Advertising
Advertising

8 Anti-Inflammatory Foods to Include In Your Diet

8 Anti-Inflammatory Foods to Include In Your Diet

Inflammation in your body is a process that can be part of a normal immune response. The body needs it in many different situations, for example, without it we could not heal properly. Bad habits, work related stress, environmental pollution, and your diet in particular can create a situation of systemic or chronic inflammation in your body. This is a serious situation that you wish to avoid as most modern common life threatening diseases, such as heart disease, chronic pain, cancer, memory loss, and autoimmune diseases are very closely associated with a pre-existing condition of chronic inflammation.

Fortunately, Mother Nature gave use many options, backed by modern science, that we can use to prevent or manage such situations. Indeed, a lot very powerful anti-inflammatory compounds are present in some special food items.

Here are the 8 most powerful and delicious anti-inflammatory foods that you should include in your diet in order to prevent or fight inflammation.

Advertising

1. Ginger

Widely used in Asian cuisine for its aroma and flavour, ginger contains very potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds called gingerols, which have been valued for centuries and more recently researched by scientist. Many people with different kinds of arthritis are using it with great results to reduce pain and improve their mobility by significantly reducing their inflammation problems. Learning how to cook with ginger could become your most powerful strategy against inflammation. It is surely worth incorporating into your diet for its taste and overall effect.

2. Turmeric

This bright yellow spice can be used to give color, aroma or a slightly bitter taste to a recipe as it has long been used as a potent anti-inflammatory in Asian medicine and have also been shown in many modern scientific studies to be comparable to the popular drug ibuprofen, also known as Advil. But unlike Advil, turmeric doesn’t produce any toxicity. Turmeric can be added to a lot of recipe without altering the taste too much which gives you another powerful and convenient weapon to add to your anti-inflammatory arsenal.

3. Coconut Oil

Using coconut oil for cooking is a great idea. Not only this oil doesn’t generate toxic byproducts when cooked at high temperature like most oils do, but it also contains a special compound called lauric acid, which has been shown by research to have great anti-inflammatory properties.

Advertising

Also, one of the most important causes of chronic inflammation in the body is the imbalance of omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. Basically, what this means is that, on the one hand, you do not have enough omega-3 while, on the other hand, you just have too much omega-6. Most vegetable cooking oils, such as corn oil, canola oil, soybean oil and margarine are full of omega-6. Replacing them by coconut oil will enable you to attack the problem from two different angles.

4. Walnuts

They are awesome as a simple snack, for they are packed with vitamins and minerals. They are also a great addition to your diet due to the presence of some very special and unique compounds that are excellent anti-inflammatory nutrients and able to decrease the risk of prostate cancer and breast cancer significantly. Note that those compounds are mainly found in the thin darker skin that covers the nut inside the shell, so don’t forget to eat that part too!

5. Wild Fatty Fish

Those tasteful fatty fish like salmon, mackerel or sardines are all packed with omega-3 fatty acid that is one of your best weapon against chronic inflammations. Scientific studies that compared ibuprofen, also known as Advil, and omega-3 have demonstrated that they have equivalent effect in reducing arthritic pain! This is now a well-known fact, but you should also know 2 important things about those fatty fish.

Advertising

First, if it is farmed, and most likely fed with a corn-based diet as a result, means that the quantity of omega-3 will be significantly lower. For this particular reason, you need to look for wild ones. Second, omega-3 fatty acids are very delicate and can be destroyed if cooked at high temperature, for example when you go about deep-frying fish, so take your time and cook them slowly at a lower temperature.

6. Berries

Another set of convenient snacks that serve as anti-inflammatories include blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and cranberries. They are full of flavonoids that are considered great antioxidants. Those flavonoids found in berries possess an abundance of anti-inflammatory properties that protect the cells against damage caused by inflammation. Those flavonoids are concentrated in the skin of the berries and usually give this great red to purple color to the fruit.

