Pain, stiffness, and swelling are just a few signs of inflammation. Inflammation can be caused by many things an injury, fall, allergies or even acne. Inflammation can also occur due to the presence of a disease such as hay fever, atherosclerosis, arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, irritable bowel syndrome, Alzheimer’s, acid reflux, Parkinson’s, stroke, asthma, cancer and infections. When inflammation occurs there are many ways to combat it, medication, rest, exercise and in extreme cases surgery. However, for many who seek natural or holistic medicine looking into an anti inflammatory diet may be just as effective as the alternative treatments. Here is a list of foods that should be included in ones diet to reduce the symptoms of inflammation.

Omega-3 fatty acids- Omega-3 fatty acids help to reduce inflammation, reduces the risk of heart disease and cardiovascular disease and improve brain function. Omega-3 fatty acids naturally occur in cold-water oily fish, flax seeds, canola oil and pumpkin seeds. Salmon has the highest levels of omega-3’s. Add 2-3 servings of fish per week to increase your omega-3 fatty acids. If your not a fan of fish, fish oil supplements can be added to your diet.

Citrus fruits- Citrus fruits contain vitamin C, which helps with the formation of collagen. Collagen helps to build and repair blood vessels, tendons, ligaments, and bone. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant, which fights against free radicals and inflammation. Citrus fruits include oranges, grapefruit, lemon, and limes. Recommended daily amounts of vitamin C for women are 75mg a day and 90mg for men.

Berries- Berries are loaded with powerful antioxidants which fight against inflammation and cell damage. Types of berries include blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, huckleberries and cherries. Add one serving of fresh or frozen berries to your daily diet.

Orange vegetables- Carrots, squash, and sweet potatoes are all rich in vitamin A and beta-carotene. Both of these compounds fight against inflammation and are more readily available when cooked. By eating these foods on a regular basis you can greatly reduce your risk for inflammation.

Whole grains-Whole grains unlike regular grains have three parts, the outer hull and two inner parts. The hull contains the most nutrients such as vitamin E, an antioxidant. Whole grains also help with weight management, which also helps to reduce pain from inflammation. Examples of whole grains include whole-wheat head, whole grain pasta, oatmeal and bulgur.

Onions- Onions and its cousins garlic, leeks, and scallions, help to fight inflammation and pain. These vegetables contain quercetin a compound, which blocks the chemical pathways that lead to inflammation. Onions and garlic are very pungent so it may be best to cook or sauté them before consumption.

Ginger- Ginger contains compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger is very versatile so it can be added to foods as a spice or drank in a tea. If you prefer ginger supplements are also available to help reduce inflammation. Always make sure consuming ginger doesn’t counteract with any medications that you are already taking.

Olive oil- Olive oil, especially extra virgin olive oil contains anti-inflammatory compounds to help reduce inflammation by inhibiting its ability to flourish. Replace margarine and butter with a tablespoon of olive oil. However, don’t overdo it because olive oil is very calorie dense.

Pineapple- Pineapple is rich in vitamin C and bromelain. Both are vital in decreasing pain and swelling caused by inflammation. Pineapple is versatile in the way you can eat it and can be added to many dishes. Bromelain is also available in supplement form.

Kelp- Kelp has anti-inflammatory properties due to a complex carbohydrate called fucoidan. It also is high in fiber causing a slow digestion and promotes weight loss.

Spinach- Spinach is full of vitamins and minerals and antioxidants such as carotenoids and vitamin E. This reduces inflammation by destroying free radicals.

Broccoli- Broccoli and its close relative cauliflower contain vitamin C and calcium. Its antioxidant powers act as an anti-inflammatory.

Author's Bio: 

Sarah Labdar graduated with a BA in exercise science and has worked in the medical field since. Her focus is alternative medicine and how it interacts and works in conjunction with traditional medicine. Check out my health website!
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