If you suffer from inflammation, the answer could be on your plate!
We all know our diet can affect our health and the way we feel. Did you know that some foods can actually contribute to inflammation?A loved one of mine has been battling joint pain due to severe chronic inflammation. So naturally, I started researching for things that may help to alleviate some of their painful symptoms.
If you have ever suffered from an inflammatory condition such as arthritis,you know how painful simple everyday tasks can be. Research shows that eating certain foods can help ease symptoms and decrease flare ups.
What exactly is inflammation?
Inflammation is a vital function in our body. It’s our body’s way of signalling the immune system to heal and repair damaged tissue and defend against viruses and bacteria. So, it can be good or bad depending on the situation. But, In conditions such as arthritis, the body triggers an inflammatory response when there is actually no threat at all.
There have been links between chronic inflammation and heart disease and stroke, and autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
Some Signs of Inflammation:
- Joint Pain
- Swollen joint that's sometimes warm to the touch
- Joint Stiffness
- Loss of joint function
What foods to avoid?
- White flours
- Vegetable oils
- Trans fats
- Processed meats
As an added bonus, eliminating these types of foods can naturally lead to weight loss, which eases stress on the joints.
One study in particular found that a loss of just one pound of body weight reduces the load on knees by four pounds!
What foods can help?
- Berries contain fiber and antioxidants thathelp rid the body of free radicals that promote inflammation and they help prevent heart disease and certain cancers. Try your favourite berries in a wild berry smoothie for a quick, nutrient packed breakfast.
- Salmon is a great source of protein and Omega-3 Fatty acids. Omega 3’s can help relieve joint pain and stiffness.
- Broccoli is rich in antioxidants and also containssulforaphane, which has been found to slow down the destruction of cartilage in joints. Rich in vitamins K and C and calcium, which is known for its bone-building benefits. Try our hearty, creamy broccoli soup for a delicious, vitamin packed meal.
- Avocado contains potassium, magnesium, fiber, and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Avocados are also rich in lutein and vitamin E, diets high in these compounds are linked to decreased risk of the joint damage seen in early osteoarthritis. Try it in a strawberry and avocado smoothie.
- Green tea is packed with polyphenols, antioxidants believed to reduce inflammation and slow cartilage destruction.
- Peppers are an amazing source of vitamin C, which preserves bone, and may protect cells in cartilage.Vitamin C also helps your body make collagen, which is part of your cartilage, tendons, and ligaments that cushion your joints and hold them together.
- Extra-virgin olive oil contains the compound oleocanthal, a natural anti-inflammatory with properties similar to ibuprofen.
- Dark Chocolate contains flavanols that are known reduce inflammation and they can also keep the cells that line your arteries healthy.
- Kale and other dark, leafy greens are rich in nutrients that are linked to joint health, including the antioxidants beta-carotene and vitamin C. Kale is also an excellent source of calcium, which helps keep your bones strong. Try our amazing kale super salad recipe to liven up your lunch!
- Turmeric has been found to be as effective in reducing inflammation as some anti-inflammatory medications by blocking the molecule that triggers inflammation. Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant.
Honourable Mention: Water
Water definitely deserves a mention on this list!
Water is vital for flushing toxins out of your body, which can help fight inflammation. Adequate water intake can also help keep your joints well lubricated.
The role of fiber, gut health and inflammation:
Scientists have discovered that nutrients in dietary fiber help promote beneficial gut bacteria, which may reduce inflammation and that eating a high-fiber diet is linked with a lower risk for knee osteoarthritis and pain.
Loaded with prebiotic fiber for optimum gut health, Nutralean Fiber is so powerful it can naturally DOUBLE the number of good bacteria in your gut every 20 minutes – far more than is possible with a probiotic supplement. Check out our unique fiber story and what makes it so special, here.My family has started adding these foods into our daily routines. After all, as the old saying by Hippocrates (The Father of Medicine) goes, "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food".
Have you ever wondered about your gut health? Take this quiz to find out where you stand! The results may surprise you!
Thanks for Reading!