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How To Fight Inflammation? Ginger And Other Foods That Can Cure Inflammation!

How To Fight Inflammation? Ginger And Other Foods That Can Cure Inflammation!

Inflammation – Should we worry?

Health advocates are always referring to inflammation, but in actual fact what are they really talking about?

Inflammation is basically a natural process of the body, the body’s chemical messengers encourage a process or an immune response.

But the kind we hear about in the new-age health context is not merely like a broken ankle or a cut; it is the chronic, pervasive low-level of inflammation.

Studies indicate that inflammation affects almost everything from from hip fractures, acid reflux and neuro-degenerative diseases. Many diseases that plague society like arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, inflammatory bowel disease and asthma are tied to one common denominator: Inflammation

Prominent wellness community voices believe inflammation is the root of many diseases. Our current age of environmental pollutants, obesity and high stress levels is a calling for us to do away with some inflammation myths.

Fast Facts on Inflammation

  • Inflammation is a self-protection mechanism, an immune response of the body to alleviate harmful stimuli and begin the healing process. Our wounds, infections and tissue damages heal with inflammation. But when this process gets out of control, for instance in a case of rheumatoid arthritis, it damages the body. It plays a role in disorders like obesity, cancer and heart disease.
  • The initial stage of inflammation is termed irritation, it then turns into inflammation.
  • The discharge of pus follows the inflammation granulation stage, the wound formation and round tissue masses.
  • Note that inflammation is an element of the healing process. Reducing inflammation is necessary is some cases, but not always.

Types of Inflammation

Acute inflammation: Starts with a rapid onset and becomes severe quickly.

Chronic inflammation: Long-term cases of inflammation that can last for months or years. Chronic inflammation can cause several conditions and diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, some cancer types, atherosclerosis,
hay fever and others.

Lifestyle choices that compose of food that we eat each day can either balance anti-inflammatory body compounds or tip one end of the scale.

10 Foods to Avoid in a Anti-Inflammation Diet

Incorporating natural foods that are anti-inflammatory foods in diets is as important as avoiding or reducing foods that promote inflammation.

1. Sugars

    An excess of sugar intake is known to cause tooth decay.[1] Moreover it is linked to obesity, chronic diseases like metabolic syndrome, and diabetes. Recent studies prove that sugar and dairy causes acne.

    2. Dairy

      Approximately sixty percent of the population in the world are unable to digest milk.[2] Milk is an allergen that triggers inflammatory responses. These are inclusive of stomach distress like constipation and diarrhea as well as skin conditions like skin rashes, hives, acne and also breathing difficulties.

      3. Cooking Oil

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        Common cooking oils that are used in restaurants and homes have high omega-6 fatty acids and low omega-3 fats.[3] This imbalance promotes inflammatory diseases like cancer and heart disease.

        4. Trans fats

          Trans fats increase ‘bad’ cholesterol and lower ‘good’ cholesterol levels.[4] They promote inflammation, insulin resistance, obesity and lead to degenerative illnesses. They are found in deep fried foods, commercially baked items, fast foods, and foods prepared with margarine, hydrogenated oil and vegetable shortening.

          5. Meat produced commercially

            Meat produced commercially results in animals that are fed with high inflammatory diets like high omega 6 fats and low omega 3 fats.[5] They gain fat as they are kept in compressed environments and given antibiotics and hormones to grow faster. This meat should be avoided.

            6. Alcohol

              Regular alcohol consumption causes inflammation of the larynx, esophagus and liver.[6] This chronic inflammation promotes the growth of tumors leading to cancer.

              7. Processed and Red Meat

                Medical Studies have located a molecule that is not naturally produced by humans (Neu5Gc).[7] After this compound is ingested, the body begins to develop anti-Neu5Gc antibodies that trigger chronic inflammation. This inflammation is linked to heart disease and cancer.

                8. Refined Grain

                  Many grains that we eat are refined. They are devoid of vitamin B and fiber in contrast to unrefined grains.[8] Refined grains are equal to empty calories. The high glycemic causes degenerative diseases like coronary disease, cancer and diabetes. These are found in many products, the most common are: white rice, white bread, white flour, noodles, pastries, pasta and biscuits.

