Posted in Health & Wellbeing

Reap the Benefits of an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Inflammation is the bodies natural bodyguard, protecting damaged tissue at times of infection or injury and aiding the healing process. Essential blood cells and proteins required to do this, reach the damaged tissue by increased blood flow. This is why the skin around the area becomes inflamed, appearing red and warm to the touch. And in the case of infection these increased cells will appear as pus.

Inflammatory diseases are natures bodyguard gone rogue, sending in the tough guys to tackle a non existent antigen and instead attacking healthy tissue. Known as autoimmunity symptoms they include: fatigue, aches and pains, depression, food intolerances, skin problems and weight retention. Treatment is a complex balancing process with varying levels of success. However scientists have identified certain food types with anti-inflammatory benefits. Here are a few known edible Ibuprofen.

Almonds

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Nutrient Profile

  • Fats including monounsaturated
  • Protein
  • Fibre
  • Vitamin E
  • Manganese
  • Magnesium
  • Copper
  • Vitamin B2
  • Phosphorus

Almonds contain vitamin E and manganese, both have strong antioxidant properties which help prevent inflammation, ageing and cancer. Consuming the thin brown outer layer of almonds maximise antioxidant benefits, as this is where the highest concentration of these nutrients are found. Plant proteins in almonds help maintain healthy muscles and tissue. And a moderated consumption of almonds not only reduce harmful levels of cholesterol in the blood, but also C-reactive protein levels which the liver produces in response to inflammation.

Avocados

Image by tookapic from Pixabay

Nutrient Profile

  • Fats including monounsaturated
  • Fibre
  • Protein
  • Folate B9
  • Vitamin K1
  • Potassium
  • Copper
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin B5
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin C
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Carotenoids
  • Persenones A & B
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B1
  • Zinc

Avocados are beneficial in our diet, because they contain many nutrients rare in other foods. They are low in sugar and high in fibre. The combination of monounsaturated fats and unique antioxidants give them anti-inflammatory properties and protect against diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

Broccoli

Image by Shutterbug75 from Pixabay

Nutrition Profile

  • Fibre
  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Phosphorus
  • Vitamin A
  • Beta Carotene
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Lutein and zeaxanthin
  • Folate
  • Carbohydrate
  • Energy

Broccoli is a good source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The consumption of broccoli has a range of health benefits including: reduced risk of cancer, stronger bones, improved immune system, better digestion, healthier skin, reduced risk of diabetes, better cardiovascular health and reduced inflammation.

In 2014 scientists discovered the antioxidant effect of sulphoraphane, which broccoli produces when chewed helps reduce inflammation.

Another study in 2018 gave 40 overweight subjects 30g broccoli every day for 10 weeks. Once the study was over the participants had significantly lower levels of inflammation.

Blueberries

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

Nutrition Profile

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Thiamin
  • Riboflavin
  • Niacin
  • Folate
  • Pantothenic Acid
  • Betaine
  • Protein
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Sodium
  • Zinc
  • Copper
  • Manganese
  • Selenium
  • Flouride
  • Monounsaturated Far
  • Polyunsaturated Fat
  • Omega 3
  • Omega 6

It’s hard to believe these tiny berries are packed with so many nutrients. Blueberries definitely won’t leave you feeling blue and this is largely down to the colour, caused by the presence of anthocyanin. Blueberries have a vast range of health benefits including: cancer prevention, lowering blood pressure, controlling diabetes, preventing heart disease, aiding digestion and improving mental health. As well as vitamins, minerals and anthocyanins, blueberries contain a vast range of phenolic compounds which increase the antioxidant capability of these tiny super berries.

Carrots

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

Nutrition Profile

  • Energy
  • Carbohydrate
  • Fibre
  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Phosphorus
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Alpha Carotone
  • Beta Carotone
  • Lutein & Zeaxanthin
  • Folate

Carrots are a great source of vitamins, minerals, fibre and plant based antioxidants. Antioxidants are the perfect waste disposal, ridding the body of unstable molecules and free radicals that build up and can cause cell damage. Vitamin, lutein and zeaxanthin present in carrots help maintain eye health so maybe all this about carrots helping you see in the dark isn’t all an old wives tale. Carrots can lower the risk of a range of cancers and carotenoid rich foods aid digestion and help prevent colon cancer. Diabetes, blood pressure, bone and cardiovascular health all benefit from carrot consumption. The vitamin C present in carrots contributes to the bodies production of collagen which is an important component of connective tissue, essential for wound healing.

Dry Beans

Image by Ariel Núñez Guzmán from Pixabay

Nutrition Profile

  • Carbohydrate
  • Protein
  • Fibre
  • Sodium
  • Folic Acid
  • Thiamin
  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Potassium
  • Phosphorus
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Fat
  • Energy

Dry beans are low in fat and packed with protein, fibre and minerals. They contain macronutrients, lignans and phytochemicals which help lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease and play a part in preventing osteoporosis. Plant based proteins and fibre aid digestion, enhance metabolism, lower saturated fats in the blood and help antioxidants work effectively. Dry beans may at times be accused of being plain, but their health benefits are anything but.