7. Cruciferous vegetables

They are great to add flavor and color to your favourite meals; broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage and many others have been proven to be full of antioxidants and important vitamins such as Vitamin C and E that reduce oxidative stress, estrogenic activities, thus providing great help against inflammation while they are also great tools to prevent chronic diseases such as cancer or coronary artery disease.

Advertising

8. Beets

Delicious, affordable, and easy to find beets are the very unique sources of powerful nutrients called betalains. Those nutrients have been shown to provide strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification properties. They act by inhibiting the pro-inflammatory – cyclooxygenase – enzymes and also help to repair the damage caused by inflammation at a cellular level. If prepared roasted, slow-cooked, or boiled, they can be an easy addition to your dinner meals.

More by this author

Tea 3 Amazing Benefits of Tea That You Need To Know Gentlelady 5 Things You Should Keep In Mind About Dating A Gentlelady Turmeric 8 Anti-Inflammatory Foods to Include In Your Diet

Trending in Health

1 8 Best Multivitamins For Men, Women And Kids 2 How to Stop Overeating the Healthy Way (Step-by-Step Guide) 3 10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today 4 10 Books On Health That Increase Your Eating And Body Awareness 5 Will a Weight Loss Cleanse Really Improve Your Health?

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on November 9, 2020

10 Real Reasons Why Breaking Bad Habits Is So Difficult

10 Real Reasons Why Breaking Bad Habits Is So Difficult

Bad habits expose us to suffering that is entirely avoidable. Unfortunately, breaking bad habits is difficult because they are 100% dependent on our mental and emotional state.

Anything we do that can prove harmful to us is a bad habit – drinking, drugs, smoking, procrastination, poor communication are all examples of bad habits. These habits have negative effects on our physical, mental, and emotional health.

Humans are hardwired to respond to stimuli and to expect a consequence of any action. This is how habits are acquired: the brain expects to be rewarded a certain way under certain circumstances. How you initially responded to certain stimuli is how your brain will always remind you to behave when the same stimuli are experienced.

If you visited the bar close to your office with colleagues every Friday, your brain will learn to send you a signal to stop there even when you are alone and eventually not just on Fridays. It will expect the reward of a drink after work every day, which can potentially lead to a drinking problem.

Kicking negative behavior patterns and steering clear of them requires a lot of willpower, and there are many reasons why breaking bad habits is so difficult.

1. Lack of Awareness or Acceptance

Breaking a bad habit is not possible if the person who has it is not aware that it is a bad one.

Many people will not realize that their communication skills are poor or that their procrastination is affecting them negatively, or even that the drink they had as a nightcap has now increased to three.

Awareness brings acceptance. Unless a person realizes on their own that a habit is bad, or someone manages to convince them of the same, there is very little chance of the habit being kicked.

2. No Motivation

Going through a divorce, not being able to cope with academic pressure, and falling into debt are instances that can bring a profound sense of failure with them. A person going through these times can fall into a cycle of negative thinking where the world is against them and nothing they can do will ever help, so they stop trying altogether.

Advertising

This give-up attitude is a bad habit that just keeps coming around. Being in debt could make you feel like you are failing at maintaining your home, family, and life in general.

If you are looking to get out of a rut and feel motivated, take a look at this article: Why Is Internal Motivation So Powerful (And How to Find It)

3. Underlying Psychological Conditions

Psychological conditions such as depression and ADD can make it difficult to start breaking bad habits.

A depressed person may find it difficult to summon the energy to cook a healthy meal, resulting in food being ordered in or consumption of packaged foods. This could lead to a habit that adversely affects health and is difficult to overcome.

A person with ADD may start to clean their house but get distracted soon after, leaving the task incomplete, eventually leading to a state where it is acceptable to live in a house that is untidy and dirty.

The fear of missing out (FOMO) is very real to some people. Obsessively checking their social media and news sources, they may believe that not knowing of something as soon as it is published can be catastrophic to their social standing.

