Best anti-inflammatory foods - NL-042
Inflammation is how your body fights infections and heals itself. It is a natural part of your body's defense mechanism – crucial to repair, healing and getting rid of dead cells. But just as too much of a good thing is bad, uncontrolled and long-lasting inflammation damages your tissues and organs, contributing to chronic diseases. What causes chronic inflammation? Ageing, recurring infections, autoimmune disorders, chronic stress, exposure to toxins, smoking and nutritional deficiencies are the top culprits. Poor sleep and unhealthy diet also contribute to chronic inflammation.
How do you know you have chronic inflammation? Feeling tired all the time, poor energy levels, muscle pain, body ache, skin eruptions, sudden trigger in allergies, weight gain and inability to sleep well are some top signs you have too much inflammation and disorder in the body. What can you do about it? It’s no secret that what you eat has a direct impact on your physical and mental health. Using this to your advantage is the key to reducing inflammation, getting good nutrition and improving the quality of your life.
Here is a list of top anti-inflammatory foods
- Herbs and spices such as ashwagandha, shallaki (boswellia serrata), turmeric, ginger, garlic and cinnamon
- Fresh fruits (particularly berries),  green leafy vegetables, whole grains and nuts
- Fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel
- Dietary supplements such as vitamin D , vitamin C, glutathione, resveratrol, omega 3 fatty acids and CoQ10
- Healthy fats, green tea, dark chocolate and probiotics
These foods are a great source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidant compounds that not only provide nutrition but also fight free radicals and reduce inflammation. For example, turmeric is well-known for its potential in reducing pain and chronic inflammation. It is widely used in managing many inflammatory conditions, such as diabetes, arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.
Highly processed food is your number one enemy. Loaded with dangerous amounts of added sugar, salt, and trans fats, processed foods such as breakfast cereals, readymade meals, sugary beverages and dressings trigger inflammation and increase your risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. These foods are pumped with various ingredients (artificial colours, flavouring agents, thickeners and stabilizers) to increase their shelf life and make them look and taste better. These ingredients are toxic and increase inflammation in the gut. In addition to eating healthy, you should manage your stress levels, get good sleep, drink plenty of water, be more active and, if applicable, lose weight (especially around the belly).
- Islam et al. Dietary Phytochemicals: Natural Swords Combating Inflammation and Oxidation-Mediated Degenerative Diseases. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2016
- Ang Zhou and Elina Hyppönen. Vitamin D deficiency and C-reactive protein: a bidirectional Mendelian randomization study. International Journal of Epidemiology. 2022.