5 Amazing Foods that Fight Inflammation
Inflammation can be extremely frustrating to deal with as it often causes widespread health problems across multiple body systems. Symptoms of inflammation include chronic pain, chronic fatigue, digestive problems, headaches, migraines, depression, and trouble focusing. These symptoms range from mild to severe and can seriously impact your quality of life.
Because inflammation rarely has just one source, medications do not always help and can cause intolerable side effects. Unfortunately, the typical western diet is full of inflammation triggers such as sugar, refined carbohydrates, and processed oils. Eliminating these triggers and replacing them with foods full of anti-inflammatory properties can help or even resolve symptoms completely.
To get started, here are 5 amazing foods you can incorporate into your diet that fight inflammation:
1. Crimini Mushrooms
A fatty acid found in the crimini mushroom called conjugated linoleic acid has been found to actively soothe inflammation. As an excellent source of vitamin B12 and vitamin D, crimini mushrooms support and strengthen the immune system. These particular nutrients can also help symptoms of chronic pain and fatigue.
To maximize nutrient absorption, crimini mushrooms are best lightly sauteed. They go well with many other foods, especially pasta and salad dishes. Store crimini mushrooms in a paper sack inside of the refrigerator to keep them fresh for as long as possible.
2. Sweet Potatoes
The sweet potato is chock full of anti-inflammatory nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and both alpha- and beta-carotene. The anthocyanins found in the sweet potato boost the immune system and relieve inflammation with potent antioxidant properties. With so many different varieties of sweet potatoes, it is not difficult to add this wonderful veggie to your diet.
The sweet potato can be cooked in many different ways, from boiling to baking. The skins are safe to consume and contain important nutrients such as potassium and vitamin C. Use spices such as sea salt and cinnamon, which can also help inflammation, to enhance the natural flavor.
Beets have a long history of traditional medicine usage as well as clinically proven health benefits in modern research. Betalains, the pigment responsible for the beet’s vibrant purple color, have been found to have a powerful anti-inflammatory effect on the body. This root vegetable is also a significant source of choline, an important B vitamin that can help fatigue caused by inflammation.
To reap the benefits of beets, steam them until they are tender and consume 1-2 servings per week. If you are not a fan of the flavor, a small amount of lemon juice can neutralize the taste and add a punch of vitamin C. Eat them with the greens for additional nutrients such as iron and beta-carotene.
Surprisingly, salmon is packed with many inflammation fighters. Salmon is full of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids as well as DHA, vitamin B, and vitamin D which are all crucial for heart and brain health. The bioactive peptides found in salmon provide support for cartilage, digestive health, insulin resistance, and can reduce overall systemic inflammation.
Look for salmon that is certified as sustainable to ensure ethical treatment of the fish and quality of the meat. The flavor is not as strong as other kinds of seafood and can be neutralized with lemon or lime juice. You only need to eat 4 oz of salmon a few times a week for the anti-inflammatory benefits.
The phytonutrients found in pineapple as well as vitamin C, vitamin B1, and potassium can help reduce overall inflammation. Bromelain, a plant-based proteolytic enzyme, can effectively treat inflammation symptoms such as joint pain and swelling from conditions like arthritis. This enzyme is also beneficial for cardiovascular health as bromelain stops blood platelets from building up in blood vessels, thus aiding to prevent heart attack and stroke.
There are many ways to enjoy pineapple. It can be eaten raw as a sweet tasting treat or grilled and added to foods like burgers. You can make adding this fruit to your diet a lot easier with the purchase of a pineapple slicer.
These are just a few foods that can help your inflammation symptoms. In general, it is always a good idea to increase your fruit and vegetable intake because they all contain antioxidant properties of some kind. Spices such as turmeric, oregano, and curcumin can also help fight inflammation so add them to your diet as well. Always consult with your doctor before making any lifestyle or dietary changes.