Inflammation is a very important defense mechanism of human immune system. It helps destroy pathogens, and repair cells to heal injuries, keeping us healthy and alive. It’s just like the salt- a pinch is good for taste and health but excessive use can ruin the taste and threat the health. Overactivity of the immune system results in chronic inflammation which has been linked to a whole host of problems from allergies and acne to joint problems, fatigue and neurological disorders. Chronic inflammation is believed to play a major role in many diseases including heart disease, diabetes, cancer and autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.
Eating a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods are a great way to to help fight chronic inflammation triggering free radicals and toxins. While eating processed foods and those high in sugar can make the situation worse, there are many natural foods like Korean red ginseng that help calm down the chronic inflammation.
An anti-inflammatory diet lowers the chances of additional problems in those with autoimmune disorders. These food are not a cure-all, but they help lessen the number of flare-ups of chronic inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. These superfoods also work to reduce the pain associated with this kind of severe inflammation.
Listed below are 6 natural foods that can help you reduce chronic inflammation:
Korean Red Ginseng
Ginseng, which plays an important role in traditional Chinese medicine, has now gained worldwide recognition for its wide range of health benefits. Ginseng is a light colored herb with a relatively long stalk and a fleshy root. It is believed to lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity. People who consume Korean red ginseng regularly have observed increased energy levels and reduced stress.
New research has found that ginsenosides, the biologically active compounds found in ginseng, have powerful anti-inflammatory effects. Researchers suggested that the ginsenosides could be responsible for targeting immune system pathways to reduce chronic inflammation. Studies have revealed that ginsenosides can lower the inflammation rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and different types of dermatitis including psoriasis. The immunosuppressive effects of ginsenosides help in fighting autoimmune diseases.
Ginseng was found to decrease chronic inflammation and reduce the symptoms of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis ( a group of neuropsychiatric disorder). It suppressed the pro-inflammatory genes IFNG, IL17A and TNF. Another study observed that ginseng protects the brain against oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction and neuroinflammation. You can make ginseng tea using fresh roots or take supplements. Korean red ginseng is easily available in supplement forms.
Turmeric is a very popular spice which gives a bright golden yellow hue to curries. The active ingredient in turmeric is a compound called curcumin which has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin reduces severe inflammation by inhibiting the production of eicosanoids, the pro-inflammatory signaling compounds in the human body.
Turmeric is highly effective in reducing the inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis. Curcumin cansignificantly reduce interleukin (IL)-6, the inflammatory cytokine involved in this disease. Many Patients with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis who took curcumin supplements found they could walk better without taking additional drugs that caused side effects.
Turmeric is reported to have effects similar to many over-the-counter pain medications, without any of the harmful side effects of such medicines. Acoording to a number of studies, curcumin has more potent anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative capabilities than popular pain medications like aspirin and ibuprofen.
The fiber and antioxidants present in all fruits help fight chronic inflammation. Blueberries are very rich in antioxidants. Antioxidant flavonoids, called anthocyanins, are what give berries their rich color. But blueberries require special mentioning as they contain a flavonoid called quercetin. Studies have found that quercetin can fight severe inflammation and even cancer.
A study published by Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Harvard Medical School found that eating plenty of blueberries slowed cognitive decline while improving memory and motor function. The researchers attributed these results to the antioxidants in blueberries which protect the body from oxidative stress, thus reducing severe inflammation. Blueberries have also been found to protect against inflammatory intestinal disorders like ulcerative colitis.
Consuming fatty fishes like salmon, mackerel, sardines and tuna help reduce diseases caused by chronic inflammation as these foods are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Many studies have proven that omega-3 fatty acids have the ability to relieve inflammation and reduce the requirement for anti-inflammatory medications.
Among the different food sources for omega-3s, Salmon is considered one of the best sources. Wild caught salmon has a higher level of omega-3s when compared to farmed salmon. Several studies have established that omega 3 fatty acids are also important for cognitive performances and behavioral functions. Regular consumption of oily fishes (boiled or baked) has been found to lower the risk of heart disease by 23% compared to those who do not eat fish. Fish oil supplements are helpful for those who are not fans of seafood.
Nuts, in general, are wonderful sources of fiber and antioxidants. They are good sources of healthy unsaturated fat. Walnuts are one of the best choices in the anti inflammatory foods as they are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acid.
A study recorded that test subjects who added both walnuts and flax oil to their diet had lowered the levels of C-reactive protein which is an inflammation marker for patients having arthritis and heart disease. Just grab a handful of nuts to munch on the go, they make you feel full and keep those food cravings in control. A leafy green salad with walnuts, drizzled with olive oil, is a power packed anti-inflammatory meal.
A staple in Ayurvedic treatments, ginger is best known for its stomach soothing, anti-nausea properties. Ginger is also effective in soothing pain and inflammation. A good dose of ginger juice mixed with lemon and honey can work wonders in providing pain relief for achy muscles or menstrual cramps
Ginger’s active compound gingerol is believed to be responsible for its immune boosting and anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have found that ginger root can reduce the joint pain caused by the chronic inflammatory diseases such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. This spicy root may be beneficial in treating the severe inflammation related to allergic and asthmatic diseases. Ginger can be added to the diet in many ways, use it fresh, dried or in supplement forms.
Natural herbs and spices like Korean red ginseng, turmaric and ginger have always been applied to treat a number of diseases. In order to nourish the body to achieve the overall wellness, you should include natural remedies like red ginseng to your diet chart on a regular basis.