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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Skip the medicines and bulk up on easy-to-find foods that are rich in anti-inflammatory properties. Pearl Mathias brings you five foods that can help tackle inflammation

Inflammation occurs when your body is not at ease; when there is an imbalance either due to foreign invaders or injury. When inflammation is acute, such as your body’s response to a cut or a contact injury, it protects your body from harm. But, when the inflammation is chronic, it could lead to unpleasant and even serious conditions such as joint pain, autoimmune diseases, neurological disorders, intestinal issues and even acne and allergies.

If you tried to avoid all the triggers of inflammation, you would have to live in a bubble. Everything from sugar and stress to environmental toxins and infections can lead to inflammation. But, while inflammation can be good, telling your body where it needs attention, you may want relief from its effects and there are several ways in which you can tackle it. We’re not referring to a quick trip to the pharmacy, but rather to the grocery store. Or, you can look around your kitchen for these simple foods, which may help you deal with inflammation.


It’s difficult to find nuts that don’t exhibit anti-inflammatory properties. While almonds are rich in fibre, calcium and vitamin E, walnuts have the highest concentration of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids. Packed with antioxidants, nuts help repair the damage caused by inflammation. Whether you pick almonds, walnuts or hazelnuts, they’re all great choices to snack on between meals.

Green leafy vegetables

It’s no surprise that green leafy vegetables are rich in anti-oxidants as well as anti-inflammatory flavonoids. Bulk up on vegetables such as kale, chard, spinach and broccoli. Vitamin E is key in protecting the body against pro-inflammatory molecules such as cytokines, and green leafy vegetables are one of the best sources of this vitamin. Although eating all vegetables (whether dark or light) is essential when it comes to anti-inflammatory properties, we stress on dark leafy vegetables since they have higher concentrations of nutrients such as iron.


Although popular for its nausea-calming properties, a less well known property of ginger is that it helps ease inflammation. If you’re subjected to post-exercise soreness and swelling or joint pain caused by chronic inflammatory conditions such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, consuming ginger can help reduce the occurrence of inflammation.

According to a 2010 study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information on its website, by researchers at UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center), besides reducing your risk of heart disease and cancer, green tea works like liquid vegetables as it stages an anti-inflammatory fight inside your body. Sip on a warm cup of green, white or black tea to bulk up on anti-oxidants and battle inflammation.


A 2007 study published in the Journal of Inflammation found that soy isoflavones (compounds in soy that the body converts into estrogen-like chemicals) also helped reduce the negative effects of inflammation on bone and heart health in mice. Soy has been singled out for its ability to reduce the inflammation marker C-reactive protein — a protein that has been linked to coronary heart disease. However, it’s important to avoid heavily-processed soy, which contains preservatives and may not have the same health benefits.

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