It’s no surprise that what we eat affects our health. For instance, the food that we put into our bodies has the potential to either improve or become seriously detrimental to our health. This is especially true when we are consuming foods that cause inflammation in the body. Introducing unhealthy food over a long period of time may cause chronic inflammation, which in turn can lead to a number of ailments and chronic conditions developing in the body. Essentially, inflammation is the immune system’s reaction to injury, infection or irritation. It’s a normal response and in most cases, it is a good thing, as the body is taking action to rectify said problem. But at the same time, if the body is constantly on high-alert and experiences inflammation it can have a negative impact on your overall health. Hence, eating certain foods and adhering to a healthy diet is one of the best ways to counteract inflammation in the body. Here’s a look at the foods that you can consume to increase your nutritional intake and help you maintain an anti-inflammatory diet.
Anti-inflammatory foods can range from avocados to broccoli, they are inexpensive and most can even be found in your fridge! One of the advantages of adhering to an anti-inflammatory diet is that the foods that you will have a range of choices when it comes to the food you eat. That way, your diet won’t get boring or dull anytime soon.
Similar to olive oil, almonds are rich in monounsaturated fats. Additionally, these delicious nuts are a good source of manganese, vitamin E, protein (derived from plants) and magnesium. Manganese and magnesium are essential minerals for the body, whereas vitamin E contributes to the overall health of your skin and the body in a number of ways. Studies have shown that consuming almonds boosts heart health and reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases. This is largely due to its ability to improve the fatty acids in the blood. Almonds also leave you feeling fuller for a longer period of time, so even though they are relatively higher in calories compared to other kinds of anti-inflammatory foods, eating a handful is enough to leave you feeling sated. This is one of the reasons why many people who are looking to lose weight consume almonds as snacks.
Touted to be a superfood packed with crucial nutrients for the body, avocados contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fats that lower the risk of heart disease and other heart conditions while boosting the overall health of the heart. Besides being extremely cardiac friendly, monounsaturated fats can aid in weight loss and combat inflammation in the body. Avocados are a good source of fibre, magnesium and potassium as well. Fibre keeps the intestinal tract healthy by adding bulk to stools and pushing waste easily and quickly out of the body without much effort. On the other hand, potassium functions as an electrolyte and is responsible for regulating muscles that control heartbeat and breathing. Just consuming half an avocado will provide you with adequate amounts of vitamin A, C, E and B-complex vitamins. The nutrient-rich fruit also contains polyphenols, a type of antioxidants. You might already be aware of the important roles that antioxidants play in the body. To reiterate, antioxidants are necessary to combat the harmful effects of free radicals and to prevent oxidative stress in the body. Free radicals and oxidative stress can disrupt the natural processes in the body and even increase the risk of certain chronic conditions. Additionally, free radicals can lead to premature ageing and accelerate the formation of fine lines, wrinkles and saggy skin.
Blueberries are a potent source of antioxidants, in fact, they contain generous amounts of polyphenols that can stimulate and trigger antioxidant activity in the body. Increasing your antioxidant intake will also work to reduce the risk of certain diseases and cancers from developing in the body. Research has shown that blueberries prevent cancer by stalling the growth of cancerous cells and reducing inflammation. Blueberries contain phytochemicals such as tannins, phenolic acids, flavonoids and anthocyanins, which are responsible for giving berries their natural pigments. These phytochemicals work to restore the cells by repairing the free radical damage done to them at a cellular level. Apart from that, these nutrient-dense fruits are packed with vitamin C, E and fibre, all of which go a long way in ensuring that your daily diet contributes positively to your overall health.
As a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables, broccoli contains high levels of phytochemicals known as glucosinolates, which have the ability to trigger or stimulate the body’s own antioxidant systems. These, in turn, allows these compounds to combat and counteract the effects of free radicals in the cells. Additionally, by activating the body’s natural antioxidant capabilities, it also impedes the accumulation of free radicals, which over time can cause oxidative stress. Apart from that, broccoli is a good source of calcium, potassium, vitamin A and C. Further studies have shown that by adopting a diet high in cruciferous vegetables reduces the risk of certain types of cancers.