Inflammation can refer to a wide variety of conditions; everything from sinusitis, rheumatoid arthritis, and even emphysema.
Inflammation is a non-specific response that occurs as a result of any type of bodily injury, whether it’s physical trauma, certain chronic diseases or illnesses, or any type of foreign body. Getting something as simple as a papercut can be enough to cause an inflammatory response. In this instance, you will notice things like pain, swelling, and redness.
If your inflammation is acute, it generally resolves itself within 12 hours. However, in cases where it is chronic (i.e. rheumatoid arthritis), it tends to last for a prolonged period of time.
Chronic inflammation can be triggered by physical injury, certain allergens, toxins (i.e. certain air pollutants, household chemicals, pesticides and even medications), oxidation, oxygen deficiency in tissues, and even stress. Foods that can cause allergic reactions, such as nuts or dairy products, can also trigger an inflammatory response. When an inflammatory response is triggered, the body releases what’s known as “mediators” of inflammation, such as neurotransmitters and hormones.
You can fight inflammation through a variety of ways: By taking medications (such as NSAIDs), increasing your intake of certain nutrients (such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and flavonoid), by avoiding certain foods, as well as by eating certain foods.
Foods with Anti-Inflammatory Effects
Some of the best foods with anti-inflammatory effects include those that contain omega-3 fatty acids; such as:
- Fish (such as salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel)
- Nuts (such as walnuts and almonds)
- Flax seeds
- Canola oil
Onion, garlic, and ginger are also great foods that can help fight inflammation and have been used for decades for this specific purpose.
Other foods that are useful for this purpose (as well as provide a long list of other health benefits) include:
- Dark and leafy green vegetables (such as spinach and kale)
- Berries (such as blueberries, strawberries, and cherries)
- Olive oil