(WellnessNova.com) - Excessive, prolonged inflammation and the accompanying pain can make life very difficult and quite tiring. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury, illness, and damage to cells or tissue. It creates pain, swelling, warmth, and redness, and makes it hard to move while the healing process begins.
Inflammation usually doesn’t last long after the healing process starts. But sometimes, the immune system doesn’t let up or goes haywire and floods your whole body with an inflammatory response, even when only a small area is injured. This can cause ongoing pain or repeated flare-ups. This is what happens in chronic inflammatory conditions like fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis.
If you have chronic inflammation due to an ongoing condition or recurring injury, the cycle of pain and inflammation can be maddening. Take comfort because Mother Nature can naturally heal your inflammation with healthy, delicious food.
1. Ginger Root
Ginger root reduces inflammation and pain as effectively as ibuprofen without all of the harmful side effects.
You can easily find ginger root in most produce sections. Ginger seasons stir-fries nicely and goes well on chicken or fish. It also makes for a powerfully healing tea that can soothe many ailments. Dried ginger root may also be available in your local natural food store for easier tea making.
A tasty way to get a little ginger everyday is munching on a piece of crystallized ginger or ginger candy. Make sure it’s made with real ginger root and not just a flavoring.
2. Turmeric Root
Like ginger, turmeric is a root frequently used in cooking, especially in Eastern cuisine. Turmeric blocks pain, swelling, and inflammation. This root contains the same active ingredient as the anti-inflammatory medications Celebrex, Bextra, and Vioxx.
Fresh turmeric can sometimes be found in the produce section. Powdered turmeric is readily available in most spice sections. It works well in lentils, chicken, curry dishes, soups, veggie burgers, or meatloaf.
3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3s calm and balance your overall immune response, reducing any inflammation. Adding a high omega-3 food to your diet several times a week can ease any pain accompanying inflammation over time.
Cold water fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel are great sources of omega-3. For a vegetarian option, you can eat flaxseed, chia seeds, and hemp seeds.
It’s important keep a good balance between omega-3 and omega-6 to reduce inflammation. The easiest way to bring balance is to cut out processed foods, eat only small amounts of nuts, and only eat fish two or three times a week.
4. Green Tea
A nice cup of tea can calm your mind and body. Green tea has been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect. Green tea is milder and more calming than black tea since it has significantly less caffeine.
While it’s possible to buy green tea in capsule form, it’s preferable to drink fresh-brewed green tea to get the most benefits.
You can also add ginger tea to your green tea for an added anti-inflammatory boost.
5. Tart Cherries
Tart cherries have been shown to reduce overall inflammation, as well as pain, during gout attacks. All red and purple fruits have inflammation-soothing compounds and tart cherries are very rich in them. Try eating several tart cherries a day, or drinking tart cherry juice to ease inflammation and pain fairly quickly.
6. Antioxidant Foods
Foods rich in antioxidants are high on the inflammation-fighting list. Most vegetables have lots of these immune system-boosting antioxidants.
Here are some green leafy vegetables high in antioxidants:
- collard greens
- mustard greens
- Swiss chard
Here are some Cruciferous vegetables high in antioxidants:
- bok choy
7. Virgin Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is trending as a superfood because of its many health benefits. Fighting inflammation is certainly one of the things this wonder oil is good at. Taking small amounts of coconut oil everyday can help reduce inflammation and any pain.
Some people really enjoy the taste of coconut oil and use it in place of butter on toast, or for sautéing veggies instead of vegetable oil.
If you’re not a fan of the taste, you can put a spoonful in a smoothie or use melted coconut oil for baking instead of regular oil. You can also put a little in a capsule and take it that way.
Inflammation can certainly put a halt to things and make it harder to enjoy life. By regularly mixing these delicious foods into your diet, you’ll be soothing your inflammation and supporting your health too. Give them a try and see how you feel!