Do you suffer from pain caused by inflammation? Would you like to discover which foods can help? In this blog we’re looking at some of the top anti-inflammatory plant foods that can naturally reduce pain and inflammation.
What Is Inflammation?
Inflammation is an immune response that is a natural part of the body’s defense and healing process, but too much can cause problems. Prolonged or chronic inflammation can damage otherwise healthy cells in the body, causing pain and fatigue. It also increases the risk of a number of chronic diseases.
What Can Contribute To Inflammation
Eating a diet lacking proper nutrition can negatively impact the immune system and contribute to inflammation. Refined carbs, saturated and trans-fats, red and processed meats, sugary foods, and too much salt can all lead to inflammation in the body.
Other than the foods we eat, factors that can contribute to inflammation include too much physical and mental stress, exposure to pollutants, sleep loss, and obesity.
10 Anti-inflammatory Foods
Thankfully, there are plenty of natural ways to combat inflammation. One such way is eating a nutritious plant-based diet that supports and strengthens the immune system.
In no particular order, here are 10 anti-inflammatory foods that can help naturally reduce inflammation and pain.
Berries are nutrient dense superfoods that contain high amounts of powerful antioxidant compounds. These include anthocyanins which give them their vibrant purple, red, and blue colors.
2. Matcha Green Tea
Matcha is powdered green tea leaves and boasts many great health benefits. It’s extremely rich in antioxidants, including catechin polyphenols, vitamins E and C, and chlorophyll. As such, matcha can help strengthen the immune system and combat inflammation.
Mushrooms are adaptogens. This means they can adapt their functions according to the needs of the body to promote homeostasis, a stable environment within the body. They also contain anti-inflammatory compounds, are great sources of antioxidants, can boost immunity, and are good sources of copper, selenium, and some B-vitamins.
Curcumin is the active compound in turmeric, which is well known for its strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It also boasts antiarthritic, antimicrobial, neuroprotective, and analgesic benefits. Keep in mind that black pepper increases absorption and bioavailability of curcumin, so it’s best to ingest black pepper alongside turmeric.
Pineapples contain bromelain, a protein digesting enzyme that has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. In fact, current research suggests that supplemental use of bromelain may help reduce pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis. Pineapple is also an excellent source of vitamin C, which is a potent antioxidant and immune booster.
6. Ceylon Cinnamon
A spice that is likely to be found in most kitchens, cinnamon contains compounds that have powerful antimicrobial, antioxidant, and antiinflammatory effects. Cinnamon is also a great source of manganese, and may aid in weight loss and help promote wound healing.
7. Leafy Greens
Dark leafy greens are packed with an array of vitamins, minerals, as well as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds. These superfoods have a wide range of benefits for the body, including reducing inflammation.
Garlic contains sulfur-compounds that possess anti–inflammatory activity, which are also found in other alliums. This herb has also been found to have antioxidant, antitumor, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties. Make sure to crush garlic 10 minutes before using to activate its beneficial properties.
As well as other cruciferous vegetables, broccoli contains high amounts of the compound sulforaphane and other phytonutrients with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. It’s also a great source of a wide range of vitamins, minerals, and even omega-3 fatty acids.
Unique compounds called gingerols are found in ginger, which have strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Ginger has been used for centuries as a digestive aid, to reduce nausea, and naturally relieve pain.
Lifestyle Factors To Reduce Inflammation
In addition to these foods, there are lifestyle factors that can help prevent and reduce inflammation. These include regular exercise, coping with stress, staying properly hydrated, managing weight, keeping blood sugar levels stable, and getting enough quality sleep.
To recap, here are 10 anti-inflammatory foods that can help naturally reduce inflammation and pain.
Take a screenshot and keep it as a reference or print it out and use it as a guide.
Grab your free copy of our Diet & Lifestyle Tracker to find out which foods increase or eliminate your symptoms. And if you need some ideas on how to incorporate the foods mentioned earlier into your diet, we have an ever growing collection of plant-based recipes on our website at replenishhealth.net/recipes.
Share in the comments below which of these anti-inflammatory foods you plan to include more of in your diet.
RESOURCES & FURTHER INFO
- The connection between obesity and inflammation – https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140825084836.htm
- Sleep loss increases inflammation – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3548567/
- Read our blog “Top 6 Benefits Of Matcha Green Tea” at https://www.replenishhealth.net/top-6-benefits-matcha-green-tea/
- For more information on the benefits of bromelain – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3529416/#B46
- Read our blog “15 Health Benefits Of Ceylon Cinnamon” at https://www.replenishhealth.net/15-health-benefits-of-ceylon-cinnamon/
- To learn more about the benefits of turmeric and ginger, read our blog “6 Culinary Herbs That Can Help Detoxify Your Body” at https://www.replenishhealth.net/6-culinary-herbs-that-can-help-detoxify-your-body/
- Find out more about the benefits and nutrient composition of broccoli at http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=9