms of inflammation. Imagine a twisted ankle, a splinter, or an insect bite.

  1. Redness

This results from the increase of blood supply in the injured part of the body.

  1. Heat

When the affected area feels warm, it is because there is more blood flow in that area.

  1. Swelling 

Also known as edema, develops when fluid builds up in the tissue of a certain area.

  1. Pain

Inflammatory chemicals trigger nerve endings which can make the affected areas feel more sensitive.

What Causes Inflammation (And How Diet Influences It?)

No one knows what causes inflammation. Although 

  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol intake
  • Genetics
  • Environmental factors
  • Inactive lifestyles 

These are all linked with it.

You can manage — and even undo — inflammation through a healthy, anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle. 

Researchers are trying to figure out how what we eat may cause inflammation. 

Still, having a balanced diet may help avoid and keep chronic inflammation at bay, while keeping your immune system functioning well.

The Best Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Include plenty of these in your diet:

Fruits

  • Strawberry
  • Blueberry
  • Raspberry
  • Blackberry
  • Grapes 
  • Cherries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Melon
  • Pineapple
  • Avocado
  • Lemon
  • Papaya

Vegetables

  • Artichoke
  • Arugula
  • Asparagus
  • Bamboo shoots
  • Beet
  • Bok choy
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Chard
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Fennel
  • Lettuce
  • Palm hearts
  • Leeks
  • Mushroom
  • Onion
  • Peppers (all types)
  • Radish
  • Rhubarb
  • Shallots
  • Spinach
  • String beans
  • Turnips
  • Water chestnuts
  • Watercress
  • Squash
  • Cauliflower
  • Tomato
  • Collards
  • Zucchini

Healthy fats

  • Olive oil 
  • Coconut oil

Fatty fish

  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Snapper
  • Tuna
  • Cod
  • Herring
  • Halibut
  • Bass

Nuts

  • Almonds 
  • Walnut
  • Peanut
  • Flaxseed
  • Pistachio
  • Chia seeds
  • Cashew
  • Dates
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Brazil nuts
  • Hemp seeds

Chocolate 

  • Dark chocolate

Spices

  • Turmeric
  • Fenugreek
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Cayenne
  • Garlic
  • Black pepper

Tea

  • Green tea
  • Holy basil
  • Turmeric
  • Ginger
  • Rosehip
  • Fennel

4 Things we can do About Inflammation (From a Holistic Standpoint) 

  1. Dietary changes

One great approach to lessen inflammation is through foods. A diet high in processed foods and sugars can lead to chronic inflammation. 

Changing diet alone can achieve excellent progress in your overall health and wellbeing and lower your risk for disease. 

Center your diet on nutrient-dense, whole foods that have antioxidants, and avoid processed products.

The anti-inflammatory diet centers on:

  • Fruits 
  • Vegetables 
  • Fish 
  • Whole grains 

And limits foods, such as: 

  • Processed products 
  • Refined sugars
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Food filled with additives and preservatives
  1. Increase anti-inflammatory foods

Your selection of foods is just as vital as the medication and supplements you take for overall health to protect you against inflammation. 

Load up on fruits, vegetables, and omega-3 rich foods on every meal. Some of the best sources are: 

  • Wild-caught fish, such as salmon and sardines
  • Nuts, such as walnuts 
  • Healthy fats, like ground flaxseed, chia seeds, and hemp seeds 

Your anti-inflammatory diet should cater to a healthy balance of protein, carbs, and good fat at each meal. 

Make sure you also meet your body’s daily needs for: 

  • Vitamins
  • Minerals
  • Fiber
  • Water

Certain supplements can reduce inflammation, including: 

  • Fish oil 
  • Curcumin
  1. Movement

Regular exercise can reduce inflammatory markers and your chance of chronic disease. 

  • Target about 30 -60 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a day depending on your body.
  • Allot time for 30 to 45 minutes of aerobic exercises, such as jogging for at least 4-5 times per week.

You can also crunch time by incorporating movement while working. 

Just always be active and the benefits are on their way.

  1. Other mind-body practice to support anti-inflammatory response

So many people neglect this aspect of health and wellbeing. 

It is relevant to contemplate and assess your habits and lifestyle to decide whether it improves or destroys your health.

Evaluate your career and work demands, then attune them with your health needs and objectives.

Chronic stress can also contribute to inflammation. Don’t forget yourself and make time for:

  • Self-care 
  • Regular massage 
  • Meditation/prayer 
  • Exercise 
  • Relaxation 
  • Anything that provides you a sense of calm. 
  • Getting adequate sleep is highly important. Researchers suggest that a poor quality of sleep increases inflammation.

In most cases, your diet and lifestyle drive out inflammation or make it worse. 

The bottom line is that it is essential to keep in mind your consumption of anti-inflammatory foods to achieve:

  • Excellent health and wellbeing
  • Minimize your risk of sickness
  • Enhance your overall quality of life

How Lotus Healing and Wellness can Help You?

Here at Lotus Healing For You, we help our clients understand what they can do to heal in a holistic way and be the best version of yourself.

I have an in-depth working knowledge of nutrition and tips to share with my clients.

Reach out if you think you may have some concerns about inflammation that you would like to address with us! 

Remember, our discovery sessions are always free of charge!

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