If you want to dive a little deeper than that – there is some evidence to suggest that eating certain foods can be protective against excessive or chronic inflammation, so eating more of these can be a good place to start.
These foods or food components have all been shown to help reduce some key aspect of the inflammatory response.
Omega-3 fatty acids
These are our ‘good fats’ and they play a vital role in maintaining a healthy immune responses, healthy hearts and healthy brains. So where do we get these fats from?
Fish, nuts and seeds – Salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, rainbow trout, oysters, eggs, flaxseed (seeds & oil) and walnuts. These are all great sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
Extra-virgin olive oil
Olive oil is another one of the good fats and it’s not only anti-inflammatory but again, heart and brain protective. These benefits are greatest when olive oil is consumed unheated so it’s best added at the end of cooking to maximise anti-inflammatory effects.
But we all like to cook with oil and the good news is that olive oil is also quite stable at high temperatures – this is a really important factor when choosing cooking oils. Most oils create some toxic elements when heated and repeated heating leads to higher toxicity. So always use fresh oil for each batch of cooking.
Antioxidants are reactive molecules that naturally occur in food, that reduce the number of free radicals. Free radicals are molecules in the body that may damage cells and increase the risk of certain diseases like arthritis. So, a diet higher in antioxidants may help prevent, slow or limit the progression of arthritis and potentially relieve pain.
Some fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, apples, and leafy greens are high in natural antioxidants.
We all know how important vitamin C is and you can find it in a heap of places more exciting than an orange…
Guava, sweet peppers, mandarin, grapefruit, kiwi fruit, strawberries, pineapple, lemons, broccoli, kale, brussels sprouts, kidney beans, cauliflower, red cabbage, mangos..
There is no one magic food to reduce inflammation, the key is to aim for an overall healthy diet.
This won’t just aid inflammation, it will likely improve your mental health and mood, and enhance your overall quality of life.