Inflammation is just one of many natural phenomena that serves a crucial function, but it can have significant adverse consequences when it occurs in excess. In moderation, inflammation protects your health. However, when inflammation becomes chronic, it can increase your risk for several common and major health problems, including heart disease, cancer, arthritis, depression and Alzheimer’s.
It is important to take steps to combat inflammation sooner rather than later to prevent it from taking a toll on your health. You can find the best tools for fighting inflammation not in your medicine cabinet, as you might assume, but in your refrigerator. Check out the top anti-inflammatory foods and ingredients you should consume daily.
Though small, berries are mighty. Berries are dense with vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants, all of which work together to combat inflammation and reduce your risk of disease. Dozens of berry types produce astounding health effects, including the following:
One study set out to prove the health effects of berries. They focused on 50 adults, 25 of whom consumed a blueberry supplement daily and the 25 who did not. The adults in the former group produced substantially more natural killer cells than those in the latter. NK cells are responsible for helping the immune system function optimally.
If you’re a passenger on the avocado toast bandwagon, you’re in luck. Avocados are full of health-boosting ingredients, including tocopherols and carotenoids, which reduce individuals’ risk of cancer. Additionally, one study suggests that a prevalent compound in avocados may reduce inflammation in newly developed skin cells.
Broccoli, its cousin cauliflower, kale and Brussel sprouts are all cruciferous family members. Cruciferous vegetables are among the healthiest you can eat. They are jam-packed with several health-boosting nutrients, including sulforaphane. Sulforaphane is an antioxidant that reduces the presence of inflammation-driving molecules in the body and, therefore, combats inflammation.
Peppers are chock full of vitamin C and antioxidants, and both produce powerful anti-inflammatory effects. Chili peppers are particularly notable for their ability to slow the aging process by reducing inflammation, while bell peppers help combat inflammation associated with several chronic illnesses, including diabetes.
5. Green Tea
You’ve probably heard a tea drinker or two tout the benefits of green tea, and they aren’t wrong. Green tea is perhaps one of the healthiest beverages you can drink, as studies associate its consumption with reduced risk of cancer, heart disease, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease and other chronic illnesses. Several benefits of green tea are due to its anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidant ingredients, particularly epigallocatechin-3-gallate. EGCG reduces the presence and production of pro-inflammatory cytokine. It also reduces damage to the fatty acids in your cells, thereby inhibiting inflammation.
Other Inflammation-Fighting Ingredients
There are dozens of inflammation-fighting ingredients that you can find in your kitchen or at the local grocery store. In addition to the top five, other ingredients to add to your daily diet are as follows:
- Fatty fish
- Dark chocolate
- Extra virgin olive oil
Inflammation is a naturally occurring phenomenon that helps fight foreign bodies and safeguard your health. However, when it occurs in excess, inflammation can be detrimental to your health. Add the above 13 ingredients to your daily diet to keep chronic inflammation at bay.