Do you suffer from constant pain, swelling, redness, etc due to chronic inflammation? The condition can be quite painful to live with but making certain dietary changes can significantly help reduce the pain. Ella Magers, a fitness and wellness professional who follows and preaches a vegan lifestyle, lists foods one should avoid and include in their diet to keep inflammation at bay.
Chronic inflammation can be one of the main underlying causes of illness and disease. It can also cause premature ageing and weight gain. The truth of the matter is, reducing inflammation in your body can literally save your life.
The good news is that there are some simple ways to prevent and treat inflammation. In a nutshell, eating whole-foods, fibre-rich, nutrient-dense vegan diet is synonymous with an anti-inflammatory diet!
Let’s first look at the top inflammation-causing foods that we need to eliminate from our diets. Chicken and eggs are the top sources of arachidonic acid in the diet – an omega-6 fatty acid involved in our body’s inflammatory response.
Trans and saturated fats found in meats, especially deli meats, highly processed oils such as canola, safflower and corn oils, some margarines are among the top culprits of inflammation. Dairy products also cause an inflammatory response in the body, as do processed sugars and grains, table salt, and alcohol. It is also important to avoid allergens in order to reduce inflammation. Gluten, dairy, and peanuts are a few common allergen examples.
Eating a variety of vegetables and fruits is the best way to fight inflammation in our bodies. Here is a list of some of the foods that have been found to have particularly strong anti-inflammatory effects:
Chia seeds: Also known as sabja or falooda in Hindi, these seeds are full of magnesium, iron, calcium and antioxidants. Crush them and sprinkle on your food for your body to utilise them better.
Walnuts: They have protein, fibre and omega-3 fatty acids which are good for weight management as well as fighting inflammation. Since they can be calorie-dense, stick to eating not more than a handful every day. Read more health benefits of walnuts here.
Cooked white mushrooms: Mushrooms are of various kinds but the cooked, white ones are what you should eat to fight inflammation. Easily available in the market, they can be added to your gravies, pastas, etc. Chop them finely if you do not like them as chunks.
Cruciferous vegetables: Veggies such as broccoli, kale, brussel sprouts and cauliflower fall under this category and should be part of your diet to keep inflammation at bay. These are not too high in calories as well.
Blueberries: These tiny berries pack a healthy punch not just to protect against inflammation but also cut heart disease risk and improve your immunity.
Turmeric: Haldi is commonly used in Indian cooking and helps reduce inflammatory pain. Studies show that its regular consumption can help treat rheumatoid arthritis as well. Add a pinch of turmeric to your dishes to reap in its benefits. Here are some more health benefits of turmeric.
Green tea: Rich in antioxidants, a cup of green tea every day can only be good for your health. It is low on calories and protects against various diseases as well. Read more health benefits of green tea here.
Garlic: Though many may avoid eating garlic, the truth is, it is quite effective foods when it comes to fighting inflammation. It contains sulphur which lends it its pungent odour and it also is a good source of selenium. Have it finely chopped to reap in its benefits. Read morebenefits of garlic.
Ginger: Ginger is another commonly used ingredient of Indian cooking. It is very useful in reducing joint pain due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Not just this, ginger also helps reduce the swelling. Here are some more health benefits of ginger.
Sweet potatoes: Eat boiled sweet potatoes to fight inflammation and also keep hunger pangs at bay. This makes for a yummy snack treat and is quite enjoyed in the winter months when people are likelier to suffer from joint pain and inflammation.