                  9. Artificial Additives

                    Artificial food additives like monosodium glutamate (MSG) and aspartame triggers of inflammatory responses, affecting people that already suffer from conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.[9] Packaged foods usually artificial food additives. Read the labels carefully to weigh the risks.

                    10. Frozen Yogurt

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                      The mixture of dairy and sugar is not a good combination and will have harmful effects even though it may sound healthy.[10] Foods that are high in sugar levels and saturated fat spur inflammation as they cause over-activity in immune systems, lead to fatigue, joint pain, fatigue and blood vessels damage.

                      When we address inflammation with foods that are anti-inflammatory we alleviate symptoms and even cure many of them.

                      20 Foods that Fight Inflammation

                      1. Dark Leafy Greens

                        Vitamin E is key to protect the body against molecules that are pro-inflammatory (cytokines). A good source of this vitamin is dark green vegetables like swiss chard, spinach, broccoli and kale.[11] Cruciferous and dark green vegetables have a higher concentrations of nutrients inclusive of iron and calcium, as well as disease fighting elements.

                        2. Fatty Fish

                          Oily fish, like mackerel, salmon, sardines and tuna have high omega-3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation.[12] Add fish to menus, boiled or steamed rather than fried, salted or dried.

                          3. Nuts

                            Nuts like almonds are rich in vitamin E, calcium and fiber. With high levels of an omega 3 fat type, alpha-linolenic acid, they fight inflammation. Nuts are full of antioxidants that help repair the damage by inflammation.

                            4. Soy Foods

                              Studies have shown that soy products are effective for anti-inflammation.[13] At a cellular level they are a defense against cancer and cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis as well as menopausal symptoms.

                              7. Celery

                                Research about celery has identified it for anti-inflammatory health benefits, including protection against the digestive inflammation tract itself.[14]

                                8. Peppers

                                  Peppers are high in antioxidants and vitamin C and therefore possess powerful effects of anti-inflammation.[15]

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                                  9. Tomatoes

                                    Red, juicy tomatoes are lycopene rich, which is known to reduce inflammation in the body and lungs. Cooked tomatoes have more lycopene than raw tomatoes. The consumption of tomato juice is also beneficial.

                                    10. Beets

                                      This bright red color veggie is equally brilliant in its antioxidant properties.[16] It reduces inflammation and protects against heart disease and cancer as it has good fiber and folate.

                                      11. Garlic and Onions

                                        These pungent vegetables are anti-inflamm atory superstars.[17] The compounds of garlic lower inflammation boosting substance. Onions help to inhibit agents that cause inflammation in arthritis. Eating raw garlic is best.

                                        12. Olive Oil

                                          Olive oil is the best additions to healthy heart diets and lung functioning.[18]

                                          13. Cherries

                                            Research has shown that tart cherry juice helps athletes to recover faster from workouts that are intense, and decrease muscle pain.[19]

                                            14. Berries

                                              All fruits help to fight inflammation as they have a high fiber content. Berries are stronger in anti inflammatory properties as a result of rich antioxidants.[20]

                                              15. Turmeric

                                                Turmeric, the bright colored relative to ginger is a disease-preventive agent due to anti inflammatory components and is a beneficial addition to dishes.[21]

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                                                16. Ginger

                                                  Ginger has amazing benefits and ingesting ginger, either by drinking ginger tea or sprinkling ginger on foods, is said to even reduce arthritis pain, muscle pain and improves movement agility.[22]

                                                  17. Dark Chocolate

                                                    Recent research revealed that gut bacteria ferments and breaks down dark chocolate components turning them into anti-inflammatory healthy compounds.[23]

                                                    18. Broccoli

                                                      The health benefits of broccoli, a cruciferous vegetable, are numerous.[24] If you eat broccoli on a regular basis, the health benefits that are provided are amazing.

