A new study from the University of Alabama at Birmingham shows that certain foods may be able to help lessen inflammation – a natural bodily defense mechanism for injuries, which could lead to illnesses if it becomes excessive.
Furthermore, Andrew Weil, M.D., points out that inflammation – which could lead to conditions pertaining to heart health, as well as cancer and and problems affecting brain health such as Alzheimer’s – can be characterized by a body part or joint getting warmer and swelling, even to the point of being painful.
A statement from the researchers notes that poor weight management – specifically, obesity and being overweight – increases the amount of inflammation in the body, and could also damage cardiovascular health.
“The inflammation process has one goal: to respond immediately to detect and destroy the toxic material in damaged tissues before it can spread throughout the body,” said the Employee Wellness director and adjunct professor of personal health at the university and lead study author, Lauren Whitt, Ph.D. “The trouble with inflammation occurs when the defense system gets out-of-control and begins to destroy healthy tissue, causing more damage than the original issue.”
Foods that may reduce inflammation
When it comes to specific foods that may help with inflammation, Whitt advises readers to try eating more citrus fruits that contain vitamin C and E for their antioxidant content. Tomatoes may be useful in the same way. In addition, she recommends consuming wild salmon, a great source of omega-3 fatty acid, which has been indicated as a major preventive substance against inflammation.
Whitt notes that consuming more of these types of foods on a daily basis shouldn’t be difficult, and decreasing inflammation could stop a person from having to purchase inflammation-lowering medications down the line. So even if foods that could prevent inflammation seem a little more expensive now, they might save money in the long run.
Weil’s advice is similar to Whitt’s, but he has a few more bits of advice to add to the variety. A large variety of foods may help reduce inflammation, and processed foods – particularly those from certain fast food establishments – are certainly not thought to help inflammation symptoms.
The expert also recommends drinking plenty of water or diluted fruit juice or sparkling water can have similar anti-inflammatory effects. He also recommends taking a daily fish oil supplement if regular fish isn’t available, and he also encourages ginger and turmeric if those aren’t already a regular part of the daily diet.