Inflammation is the cause of many diseases and illnesses in the body. It may present itself as fatigue, swelling, irritation, poor mental health, pains, or a loss of normal functioning of certain body systems. We can also see inflammation in the form of irritation, bloating, and puffiness.
Inflammation is a consequence of our lifestyle, nutrition, heavy metals, and toxins in the environment. The good news is that eating the right nutrient dense foods can really help.
As Hippocrates said “Let food be thy medicine”. It is certainly possible to lower inflammation and inflammatory responses through our diet even if (unhealthy) foods may have been the cause of it in the first place. Below, we discuss powerful anti-inflammatory foods that you can try incorporating into your diet.
Turmeric (fresh is the best) has strong anti-inflammatory properties, helping to combat inflammatory molecules in the body. The curcumin in turmeric is the superhero as it works directly with enzymes in the body that are responsible for inhibiting inflammatory processes. Adding cracked black pepper has been shown to help increase the absorption of curcumin so it can do its job!
Spirulina is a powerful antioxidant and has many anti-inflammatory properties. I recommend mixing 1 teaspoon a day into water, smoothies, or fresh juice. Spirulina has an active component called Phycocyanin, which is a biliprotein and has been shown to lower inflammation responses and scavenge free radicals.
Vitamin C Rich Foods
Think: oranges, grapefruit, red and orange peppers, tomato, and broccoli. These along with many other plant foods are rich in vitamin C which can help to reduce one of the biggest sources of inflammation: oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Try adding fresh fruits to your cereal or oats in the morning and swapping out processed snacks for fresh fruits or crudites.
Nettle and Dandelion Leaf
Most commonly found in tea form, these two powerful antioxidants help to reduce the rate of inflammatory responses within the body. Both of these powerful plants are able to effectively support the detoxification processes of the liver and kidneys. Studies have also found that nettle is capable of reducing inflammatory hormones in the body.
Cut Out Processed Foods
All processed foods can increase inflammation within the body. Processed foods can alter gut bacteria which can alter our immune system in a way that triggers chronic inflammation.
Lastly, mediate your stress levels. Chronic stress causes your body to enter its “fight or flight response", which leads to an overactivated immune system, subsequently creating an imbalance of inflammation within the body.