                                                      19. Black Beans

                                                        High in fiber and protein, black beans are a great healthy food choice that reduce inflammation.[25]

                                                        20. Pineapple

                                                          Pineapple contains enzymes that reduce inflammation and swelling in the body.[26] Pineapple is great in vitamin C, for a healthy immune system and is best when eaten raw and ripe.

                                                          A Superfood Anti-inflammatory Recipe

                                                          Carrot Salad with Ginger and Turmeric

                                                          This superfood combination of turmeric, carrots and ginger contains flavor compounds making them favorites in the culinary world. To top it of, the curative power of these ingredients has been East Indian and Chinese Ayurvedic medicine cures for many millennia.

                                                          Featured photo credit: http://drbrocchini.com via drbrocchini.com

                                                          Reference

                                                          [1] Mercola: Sugar Industry Secrets Exposed
                                                          [2] Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition: Dairy products and inflammation: A review of the clinical evidence
                                                          [3] Authority Nutrition: 6 Reasons Why Vegetable Oils Can be Harmful
                                                          [4] Authority Nutrition: Why Are Trans Fats Bad For You? The Disturbing Truth
                                                          [5] Owlcation: Dangerous Health Risks of Meat – New Evidence
                                                          [6] Alcohol Journal: Alcohol and inflammation and immune responses: Summary of the 2005 Alcohol and Immunology Research Interest Group (AIRIG) meeting
                                                          [7] US San Diego News Center: How Eating Red Meat Can Spur Cancer Progression
                                                          [8] Authority Nutrition: Why Refined Carbs Are Bad For You
                                                          [9] Archives of Disease in Childhood: The effects of a double blind, placebo controlled, artificial food colourings and benzoate preservative challenge on hyperactivity in a general population sample of preschool children
                                                          [10] Huffington Post: The Sad, Sad Truth About Frozen Yogurt
                                                          [11] United States of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service: Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
                                                          [12] National Health Service: Oily fish: mighty omega-3 or codswallop?
                                                          [13] Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation: Positive effect of dietary soy in ESRD patients with systemic inflammation–correlation between blood levels of the soy isoflavones and the acute-phase reactants
                                                          [14] The World’s Healthiest Food: Celery
                                                          [15] Ethnopharmacology: Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of Capsicum baccatum: from traditional use to scientific approach
                                                          [16] Health: 14 Foods That Fight Inflammation
                                                          [17] Health: 14 Foods That Fight Inflammation
                                                          [18] Health: 14 Foods That Fight Inflammation
                                                          [19] Health: 14 Foods That Fight Inflammation
                                                          [20] Health: 14 Foods That Fight Inflammation
                                                          [21] Dr Weil: 3 Reasons To Eat Turmeric
                                                          [22] British Journal of Anaesthesia: Efficacy of ginger for nausea and vomiting: a systematic review of randomized clinical trials
                                                          [23] Mercola: Scientists Probe Dark Chocolate’s Health Secrets
                                                          [24] Cancer Prevention Research: Dietary Sulforaphane-Rich Broccoli Sprouts Reduce Colonization and Attenuate Gastritis in Helicobacter pylori–Infected Mice and Humans
                                                          [25] Medical News Today: Black Beans: Health Benefits, Facts, Research
                                                          [26] body+soul: Pineapple helps relieve inflammation

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                                                          Last Updated on May 21, 2019

                                                          13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away

                                                          13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away

                                                          Creating your productivity ritual — a routine that helps you to maintain a peak level of energy can get you the best out of your days.

                                                          Part of creating your productivity routine involves removing activities that drain you (what I call “kryptonites”), and that includes your bad habits.

                                                          Like it or not, bad habits are bad for you — mentally, physically, emotionally and even socially in some cases. While some bad habits are harder to quit than others, it doesn’t change the fact that you need to get rid of them. Here are 13 bad habits to quit right away:

                                                          1. Stress Eating

                                                          I used to be a serious stress eater. I would eat whenever I felt unhappy, stressed, disappointed, anxious, or even… happy! My eating had nothing to do with being hungry, and everything to do with using food to fill my emotional voids.

                                                          While eating would comfort me, this feeling was momentary and would disappear right after I was done eating. Instead, what I had left would be the same emotional void that triggered me to eat in the first place (be it unhappiness or stress), a 2,000 excess calorie intake over what I should have eaten for the day, and anger at myself for having stress ate.

