Your body’s inflammation response is often a good thing, but not if it’s been going on too long. Improve your health with these five anti-inflammatory foods.
Our bodies are complex, amazing machines that run intricate processes without our help. Whether you tell it to or not, a lot is going on inside your body.
Like a car, though, it’s going to go until it runs out of fuel. And if you push it too much without proper maintenance — it can start falling apart.
One of the first indicators of stress on the body is inflammation. This process kicks in when infection or injury is present. Inflammation’s job is to defend the weakened area, but its side effects can be just as damaging or worse.
Chronic inflammation can lead to serious diseases Cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and debilitating arthritis are some of the physical problems that stem from too much inflammation. It can also cause cognitive decline such as Alzheimer’s and mental health problems like depression.
Don’t stress at the first signs of inflammation. It could be that there’s a foreign organism in your body, and you’re under attack. The inflammation may be protecting you from further illness.
But if this goes on for a while, you should take action. You can start by adding these five anti-inflammatory foods to your diet to improve your health.
Berries are one of those superfoods that help your body do a lot of necessary jobs. They contain a considerable volume of antioxidants, an essential line of defense in protecting your cells from damage.
Antioxidants contain flavonoids, which reduce inflammation. In fact, arthritis is one of the most complicated inflammatory conditions. But studies show that regularly adding berries to your diet may help this painful disease.
Berries also contain high levels of vitamin C, which boosts your immunity. When you have a robust immune system, you’re less likely to be “attacked” by germs, and thus activate the inflammation response.
Regularly eating berries helps lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. Add the fruits to your diet in jams, freshly picked, or as a dessert to increase your overall health.
2. Whole Grains
Carbohydrates are one of the most contested “health foods” you can eat. Some diet experts swear you need to reduce them completely, while others suggest eating them as long as they’re in whole grains.
If inflammation is a problem in your body, you might want to stick to the latter suggestions. Unrefined whole grains are high in fiber, which reduces inflammation. They also contain many other anti-inflammatory benefits, though.
Whole grains are full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals like vitamin B, vitamin E, magnesium, and iron.
You can fill up on whole grains in foods like:
- Brown and wild rice
Instead of avoiding carbs entirely, look for those made from whole grains. Your body will run better on these healthy fuelings!
Like carbs, fats are another debated health topic. Unhealthy fats are everywhere, but you don’t have to cut all fat from your diet. Instead, focus on the foods that give you good fats, like nuts.
Yes, there are such things as “healthy fats.” Your body requires fat to create cholesterol. There are both good and bad cholesterol, though.
HDL is the kind that is in your blood to help your heart function well. HDL reduces triglycerides, which may also lead to inflammation. LDL is the kind to avoid — as it clogs arteries.
The good fats, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, both exist in nuts. Eating a lot of these foods helps you lower your risk of heart disease or stroke and reduces your blood pressure.
Too much of a good thing is still too much. Limit your intake, only add a ½ cup or so of nuts daily to your diet.
4. Fatty Fish
Proteins are full of amino acids, which are the building blocks of your body. Protein is part of your hair, skin, muscles, and almost every other part of your body. We don’t make protein naturally, so we have to make sure to include it in our diets.
Not enough protein, or, conversely, too much of it, can cause inflammation in the body. If there’s a food you want to monitor closely, it’s anything with protein.
You can get all the protein you need daily in one serving of fatty fish. At the same time, you’re getting the inflammation blockers of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, EPA, and DHA.
Instead of overdoing the protein, add it to one meal a day in foods like:
Protein is a great way to improve your health, as long as you monitor how much you are getting.
5. Dark Chocolate
A fun strategy to eat your way out of inflammation is through dark chocolate and cocoa. Antioxidants abound in these comfort foods, making them delectably easy to add to your diet!
Flavanols are the ingredient in this yummy food that helps make it healthy. As you eat your dessert, combine it with berries for an extra-healthy kick. You’ll be filling up on sweets that reduce inflammation, improve your immune system, and fight damage to your skin.
Dark chocolate is also rich in minerals like iron, copper, zinc, magnesium, and phosphorus.
Like with anything, though, dark chocolate is best in moderation! It is high in calories and saturated fats, which can have the opposite effect on your health.
Inflammation plays a vital role in your body. It’s one of the first signs that you’re under stress, whether it’s an infection, injury, or a mental signal to take a step back and relax.
When you have too much inflammation, though, it can cause damage to your body. Limit the effects of chronic inflammation on your health by adding these five anti-inflammatory foods to your diet!
Janey Ha (Business Manager at Mariposa on 3rd): Janey has over eight years of experience in property management with a strong background in hospitality. She has worked in many different types of communities and is a local to the Koreatown/DTLA market.