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      13 Foods that fight inflammation, support the immune system
      05/08/2020 / By Divina Ramirez / Comments
      13 Foods that fight inflammation, support the immune system

      Inflammation is the immune system’s reaction to irritation or infection. It is a perfectly normal response caused by inflammatory receptors, and it is a natural part of the healing process.

      That being said, inflammation that persists for long periods can be a sign of a compromised immune system, a nutrient deficiency or an underlying condition. Whatever the case may be, chronic inflammation makes the body susceptible to a host of conditions including?sinusitis, rheumatoid arthritis and tuberculosis.

      Fortunately, studies demonstrate that antioxidant-rich foods possess strong anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce swelling and treat infections. The following are 10 foods that can prevent chronic inflammation and reduce the risk of inflammatory diseases.

      1. Berries

      Practically all varieties of berries contain high amounts of antioxidants known as anthocyanins that can reduce inflammation, enhance immunity and support cardiovascular health. Berries also contain immune-boosting micronutrients like vitamins C and E that contribute to the berries’ anti-inflammatory functions. Common berries include strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries.

      2. Fatty fish

      Fatty fishes, such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring and sardines, are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids also support cardiovascular health by preventing the inflammation of arteries and blood vessels caused by cholesterol plaque.

      3. Broccoli

      Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale and cauliflower contain high amounts of sulforaphane, an antioxidant that stimulates the production of white blood cells that reduce inflammation.

      4. Avocado

      Avocado is one of the few non-fish sources of omega-3 fatty acids that support cardiovascular health. But besides its monounsaturated fat content, avocados also contain antioxidants known as carotenoids that have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Avocados also contain vitamins C, A and E that enhance immune responses to inflammation.

      5. Green tea

      A cup of green tea can reduce inflammation due to a compound known as epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). EGCG is a unique bioactive compound found exclusively in tea leaves. It has powerful antioxidant properties that prevent cellular damage and inhibit inflammation.

      6. Peppers

      Bell peppers and chili peppers contain quercetin, an antioxidant that is known to prevent oxidative damage and reduce the risk of inflammatory diseases. Peppers also contain similar anti-inflammatory compounds like sinapic acid and ferulic acid that reduce inflammation and prevent the onset of degenerative conditions.

      7. Mushrooms

      Edible varieties of mushrooms, like shiitake, truffles and portobello mushrooms, are excellent sources of phenols and antioxidants that provide anti-inflammatory protection.

      8. Grapes

      Like berries, grapes contain anthocyanins that reduce inflammation and lower the risk of obesity, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.

      9. Turmeric

      Curcumin, the main active component of turmeric, is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. It is known to reduce inflammation caused by arthritis, Type 2 diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease. Additionally, curcumin can lower the risk of metabolic syndrome.

      10. Olive oil

      Olive oil is an excellent source of “good” fats or monounsaturated fats that prevent inflammation of the arteries and blood vessels. It is also known to support weight loss and regulate cholesterol levels. Additionally, olive oil is linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.?To enjoy the benefits of olive oil to the fullest, opt for the extra virgin variety.

      11. Tomatoes

      Tomatoes contain high amounts of carotenoids known as lycopene. As a powerful antioxidant, lycopene can reduce inflammation and cellular damage linked to cardiovascular disease and cancer.

      12. Cherries

      Cherries can be used as a natural remedy for muscle soreness and joint pain. After all, cherries contain antioxidants like anthocyanins and catechins that have potent anti-inflammatory properties.

      13. Dark chocolate

      Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants that help reduce inflammation, reducing your risk of diseases and supporting healthier aging.

      A class of antioxidants called flavanols are responsible for dark chocolate’s anti-inflammatory effects. Choose dark chocolate that contains at least 70 percent cocoa to enjoy its anti-inflammatory effects.

      Adding antioxidant-rich foods to a balanced diet can not only prevent inflammation but also support weight management. Additionally, anti-inflammatory foods can prevent the onset of degenerative conditions like osteoporosis, dementia and arthritis. However, be sure to consume anti-inflammatory foods raw or steamed to avoid losing nutrients, which naturally comes about as a result of cooking methods.

      Sources:

      Healthline.com 1

      Healthline.com 2

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