Inflammation in the body presents itself in many ways. It could be in the form of skin issues, joint problems, or stomach discomfort for example.
In fact, there are some studies that suggest inflammation is behind period pains! Inflammation happens when your immune system attacks anything that enters the body it perceives as ‘foreign’. It does this to protect your health. Sometimes, it can persist despite no ‘foreign invaders’.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to control and combat inflammation. I’ve explored ways to control it with diet.
Before we look at inflammation-busting foods, let’s look at foods that prompt inflammation.
If you suffer from inflammation, I would recommend avoiding or limiting foods such as white bread, pastries, fried food, soda, red meat as much as possible. These can all potentially cause inflammation and can make symptoms worse.
Don’t worry, to avoid or reduce inflammation you don’t need to have a limited diet. Let’s talk about inflammation-busting foods that can help fight the issue. If you can’t seem to control your inflammation, then try adding these foods into your diet:
Oil Me Up
I’m a big lover of Greek food, which means I love extra virgin olive oil. When I discovered its health benefits I was over the moon. Olive oil and Ibuprofen (an anti-inflammatory drug) contain similar compounds (Oleocanthal), according to research. The Oleocanthal in olive oil reduces inflammation and pain. Be creative and find ways to incorporate olive oil into your diet. Use as a salad dressing or drizzle over foods to add a hit of flavour.
Let’s Go Nuts
Nuts are another inflammation-fighting food. Some people avoid eating nuts because of their high-fat content. But don’t fear, they’re full of HEALTHY fats. Almonds and walnuts are particularly good nuts. Almonds contain fiber – shown to reduce levels of C-reactive protein. This is a marker of inflammation. Walnuts contain high levels of omega-3 essential fatty acids. This is in the form of alpha-linolenic acid, known for its anti-inflammatory benefits. So, to reduce inflammation add some nuts into your diet. Keep a handful of nuts in your desk drawer or in your kitchen cupboard for a healthy, midday snack. Alternatively, add them to your favourite recipe or salad!
Beat it with Beetroot
Beetroot is SO good for you. It has plenty of nutritional benefits and amazing anti-inflammatory properties. It helps fight inflammation through the fiber, folate, and phytonutrients it contains. The nutrient betaine found in beetroot has been associated with low levels of inflammation. It also helps improve blood circulation. To get your beetroot fix, you can either add it into meals or drink beetroot juice.
My Favourite: Turmeric
You may have heard us mention turmeric once or twice, (ok, a few hundred times), if you’ve read our previous blog posts. I am OBSESSED. If you haven’t read our sensitive skin blog post, then here is what you need to know. I have always suffered from severe eczema. Recently it flared up a lot and I was at a loss. A friend recommended I start taking turmeric root extract tablets. They SAVED my skin. My eczema went from being sore, red and inflamed to completely clear. It works by helping to turn off ‘NF-kappa B’. This is a compound that triggers the process of inflammation. The pigment in turmeric (curcumin), is also said to reduce inflammation. In my experience, this really worked, but always assess your own diet and skincare needs before trying anything new. Consult a GP or nutritionist if your symptoms are particularly of concern.
I hope these inflammation-busting foods help you! What are your top foods to fight inflammation? Drop a comment below or tweet @totmorganic to let us know.