There are two kinds of inflammation: Inflammation due to an injury and chronic inflammation throughout the body.
Inflammation due to injury is one of the first steps in the healing process, though if you are not taking care of the injury properly it will stay at this phase.
Inflammation throughout the body is due to eating refined and processed foods that can lead to a variety of health problems.
Whether you’re trying to recover from an injury or improve your health, we’ve put together a list of foods that reduce inflammation.
Why: Rich in omega 3 fatty acids which reduce inflammation, specifically the chemicals DHA and EPA according to a study done by the National Library of Medicine.
Raw unsalted nuts
Why: Nuts are packed with healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats which are anti-inflammatory. Avoid high sugar levels that could cause inflammation by picking nuts such as almonds, walnuts and peanuts.
Why: Leafy greens like spinach, kale and chard are so effective at reducing inflammation because they are packed with micronutrients. Micronutrients like VItamin C, A and K have anti-inflammatory properties as well as antioxidants. Leafy greens also lower your cholesterol, risk of cancer and heart disease, and boost bone and joint health which can aid in injury recovery.
Extra Virgin olive oil
Why: The main anti-inflammatory properties in olive oil are antioxidants. According to the Arthritis Foundation, 3 ⅓ tablespoons of olive oil provide the same amount of support in reducing inflammation as a 200mg tablet of ibuprofen. This is a great alternative to over the counter medication so you can avoid the effects of long term ibuprofen use.
Why: The key anti-inflammatory ingredient in green tea is the compound polyphenol according to a study published by the library of medicine.
Why: Perhaps the most important food you can add to your diet for injury induced inflammation is turmeric. Turmeric’s main component curcumin is what gives it its deep yellow color and has strong anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin has been found to help relieve pain related to arthritis and plantar fasciitis according to the Journal of Medicinal Food.
Why: Pineapple is rich in vitamin C and manganese and also contains bromelain, a group of enzymes known for their anti-inflammatory properties.
Understanding Inflammation for Healing
At the first stage of a healing injury, you’ll notice the affected area has a tinge of redness and is hot to the touch due to increased blood flow to the area.
The injured area swells because of the increased movement of fluid and white blood cells. If the inflammation has not gone down in 2-3 weeks then you may be dealing with chronic inflammation or the injury needs more help healing. You can do this by introducing some of the foods recommended above into your diet.