Inflammation seems to be a hot topic in the news lately. Inflammation is the body’s response to outside threats, such as stress, infection, or environmental factors. The immune system responds to these threats by activating proteins in the body to protect its cells and tissues. However, when the body overreacts or there is chronic inflammation, it can hurt our bodies. Chronic inflammation has been linked intestinal dysfunction, arthritis, heart disease, higher risk of cancer, asthma, COPD, gum disease, diabetes, and depression.
In order to combat the effects of inflammation, the grocery store can be your first line of defense. By choosing anti inflammatory foods in place of inflammatory foods (such as refined carbohydrates, fried foods, processed meats, and soda), you can help provide your body with foods that offer protective nutrients, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, antioxidants, and omega 3 fatty acids. Unhealthy, pro inflammatory foods also contribute to obesity, which in itself is a risk factor for inflammation. By choosing anti inflammatory foods in place of pro inflammatory foods you could be doing helping your body in more ways than one.
We have listed 5 anti inflammatory foods that are not only good for you, but taste good too.
Fish with a high fat content, such as tuna, salmon, mackerel, and sardines are also high in omega 3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce inflammation. In order to reap the benefits of fatty fish, it should be cooked in a healthy way, such as baked or steamed.
Dark green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, collards, and broccoli are a good source of vitamin E. Vitamin E has been shown to help protect cells from pro inflammatory molecules called cytokines. The flavonoids and carotenoids that give these vegetables their dark color also offer anti inflammatory properties.
Nuts are packed with antioxidants that can help your body fight the effects of damage caused by inflammation. Almonds, in particular, are rich in vitamin E, and walnuts are a good source of alpha-linolenic acid, an omega 3 fatty acid.
Colorful bell peppers have high quantities of antioxidants. Hot peppers, such as chili and cayenne, also have capsaicin, which is used in topical creams to help reduce inflammation.
Fruits, especially berries like blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries, are particularly high in antioxidants and vitamin C. Anthocyanins, which give berries their distinctively bright colors, are powerful anti inflammatory phytochemicals.
Dr. Shillingford’s gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and adjustable lap band patients are often looking to make healthier food choices, and anti inflammatory foods should be tops on the list. Dr. Shillingford, M.D., P.A. is a board certified general surgeon specializing in laparoscopic and obesity surgery. His surgical weight loss patients come from all over South Florida including Miami, Miami Beach, Orlando, Palm Beach, and Fort Lauderdale, in addition to his out of state patients.