4. Bad Habits Make Us Feel Good

One of the reasons it is difficult to break habits is that a lot of them make us feel good.[1]

We’ve all been there – the craving for a tub of ice cream after a breakup or a casual drag on a joint, never to be repeated until we miss how good it made us feel. We succumb to the craving for the pleasure felt while indulging in it, cementing it as a habit even while we are aware it isn’t good for us.

Overeating is a very common bad habit. Just another pack of chips, a couple of candies, a large soda… none of these are necessary for survival. We want them because they give us comfort. They’re familiar, they taste good, and we don’t even notice when we progress from just one extra slice of pizza to four.

Advertising

You can read this article to learn more: We Do What We Know Is Bad for Us, Why?

5. Upward Comparisons

Comparisons are a bad habit that many of us have been exposed to since we were children. Parents might have compared us to siblings, teachers may have compared us to classmates, and bosses could compare us to past and present employees.

The people who have developed the bad habit of comparing themselves to others have been given incorrect yardsticks for measurement from the start.

These people will always find it difficult to break out of this bad habit because there will always be someone who has it better than they do: a better house, better car, better job, higher income and so on.

Research shows that in the age of social media, social comparisons are much easier and can ultimately harm self-esteem if scrolling becomes a bad habit[2].

6. No Alternative

This is a real and valid reason why breaking bad habits is difficult. These habits could fulfill a need that may not be met any other way.

Someone who has physical or psychological limitations, such as a disability or social anxiety, may find it hard to quit obsessive content consumption for better habits.

Alternately, a perfectly healthy person may be unable to quit smoking because alternates are just not working out.

Similarly, a person who bites their nails when anxious may be unable to relieve stress in any other socially accepted manner.

Advertising

7. Stress

As mentioned above, anything that stresses us out can lead to adopting and cementing an unhealthy habit.

When a person is stressed about something, it is easy for bad habits to form because the mental resources required to fight them are not available[3].

We often see a person who had previously managed to kick a bad habit fall back into the old ways because they felt their stress couldn’t be managed any other way.

If you need some help reducing stress, check out the following video for some healthy ways to get started:

8. Sense of Failure

People looking to kick bad habits may feel a strong sense of failure because it’s just that difficult.

Dropping a bad habit usually means changes in lifestyle that people may be unwilling to make, or these changes might not be easy to make in spite of the will to make them.

Overeaters need to empty their house of unhealthy food, resist the urge to order in, and not pick up their standard grocery items from the store. Those who drink too much need to avoid the bars or even people who drink often.

If such people slip even once with a glass of wine, or a smoke, or a bag of chips, they tend to be excessively harsh on themselves and feel like failures.

9. The Need to Be All-New

People who are looking to break bad habits feel they need to re-create themselves in order to break themselves of their bad habits, while the truth is the complete opposite.

Advertising

These people actually need to go back to who they were before they developed the bad habit and try to create good habits from there.

10. Force of Habit

Humans are creatures of habit, and having familiar, comforting outcomes for daily triggers helps us maintain a sense of balance in our lives.

Consider people who are used to lighting up a cigarette every time they talk on the phone or eating junk food when watching TV. They will always associate a phone call with a puff on the cigarette and screen time with eating.

These habits, though bad, are a source of comfort to them, as is meeting with those people they indulge in these bad habits with.

Final Thoughts

These are the main reasons why breaking bad habits is difficult, but the good news is that the task is not impossible. Breaking habits takes time, and you’ll need to put long-term goals in place to replace a bad habit with a good one.

There are many compassionate, positive and self-loving techniques to kick bad habits. The internet is rich in information regarding bad habits, their effects and how to overcome them, while professional help is always available for those who feel they need it.

More on Breaking Bad Habits

Featured photo credit: NORTHFOLK via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] After Skool: Why Do Bad Habits Feel SO GOOD?
[2] Psychology of Popular Media Culture: Social comparison, social media, and self-esteem.
[3] Stanford Medicine: Examining how stress affects good and bad habits

Read Next