Inflammation can be acute or chronic. Acute inflammation starts quickly and becomes severe quickly, with symptoms usually lasting a week or two. Chronic inflammation can last from several months to several years.
Symptoms of inflammation include redness, swelling of joints, areas of the inflammation are hot to the touch, joint pain, joint stiffness, and loss of joint function. Inflammation can also cause general flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, loss of energy, headache, loss of appetite, and muscle stiffness. Often, only a few of these symptoms occur at a time.
Inflammation is associated with a wide variety of health problems. These include: acne, asthma, sinusitis, arteriosclerosis, pericementitis, celiac disease, hay fever, chronic prostatitis, inflammatory bowel diseases, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, interstitial cystitis, and even cancer.
If you want to stay healthy, it's important to prevent inflammation in your body through a healthy lifestyle and diet. Many food products have anti-inflammatory properties that can help prevent and fight inflammation.
Here are 10 best food products that prevent inflammation in the body.
1. Olive oil
Olive oil can provide protection against inflammation. A 2011 study published in Current Pharmaceutical Design revealed that a compound called oleocanthal in extra virgin olive oil prevents the body's production of the COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes that cause inflammation.
When it comes to preventing inflammation, always choose extra virgin olive oil. It can reduce the risk of diseases related to inflammation, such as osteoarthritis or diabetes. Use olive oil to cook food and to make healthy salad dressings. The warm olive oil used as a massage oil also helps to reduce pain, swelling and inflammation caused by arthritis and muscle spasms.
Ginger contains a compound known as gingerol that has anti-inflammatory properties. According to a 2005 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, ginger influences inflammatory processes at the cellular level. This makes eating ginger easier to treat both acute and chronic inflammation.
People with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis observe reduced pain and swelling, and increased mobility after consuming ginger regularly. Ginger can also reduce inflammation after exercise, so it is recommended for people who work out intensively.
This popular yellow spice used in Indian cuisine helps to prevent inflammation. The active ingredient curcumin in turmeric is an antioxidant that has anti-inflammatory properties.
Turmeric is very effective in reducing joint inflammation from joint sprains and other injuries. Prophylactically drink a cup of turmeric tea, or a glass of hot turmeric milk 1 or 2 times a day. A paste made from turmeric powder and warm sesame oil applied externally to the skin help reduce inflammation and swelling.
Note, do not apply turmeric paste on damaged skin.
Turmeric is also available as a dietary supplement.
A 2012 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that several compounds in garlic have therapeutic, anti-inflammatory potential. Another study identified four different sulfur-containing compounds in garlic that help prevent inflammation. Eat 2 to 3 raw garlic cloves daily on an empty stomach to help prevent inflammation in your body. In addition, use garlic in cooking as much as possible. You can also rub garlic oil directly over the affected area to relieve pain and inflammation. Another option is to take garlic capsules as a dietary supplement.
5. Cherry juice
In a 2010 study, researchers from Oregon Health and Science University found that drinking cherry juice regularly reduces the frequency of inflammation in the body. Regular consumption of sour cherry juice the week before intense exercise can also help minimize muscle pain and inflammation.
Experts recommend eating 1.5 cups of cherries or drinking 1 cup of sour cherry juice once a day. For an anti-inflammatory effect, drink unsweetened juice made from fresh organic cherries.
Note: Cherry juice can cause abdominal discomfort and diarrhea. If you experience such side effects, you should stop drinking the juice.
Fish such as salmon, with low water content are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as eicosapentaenoic acid(EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid(DHA), which help reduce inflammation. Research suggests that these fatty acids play a key role in reducing the levels of cytokines in the body. Cytokines are compounds that ignite inflammation.
To take advantage of the anti-inflammatory properties, eat grilled or baked salmon dishes, frying can destroy the healthy fats. The American Heart Association recommends eating salmon 2 or 3 times a week. If you don't like the taste of fish, go for dietary supplements with fish oil. Consult your doctor before taking a supplement.
7. Sweet potatoes (purple)
Sweet potatoes, especially the purple variety, can help heal inflammation in the body. A 2011 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food reports that sweet potatoes have anti-inflammatory potential due to the concentration of nutrients. Their high content of vitamins C and E as well as alpha and beta carotene help reduce pain and inflammation in the body.
Regular consumption of sweet potatoes can help reduce inflammation in the brain and nerve tissue throughout the body. Eat at least one glass of sweet potatoes a day. You can use them for frying fries, pancakes and cookies. Baked, grilled or mashed potatoes are the healthiest.
This dark green vegetable can also greatly help prevent or reduce inflammation. Spinach is high in carotenoids and vitamin E, which act as antioxidants to reduce inflammation. These ingredients help protect the body against inflammatory molecules called cytokines.
In addition, spinach is a good source of plant α-Linolenic acid(ALA), which has also strong anti-inflammatory properties. Spinach can help relieve asthma, arthritis pain, and migraine headaches. Consume this vegetable in the form of salad, vegetable juice. Spinach can also be added to soups, starters or omelets.
Other healthy foods that prevent inflammation in the body are walnuts. They contain omega-3 fatty acids that are anti-inflammatory. The 2004 study published in the Journal of Nutrition has shown that people who ate at least 100 g of nuts a day had reduced levels of inflammatory markers such as C-reactive protein (CRP). High CRP indicates a high risk of heart disease due to inflammation.
Regular consumption of walnuts can help prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease and arthritis, and promote bone health. Soak 3 or 4 walnuts in water for the night. Next morning, eat them for breakfast or as a healthy snack. You may also add walnuts to cakes and desserts.
The nutrients in berries such as anthocyanins, hydroxycinnamic acid, hydroxybenzoic acids and flavonols act as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds in the body. These ingredients reduce inflammatory processes in tissues by increasing the functionality of the cell membrane, facilitating the delivery of important nutrients to the cells.
Berries are low in fat and calories, making them perfect for people who are on diet. Regular consumption of berries reduces the risk of developing arthritis and can help protect against intestinal inflammation, especially ulcerative colitis. It is recommended to eat about 1/2 cup of berries daily.