Inflammation is our body’s first line of defense in repairing injury or infection and against anything toxic, but that same protection can become problematic if it is too regularly called upon to “guard” us against perceived attack. Chronic inflammation is a high stress state of response in the body that has been associated with a host of diseases, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s, mental health issues, arthritis and more, and reducing that stress is an emerging field of research and focus in the medical community.
Fighting Inflammation with Food?
Almost everything we eat either encourages or discourages inflammation in our bodies. Because we eat multiple times on a daily basis, using unprocessed, whole foods to modify your diet to support a stronger, calmer system is an extremely effective method to fight inflammation and improve overall health. The following anti-inflammatory foods can deliver the backup you need to help put out the flames.
1. Dark Leafy Greens
Studies have shown that consumption of vitamin E plays an important role in protecting the body from inflammation producing molecules called cytokines, and some of the best sources for it are dark, leafy greens like spinach, kale, broccoli, and collard greens. They’re easy to add to smoothies, salads, and entrees, and tasty and soothing to your system.
2. Go Nuts!
A great source of healthy fats to fight inflammation is nuts, particularly almonds and walnuts. Nuts are rich in fiber, calcium and vitamin E, and have high amounts of beneficial omega-3 fats like ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). They also are rich in anti-oxidants, which will help fight off and repair damage caused by free radicals and inflammation already in the body.
3. To-may-to, To-mah-to
Juicy, delicious, red tomatoes are rich in lycopene, which prevents the production of inflammatory cytokines. Lycopene has been shown to reduce inflammation in the lungs and throughout the body. Cooking tomatoes releases even more lycopene, so tomato sauces and even juices are also beneficial anti-inflammatory foods.
4. Just Beet it
Beets and beetroot juice have been shown to fight chronic inflammation, and are fantastic additions to juices, salads, or even slow-roasted and served as sides. They are full of antioxidants, and protect against cancer, heart disease and inflammation with hearty doses of fiber, vitamin C and plant pigments called betalains.
5. Turmeric and Ginger
Turmeric and ginger are common spices in Asian and Indian cooking. Turmeric has been used for over 4,000 years to treat a variety of conditions, and has been show to help the body fight inflammation by turning off a protein that triggers the process of inflammation. Ginger, when taken as a supplement, calming inflammation in the intestines.
Is Pain and Inflammation Keeping You From Activity?
The team of medical professionals at Pain Stop North Phoenix will use a comprehensive approach across multiple disciplines including pain management, chiropractic, physical therapy, and massage to provide you with fast relief and lasting results. Contact us today to learn more!