Having recently undergone a minor foot operation at the beginning of June this year, I knew that one of the fastest ways to quick healing lies in the types of foods and nutrients we consume. Research has proven time and time again that nutrition is absolute key to faster recovery and optimal health and with this in mind; I would like to share with you my go to Top 5 Anti-Inflammatory Foods.
Definition of Inflammation
If you weren’t already aware, the word inflammation is derived from a Latin word ‘inflammare’ which means ‘on fire’. It is a set of biological processes involving the natural reaction of our body to harmful physiological or psychological responses such as injuries, infections and diseases.
Inflammation can either be acute (short term) or (long term) and in the instance where Acute inflammation is present, this will be the body’s first aggressive reaction to damage and or trauma from which the body can recover in as little as a few hours to weeks on end. Examples of Acute Inflammation are insect bites, hives or in my case, a foot operation where a part of my metatarsal bone was shaved, broken and realigned with screws! (more on my foot surgery and post recovery in a separate upcoming article)
Chronic Inflammation however, is increasingly evident when our bodies defences are repeatedly exposed to harmful stimuli that ultimately renders the body and its defences weak. Examples of chronic inflammation include tuberculosis, dermatitis, arthritis, inflammatory bowel diseases, cancer, and other autoimmune diseases such as Lupus and Multiple Sclerosis.
With this is mind, it is wise to ensure we are mindful to fuel our bodies with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory foods that will help fight and breakdown free radicals within our bodies in order to give us the best chance possible of optimal health. So without further ado, I present to you my go to Top 5 Anti Inflammatory Foods.
If you don’t know already, dark leafy green vegetables such as Bok Choy, Broccoli, Cabbage, Kale, Leeks, Spinach and Spring Onions to name a few are rich in essential nutrients, phytochemicals and contain helpful compounds such as Sulforaphane. I have recently made an effort to increase my intake of these vegetables to 5-6 per week and my body is already reaping the many benefits.
The infamous yellow, orange coloured, potent spice that is Turmeric is something EVERYONE should have as part of their kitchen cupboard essentials! It is known to protect against oxidation of dietary fats during cooking and against oxidative stress in the body after being eaten. The active compound curcumin is believed to have a wide range of biologicaleffects including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant antitumour, antibacterial, and antiviral activities, which indicates the potential of use in clinical medicine.
There are many fruits that are known to help reduce inflammation and chronic pain but for the purpose of this article, I want to shine the spotlight on an array of delicious berries including Cranberries, Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries, Mulberries, Golden Berries and Goji Berries. Rich in fibre and high in antioxidants, research suggests that these superfruits have been effective against numerous diseases including but not limited to acute traumas, cancer, arthritis, ingestion and other chronic inflammatory conditions.
Fish Rich In Omega 3 Fatty Acids
If you are a fish and or seafood lover like I, then you’ll be pleased to know that regular consumption of cold water fish such as Cod, Salmon, Tuna, Sardines, Oysters, Herring and Snapper will send your cells singing due to the excellent source of Omega 3 fatty acids these wonderful, flavourful fishes provide. Incorporating Omega 3 into your diet has numerous benefits, including a healthier heart, increasing “good” cholesterol levels as well as the role it plays in reducing inflammation.
On the subject of good monounsaturated fats, I’d like to conclude this article by letting you in on my most recent discovery and now a firm favourite, Avocado Oil! This mild tasting natural oil is cold pressed and also boosts HDL levels (aka good cholesterol) whilst also lowering C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation in the blood. Due to its high smoke point, Avocado Oil is a great candidate for high heat cooking such as stir-fry’s and is equally good drizzled over salads and bread dipping.
It is worth pointing out that Anti-Inflammatory Foods goes way beyond my curated Top 5 shortlist and can be adjusted to suit ones dietary preferences but nonetheless, I do hope it has given you some guidance on the types of foods to consume when it comes to reducing acute or chronic inflammation through food and natural resources.
Disclaimer: The information contained on this site and within this article is intended for educational purposes only and is NOT a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed person. You should always consult your Doctor for any health related issues, before taking dietary supplements or if you plan to make any major dietary changes to your existing regime.