Let’s Build Wellness With Anti Inflammatory Foods!
Chronic Inflammation can be a Silent Killer’ – As proved by modern medicine. Let us see how we can battle against it with Nutrition!
The term ‘Inflammation’
Inflammation is a local response which is destined to eliminate the causative agent and limit tissue injury. It is itself not a disease, however prolonged / chronic inflammation is a premarker for various lifestyle disorders.
How does it progress?
All of us have experienced minor / major inflammation in our lifetime. Ever wondered what is the mechanism behind it?
Inflammation is a result of external injuries, exposure to toxins, chemicals or any foreign object. It can worsen due to a viral / bacterial infection as well as in the presence of autoimmune disorders. It is interesting to note that disorders which end with ‘itis’ are often inflammatory in nature! Some common examples are Dermatitis, Cystitis, Bronchitis, Arthritis and many more….
These disorders are indicative of a wide range of symptoms, starting from redness, swelling, pain, excessive heat and a drop in immunity. However, in many scenarios, they can be asymptomatic and an individual might end up having fever, exhaustion and loss of energy.
The Antidote – Eating to Reduce Inflammation
Anti inflammatory foods are estimated to reduce chronic inflammation by 60% as a first line of defense. Over a prolonged period, they can reduce / resolve the occurrence of inflammatory disorders.
The most effective way to include anti -inflammatories in a regular routine is to eat in a traditional, yet a scientific manner. Here is a list of top 5 anti inflammatory foods to pick from your kitchen:
The rich phytochemistry of ginger includes components that scavenge free radicals produced in biological systems. ‘Gingerol’, ‘Paradol’ and ‘Shogaol’ are the components in ginger which downregulates the tumor necrosis factor and interleukin, thereby inhibiting the allergic reactions. This mechanism has also shown its effectiveness in diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, asthma, arthritis, osteoporosis and psoriasis.
One can therefore say that ginger a day can keep the inflammation away!
The phytochemical compound ‘Curcumin’ makes up 2-5% of this spice. After its prolonged usage in traditional medicine, modern studies show that it enhances the expression of collagen thereby increasing the rate of formation of tissues. This helps in wound healing and repair mechanisms. It also blocks the oxidative damage, has antiviral effects and inhibits prostaglandins; thereby protecting the body from shocks and inflammatory reactions. It has a major role to play in cancer, CVD, diabetes mellitus and even gastrointestinal disorders.
Therefore, one can now determine the value of a pinch of turmeric.
Garlic is proved to be 30-40% more effective than NSAIDS for treating inflammatory conditions. This is because it is readily absorbed in the stomach and duodenum. One of the most biologically available components called ‘Allicin’ in garlic is available only when it is crushed / cut, which has shown a greater impact in reducing arthritic pain. It also regulates immunity and initiates phagocytosis thereby suppressing the cytokine related inflammatory response.
Henceforth, keep calm and eat garlic!
4) The Omega-3 Fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids, especially PUFA, are known to decrease the production of pro-inflammatory proteins whereas MUFA strengthens the T cell activity. Sources such as fish oil, and flax seeds sharply reduce the production of cytokines and aid in autoimmune diseases. Clinical intervention of these have also been known to fight depression, psoriasis, IBD, asthma and sclerosis; as this is the one of the nutrients which can cross the blood brain barrier.
So this can be one of the best choices!
Cucumber heals the inflammation in the lining of the small intestine. The active component ‘Cucurbita’ fights against the reactive oxygen species and has one of the highest antioxidant absorbance rates. As compared to synthetic drugs, it is devoid of any side effects and is successfully used in the treatment of rheumatism, hypertension, acne and burns.
Why not detox yourself with a daily dose of cucumber?
Now when we know the importance of anti-inflammatory foods, let us go and get them! This is the future medicine for our problems.
Ryan Fernando is an Award-winning celebrity Sports Nutritionist with 2GUINNESS world record and 2 Olympic medals under his belt. His client list include Olympic wrestler Sushil Kumar, cricketer Shikhar Dhawan & bollywood superstars Aamir Khan & Abhishek Bachchan. He is Chief Nutritionist at QUA Nutrition Signature Clinics.