Kale

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Nutrient Profile

  • Fibre
  • Protein
  • Vitamin A equivalent Lutein Zeaxanthin
  • Thiamine
  • Riboflavin
  • Niacin
  • Pantothenic Acid
  • Folate B9
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Sodium
  • Zinc
  • Selenium

These leafy greens considered by some as rabbit food are a low in calorie and high in fibre superfood. The endless list of vitamins and minerals increase energy, support the immune system, help heal wounds, support effective heart function and increase healthy blood cells. They offer super strength antioxidant ability: the perfect detox.

Olive Oil

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Nutrient Profile

  • Monounsaturated Fats
  • Polyunsaturated Fats
  • Omega 3
  • Omega 6
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Iron

The Mediterranean have long expressed high longevity is a result of olive oil consumption. In moderate amounts it is linked to healthy blood vessels and a healthy heart. The polyphenols in olive oil behave like antioxidants and help reduce cholesterol, minimize inflammation and protect cells.

Oranges

Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay

Nutrient Profile

  • Energy
  • Carbohydrates
  • Protein
  • Fibre
  • Folates
  • Niacin
  • Pantothenic Acid
  • Pyridoxine
  • Riboflavin
  • Thiamin
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Potassium
  • Calcium
  • Copper
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Iron
  • Zinc

Oranges are dripping in vitamin C which keep the immune system healthy enabling it to fight ill health efficiently. Potassium, folate, fibre and calcium all aid heart, bone, digestive and overall wellbeing.

Salmon

Image by Shutterbug75 from Pixabay

Nutrient Profile

  • Protein
  • Potassium
  • Selenium
  • Vitamin B12
  • Niacin
  • Phosphorus
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids

People worry about mercury levels and other contaminants in our fish supply. However salmon is rich in beneficial nutrients with low levels of toxins, reduced further if you buy wild salmon. High in omega-3, micronutrients and high quality protein, the benefits to the heart, bones and mental wellbeing far outweigh the risks.

Spinach

Image by Clara Sander from Pixabay

Nutrient Profile

  • Energy
  • Carbohydrates
  • Fibre
  • Vitamin A equivalent Beta-Carotene Lutein Zeaxanthin
  • Vitamin
  • Thiamine B1
  • Riboflavin B2
  • Niacin B3
  • Vitamin B6
  • Folate B9
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Sodium
  • Zinc
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium

We all know Popeyes strength was down to his spinach consumption. It has the ability to boost energy, increase vitality and clean the blood. Its high Iron content is largely responsible for the benefits of this leafy green. High quality blood can then be transported round the body, completing essential functions efficiently.

Sweet Potato

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Nutrient Profile

  • Energy
  • Carbohydrates
  • Fibre
  • Protein
  • Vitamin A equivalent Beta-Carotene
  • Thiamine B1
  • Riboflavin B2
  • Niacin B3
  • Pantothenic Acid B5
  • Vitamin B6
  • Folate B9
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Sodium
  • Zinc

Sweet potato are surprisingly rich in nutrition. The fibre and antioxidants aid healthy bacteria growth in the gut. Antioxidants improve vision and brain function. Consumption turns beta-carotene into vitamin A which supports the immune system and reduces gut inflammation.

Swiss Chard

Image by PMAnguita from Pixabay

Nutrient Profile

  • Energy
  • Carbohydrates
  • Fibre
  • Protein
  • Vitamin A equivalent Beta-Carotene Lutein Zeaxanthin
  • Vitamin A
  • Thiamine B1
  • Riboflavin B2
  • Niacin B3
  • Pantothenic Acid
  • B5
  • Vitamin B6
  • Folate B9
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Sodium
  • Zinc
  • Potassium
  • Phosphorus

Scientists have discovered that flavonoids in swiss chard have excellent anti-inflammatory properties. Like most leafy greens swiss chard are dense in vitamins and minerals that actively remove toxins from the body.

Walnuts

Image by Pera Detlic from Pixabay

Nutrient Profile

  • Energy
  • Monounsaturated Fats
  • Polyunsaturated Fats
  • Saturated Fats
  • Protein
  • Vitamin A equivalent Beta-Carotene Lutein Zeaxanthin
  • Vitamin A
  • Thiamine B1
  • Riboflavin B2
  • Niacin B3
  • Pantothenic Acid
  • Vitamin B6
  • Folate B9
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Sodium
  • Zinc
  • Potassium
  • Phosphorus

Walnuts have a wealth of healthy benefits. Rich in proteins, minerals, beneficial fats and sterols. They are a fantastic source of vitamin E and omega-3 which is all good news for a healthy heart. They promote weight loss and decrease inflammation. So you are anything but nutty if you include them in your diet.

All these foods have a range of plant protein, fibre, fats, vitamins and minerals beneficial to a healthier body and improved chronic inflammation. Include them in a well balanced diet and reap the benefits. For more information on easing inflammation through food and lifestyle habits, speak to your GP or dietician.

One last thing, watch this short video that highlights triggers of chronic inflammation.

Mayo Clinic

Author:

A professional and creative writing graduate and proofreader. Hobbies include: reading, writing, walking, cycling, theatre, cooking, baking, arts, crafts and culture. An avid volunteer within the arts sector and supporter of improving mental health. Favourite quote: creativity is contagious passion. (Einstein)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s