Inflammation is the reaction of our immune system to infections or pathogens that pose threats and damages to our cells. This defense system is beneficial to us; however, it cannot be occurring frequently or happening for a long time as it could pose threat to our body. When inflammation becomes chronic, then it will start to attack our immune system and be the cause of further infections and injuries.
As this could be dangerous to our body, it is just important to know more about inflammation symptoms and causes so we can immediately address this. The symptoms and signs vary on the progression of the condition. Pain in the inflamed area is commonly observed in patients with acute inflammation. Redness and heat in the area, immobility and swelling are the other symptoms of acute inflammation. On the other hand, those with chronic inflammation experience sever fatigue, mouth sores, abdominal pain, fever, joint pain, rash and chest pain.
When it comes to the causes of acute inflammation, acute bronchitis, infected toenail, flu, skin cut as well as high-intensity exercise are the commonly cited ones. Other illnesses that are associated with this condition are the acute appendicitis, dermatitis, tonsillitis, sinusitis, physical trauma and infective meningitis. Meanwhile, chronic inflammation is usually caused by tissue injury, asthma and tuberculosis. Active hepatitis, Crohn’s disease, periodontitis, rheumatoid arthritis and ulcerative colitis should also be watched as these results to severe cases of inflammation.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications are commonly recommended as effective treatments to prevent patient from experiencing severe pain due to swelling. These drugs combat the enzyme that causes further progression of inflammation. Among the usually prescribed treatments are the ibuprofen, aspirin and naproxen.
However, many people don’t approve the frequent or regular use of these medications as these can worsen their health conditions such as asthma. In addition, the treatments have life-threatening side effects such as stomach ulcers and heart attack. With the high risks associated with the use of non-streoidal anti-inflammatory medications, most patients prefer alternative or natural treatments. To know more about these, here are some of the best anti-inflammatory foods that you can always rely on to help your body fight acute or chronic inflammation.
Rich in amino acids, fiber, vitamins and other helpful nutrients, berries are known to be effective in fighting inflammation as they have anthocyanins. These antioxidants are capable of producing cells that will boost the ability of our immune system to protect ourselves form infections. One of the medical studies conducted by experts indicated that the participants who had less berries intake everyday had higher levels of natural killer cells as compared to those who had more berries intake. Another research has supported this claim when it found out that strawberries intake could help cut the number of heart disease inflammatory markers.
Salmon, herring, anchovies, mackerel and sardines are among the fatty fish that are popular for their anti-inflammatory functions. With great levels of omega-3 acids and DHA, these fatty fishes are helpful when it comes to preventing inflammation that is associated with serious and life-threatening medical conditions such as kidney disease, diabetes, heart disease and metabolic syndrome. A clinical research has proven this point after finding out that the participants who had more salmon intake, have lower C-reactive protein inflammatory marker.
One of the most nutritious leafy vegetable and best anti-inflammatory foods, broccoli is effective in managing chronic inflammation in patients. With high antioxidants level, a medical study found that eating broccoli is associated with a lower chance of developing cancer and heart disease. In addition to having antioxidants, this vegetable is also known for having high content of sulforaphane, which is helpful in limiting the inflammatory marker cytokines.
Considered a superfood because of its amino acids and other nutrients, avocados offer us with a lot of healthy benefits because of its high potassium and magnesium content. In addition to these, the fruit has monounsaturated fats, tocopherols and carotenoids that are proven to be effective in decreasing a patient’s risk of having cancer. A recent research found that participants who had avocado along with their hamburger had reduced inflammatory markers as compared to those who only had hamburger.
To tea lovers out there, you might want to consider drinking green tea than the other available variants in the market. This is because, green tea is considered to be the healthiest drink a person can have. Among the benefits that we can get from drinking this beverage are lower risks of being diagnosed with obesity as well as Alzheimer’s disease. Moreover, green tea has antioxidants and epigallocatechin-3-gallate which help lessen the production of cytokines in our body.
We all know that peppers are rich in vitamin C which helps strengthen our immune system. In addition to this, they contain quercent that lessens oxidative problems especially in patients who were diagnosed with sarcoidosis. People who are bothered about aging are also encouraged to include peppers in their diet as these contain ferulic acid and sinapic acid that promote better aging process.
Aside from anthocyanins, grapes are rich in resveratrol which acts as anti-inflammatory agent in our body. This nutrient is capable of preventing our risk from having serious diseases including eye disorders, obesity, diabetes as well as Alzheimer’s disease. A medical study found low levels of inflammatory markers in heart disease patients who had grapes everyday.
Popular in Indian meals, turmeric is a healthy spice that we could add to our usual dishes. Rich in cumin, this spice is proven to be helpful in cutting a patient’s risk of having arthritis. The health benefits of turmeric are supported by several studies that were conducted in different countries. One of these studies claimed that metabolic syndrome patients can alleviate the pain associated with inflammation when they had turmeric and black pepper daily.
Cocoa and Dark Chocolate
For those who are aiming to satisfy their sweet cravings, then dark chocolate is the best option to have. Aside from its sweet taste, cocoa and dark chocolate are rich in flavanols that cut our inflammatory risks and keep the arteries in healthy condition. For best results, patients with acute or chronic inflammation are recommended to eat dark chocolate with more than 70% cocoa content as this variant has higher anti-inflammatory gains.