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Foods That Help Fight Inflammation

by Shalini Singh

Inflammation is like salt. A pinch is a good thing, but get a tad too much and it ruins everything. Acute inflammation, your body’s response to a cut or pathogens entering the body, protects your body from harm. Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, has been linked to everything from acne and allergies, to intestinal issues, neurological disorders, autoimmune diseases, and joint pain


Beans in general are great sources of anti-inflammatory botanical compounds known as phytonutrients, but soy has been singled out by researchers for its ability to reduce the inflammation marker C-reactive protein. This is great news for your heart—high levels of C-reactive protein have been linked to coronary artery disease. Another bean benefit: the protein-rich, satisfying legumes are good candidates to displace pro-inflammatory meat in meals.

Sweet Potatoes

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 their concentration of nutrients.Their high content of vitamins C and E and the carotenoids alpha- and beta-carotene help reduce pain and inflammation in the body . Regular intake of sweet potatoes can help reduce inflammation in the brain and nerve tissue throughout the body.


This dark leafy green vegetable can also greatly help prevent as well as reduce inflammation. Spinach has plenty of carotenoids that work as inflammation-reducing antioxidants, and vitamin E. These components help protect the body from pro-inflammatory molecules called cytokines.

In addition, spinach is a good plant source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) that works as a potent anti-inflammatory agent to reduce pain and inflammation. Spinach can help reduce asthmatic inflammation, arthritis pain and migraine headaches.

You can enjoy this green vegetable in the form of a salad, vegetable juice or a green smoothie. Also, spinach can be added to soups, side dishes or omelets.


Don’t ignore your spice cabinet when whipping up a healthy meal. “Many herbs and spices are rich in antioxidant phytonutrients . Just chewing 4-5 tulsi leaves a day will not only freshen your mouth but help strengthen your immunity .


You can even battle inflammation between meals by sipping on green, white, and black teas. They’re steeped in free radical-fighting catechins, a polyphenolic compound found in the leaves of the Camellia sinesis plant. The more antioxidants you’re taking in, the better. “It’s best to adopt a diet rich in foods that are anti-inflammatory instead of concentrating on one or two superfoods


Another good inflammation-fighting healthy food is walnuts. They are high in ALA, a type of omega-3 fatty acid that reduces inflammation in the body.

A 2004 study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that people who ate at least 2.3 ounces of walnuts daily had reduced levels of inflammatory markers like C-reactive protein (CRP). High CRP indicates a high risk of suffering from heart disease due to inflammation.


This spicy root has gained a following for its nausea-calming powers, but it has another trick up its sleeve—inflammation crushing. Studies have linked the root to lowered post-exercise inflammation and a drop in joint pain caused by the chronic inflammatory conditions osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. While researchers haven’t pinpointed its anti-inflammatory effects to a single component, it’s likely one of the culprits is the plant’s active compound gingerol

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Shalini has diversified her study and researches food, bioengineering of foods using technology to generate nutrient dense foods, human anatomy at a cellular level, and the real impact of exercise on muscular ageing.


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