Inflammation can occur at different levels of intensity and in different places in your body. The good news is that there are a lot of things that you can do to help improve and fight off your inflammation. For example, there are foods that you can eat to help reduce inflammation and there are also some foods that you should avoid if inflammation seems to be a chronic issue. Keep reading if you are interested in this topic and want to discover some of the superfoods that can help with inflammation.
What is Inflammation & How Do You Know if You Have It?
Simply put, inflammation is when your body reacts to something that it perceives as a threat. It is the warning signal to your immune system that it needs to kick into high gear and start doing its job. It’s often seen in people that have conditions such as arthritis or fibromyalgia. The problem is that over time, inflammation can do harm to your body, as it weakens the body by being on the defense all the time. This can worsen (or speed up) the effects of the conditions that you may have (or get in the future). Here are some of the signs that you can keep an eye out for, if you suspect that you have inflammation:
- Some redness and/or swelling around the joint
- The affected area seems warm when you touch it
- Your joints feel stiff or you have pain in a particular joint
- Your joint movement seems limited (e.g.: can’t bend or extend your knee as much as you are used to)
- Other symptoms such as fatigue, loss of appetite, etc.
7 Superfoods That Can Help Fight Inflammation
This is not an exhaustive list, of course, but it does give you a great starting point for helping fight that pesky inflammation that has made itself at-home in your body. The great thing about this list is that they are all natural foods and are easily available.
- Blueberries: These little delicious nuggets hold a large amount of quercetin, which is the key ingredient in controlling inflammation. Since this will protect your body against free radicals, you could find a reduction of your inflammation as a result.
- Walnuts: When you don’t get enough Omega-3 in your diet, you could very likely be dealing with inflammation long-term. Luckily, walnuts are rich in Omega-3 and can be easily added into your diet as a nice snack.
- Leafy Veggies: Sure, leafy green vegetables are not the most delicious snack in the world, but they will help deal with inflammation. This is because these greens have a lot of chlorophyll and luten, both of which are known to attack inflammation.
- Ginger: When you need a true targeted effect, ginger could be your smoking gun. This delicious add-on will attack inflammation at a cellular level, to help fight inflammation before it even starts to become an issue for you. It’s also easy to add to your diet.
- Oatmeal: Considered a superfood for so many reasons, oatmeal is a grain that is known to help fight inflammation as well as make your immune system stronger. It also is a great satiating food to help you resist snacking later on in the day, too. A power breakfast option.
- Tea: Full of antioxidants that will help you enjoy lower cholesterol, as well as a reduction of inflammation, tea is a great option for your diet. Consider replacing even just one of your daily sugary drinks with a cup of tea instead and enjoy the long-term benefits.
- Yogurt: Based on recent studies, yogurt is another alternative for those seeking help with their inflammation since yogurt helps to strengthen your intestinal lining. When you have a strong lining, there is a lower chance of endotoxins (which promote inflammation) leaking into your bloodstream.
What Foods to Avoid
As we mentioned above, there are some foods that you’re going to want to avoid, to make sure that you don’t irritate the inflammation more than it already is. If you do have a flare-up, try to think back to what you ate during the day to see if there might be a link. Some foods that are known to exacerbate inflammation:
- White pasta
- Large amounts of alcohol
- Processed foods & meats
- Sugary drinks
This is not an exhaustive list, but these five categories are certainly some of the “need to avoid” items to nix out of your diet as much as possible.
You have the ability to beat inflammation simply by knowing what foods your body needs and what it doesn’t. We hope that the list of superfoods we talked about above help you get in control of your inflammation. If you have experience with inflammation, we’d love to hear from you. What works for you? Has anything made it worse? Just leave a comment below! We’re sure our readers would appreciate the information. Also, before you go, we highly recommend that you read our blog post 4 Natural Ways To Relieve Joint Pain & Inflammation.