People should understand that one of the best ways inflammations can be subdued lies in their fridge and not their medicine cabinet. The process where the immune system attacks anything it classifies has foreign objectives (like an invading microbe, chemical, or plant pollen) is referred to as inflammation.
However, the immune system sometimes persists day in and day out when a foreign object is not threatening. This is when inflammation becomes an enemy. Some major diseases like arthritis, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and depression have been linked to chronic inflammation. One of the most powerful inflammation markers comes from the grocery and not the pharmacy.
The principles of an anti-inflammatory diet are healthy ones. A Mediterranean diet that includes eating more vegetables, fresh fruits, healthy fats, and fish; drinking a moderate quantity of red wine; eating very little red meat; and eating nuts moderately is a perfect anti-inflammatory diet. A Miami-based nutritionist, Ximena Jimenez recommended the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids. She stressed further by saying that omega-3 fatty acids inhibit a prostaglandins-producing enzyme that triggers inflammation. This enzyme works like aspirin. Nutritionists recommend the following:
- Berries: A review in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry concluded that polyphenol compounds (anthocyanins) found in berries produce dark red pigments, moderate inflammation.
- Cold-water fish: One of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids is cold-water fish. Consuming around 340 grams or 12 ounces of mackerel, salmon, tuna, and/or herring weekly is good.
- Watermelon: Watermelon contains a cellular inhibitor, lycopene, used in different inflammatory processes. Lycopene also serves as an antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals. According to a 2006 article in Shock Medical Journal, watermelon contains choline, a compound that keeps chronic inflammation down.
- Cruciferous vegetables like Broccoli: Green leafy veggies like cauliflower, Brussels Sprout, Broccoli, and Kale contain sulforaphane. Sulforaphanes are associated with blocking enzymes that can lead to joint deterioration that can further lead to chronic inflammation. Also, sulforaphane can prevent or reverse damage to the linings of the blood vessel caused by inflammation and chronic blood sugar problems.
- Avocados: Avocados are a great anti-inflammatory that contains inflammation-reducing compounds like carotenoid antioxidants, phytosterols, polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols, and omega 3 fatty acids. According to a 2013 study in the Journal of Food & Function, people who ate a hamburger that has avocado had lower CRP levels four hours after eating it than those who did not.
- Walnuts and other nuts: Nuts are another source of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Onions: For some centuries now, onions have been a home remedy for asthma because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Onions are a good source of quercetin, an inhibitor of histamines that are known to cause inflammation.
- Canola oil and olive oil: Cooking with these oils is good because they are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Some spices: According to the University of Wiscons, cloves, nutmegs, oregano, rosemary, ginger, turmeric, and cayenne possess anti-inflammatory compounds.
The message is clear; people should avoid foods high in saturated fats and trans-fats, refined carbohydrates, and sugar-sweetened drinks; and increase the consumption of nut, vegetable, fruits, and foods high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.