First of all, what is inflammation?
Inflammation is the body’s natural defense against illness to stimulate healing. This sounds good, right? However, sustained inflammation can lead to worsening health problems like diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic issues.
I’m sure you’ve experienced minor inflammation before, maybe you got a paper cut or bit your cuticle and it got a little inflamed, maybe you banged your knee on a chair and it got bruised and a little swollen - these are small examples of how we experience inflammation naturally and how the body works to help us recover.
There is also intestinal inflammation, or what we experience as bloat, IBS, and stomach pains. Are there foods with the revers effect?
The following foods I'm about to list have properties that help to reduce inflammation in the body. While they may not eliminate or alleviate it altogether, they are foods to prioritize in times of digestive inflammation.
Berries contain antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory effects.
Try snacking on blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries.
Fatty fish are packed with protein and omega-3 fatty acids. The fatty acids are metabolized into compounds called “resolvins” and “protectins” which have anti-inflammatory effects.
Try having fish like salmon, herring, and mackerel for dinner.
Tomatoes are high in vitamin C, potassium, and an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties.
Try adding sliced tomatoes to a salad, or have sliced tomato and basil.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil:
EVOO is linked to the Mediterranean diet (an overall anti-inflammatory diet), and is shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, brain cancer, and other health conditions. It is rich in monounsaturated fats which provides its antioxidant benefits.
Drizzle evoo over a salad as a dressing or over your vegetables before cooking.
Almonds and walnuts have the healthy kind of fat that helps to stop inflammation.
Add nuts to a salad or enjoy a handful as a snack during the day.
I’m talking a lot about why it’s important to stop inflammation - if inflammation is our body’s natural response to foreign bodies to heal sickness and injury, isn’t it a good thing? Yes, but it should only be around for so long before you start to heal. Excessive inflammation in the body can cause damage with the likes of arthritis, asthma, blindness, diabetes, Crohn’s, and a long list of others.
While the food we eat is just a part of our stories and medical history, it feels good to know how much we can support our bodies by the foods we eat.