Inflammation is the natural reaction your body has to irritation, injury or injection – but that doesn’t mean it’s any less painful to deal with. Often, anti-inflammatory drugs can be prescribed to help alleviate the symptoms. You can also help your body along by being adopting a healthy diet.
Yes, you read that right: there are natural, non-medical ways to help your body avoid an inflammation response.
Keep an eye on your diet, as some foods can be especially irritating:
- Junk foods, white flours, high-fat meats, sugar and processed foods. This includes high-fat processed meats like bacon and sausage.
Loading up on junk foods, high-fat meats, sugar and processed foods may increate the potential for inflammation in your body. Cut back on white flours in bread and pasta by looking for 100% whole-grain instead. Eliminate added sugars by decreasing your consumption of sugary sodas, pastries, candies, desserts and pre-sweetened cereals.
- Potatoes, tomatoes and eggplants can also trigger pain in some people as these vegetables contain a chemical alkaloid called solanine. While no formal research back the claim about this, some people believe that avoiding them have helped.
So what foods are considered natural anti-inflammatories?
Fruits and Vegetables. Whole fruits, berries and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and phytohemicals. Choose green and brightly colored vegetables, and whole fruits.
Protein Sources. Possible anti-inflammatory protein sources include lean poultry, fish and seafood. Soy and soy foods such as tofu and tempeh, along with other legumes, can be used as plant-based protein sources.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Maintaining a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids (naturally available in foods like fish oil and flaxseed oil) and low in omega-6 fatty acids (found in foods like red meat and dairy products) may help lower inflammation
Beverages. Your body needs water. Drink water, 100% fruit juice, herbal tea, low-sodium vegetable juice
Anti-inflammatory diet tips:
When you are choosing anti-inflammatory foods, choose fresh foods instead of heavily processed foods. Here are some tips:
- For breakfast, try oatmeal served with fresh berries and walnuts
- Snack on whole fruits, nuts, seeds, and fresh vegetables instead of cookies and candy
- Eat more fish and less fatty red meat
- Cook with olive oil and canola oil
- Have a salad with lots of fresh vegetables as your meal
- Stay away from deep-fried foods; bake, broil, poach or stir-fry instead
- Choose dark green or brightly colored vegetables as side dishes — they should fill half your dinner plate
- Drink water, non-fat milk, 100% fruit and vegetable juices, herbal and green tea instead of sugary sodas and soft drinks
- Preliminary research suggests that some herbs may help reduce inflammation. Tumeric and ginger have been found to help reduce inflammation