                                                          I’ve since overcome stress eating. I have healthy eating habits and a healthy relationship with food today where I no longer use food as a tool to fill my emotions.

                                                          If you are a stress eater, don’t fret — here’s how to manage your stress better:

                                                          How to Manage Stress (A Step-by-Step Guide to Turn Stress Into Success)

                                                          2. Nail Biting

                                                          Not only is nail biting unhygienic, it is also socially repelling, leads to dental problems like malocclusion of the anterior teeth,[1] potentially cause stomach problems,[2] and lead to severely deformed fingernails in the long run.

                                                          People who bite their nails tend to have shorter nails than the average person; their nail plates also experience scarring and may eventually become absent.[3]

                                                          Understand what triggers your nail biting behavior and replace it with another neutral to positive habit. Make habits to break habits.

                                                          For example, if you bite your nails when you are stressed, go for a walk or listen to music instead the next time you feel stressed.

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                                                          3. Hanging out with Naysayers

                                                          We all know these people — people who play devil’s advocate to every idea you have and every goal you want to pursue. We are already our greatest self-critics, so it doesn’t help when there’s someone beside us, ever ready to pounce on what we say and tear it down.

                                                          Hang out less with these naysayers and spend more time with supportive people who share constructive feedback instead. You will be much happier this way.

                                                          Learn how to get rid of naysayers with these 10 Ways to Ignore the Naysayers and Achieve Your Dreams.

                                                          4. Being with People Who Don’t Appreciate You

                                                          Haven’t all of us been in this situation before? Trying to please people who don’t appreciate us? Bending over backwards to be there for people when they are never there for us?

                                                          While we give without expectations of return, we need to draw a line with people who don’t value us because these people damage our souls.

                                                          Stop spending time with people who don’t appreciate you, and spend more time with people who do instead.

                                                          Unsure who you should get rid of? Learn about it here: 5 Kinds of Toxic People That You Need to Get Rid of Now

                                                          5. Smoking

                                                          Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable death globally.[4]

                                                          In just the United States alone, about 500,000 deaths are attributed to smoking-related diseases annually. A recent study estimated that as much as one-third of China’s male population will have significantly shortened life-spans due to smoking! Gender-wise, male and female smokers lose an average of 13.2 and 14.5 years of life respectively — that’s over a decade of life right there.[5]

                                                          Not only that, smoking causes pre-mature skin aging (i.e. wrinkles), yellowing of teeth, bad breath, and worse of all — jeopardy of the health of people around you, including your loved ones. Studies have shown that non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke are at risk to many of the health problems associated with direct smoking.[6]

                                                          Smoking risks

                                                            6. Excessive Drinking

                                                            All of us know that drinking too much alcohol is bad for us, but do you know how bad it really is?

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                                                            According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, drinking too much — be it on a single occasion or over time — can seriously damage your health:[7]

                                                            • Brain problems: Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, making it harder to think clearly and move with coordination.
                                                            • Heart diseases: Cardiomyopathy – Stretching and drooping of heart muscle, Arrhythmias – Irregular heart beat, stroke, high blood pressure
                                                            • Liver diseases: Steatosis or fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis, cirrhosis
                                                            • Pancreas problems: Pancreatitis, a dangerous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas that prevents proper digestion.
                                                            • Different types of cancer: Mouth, esophagus, throat, liver, breast

                                                            If you drink a lot, perhaps cutting it out right away will be tough. Cut down the number of glasses you drink each time, followed by the number of times you drink a week.

                                                            If need be, seek help from an AA group — you aren’t alone in this. Change starts from today.

                                                            7. Eating Junk Food (Including Diet Soda)

                                                            Junk food — they are everywhere in our society today. From McDonald’s, to KFC, to Burger King, to 24-hour takeouts, junk food such as fries, highly processed burgers and sodas has become a staple in our society today.

                                                            If you think, “Hey, but junk food is tasty!”, think again:

                                                            A study by Paul Johnson and Paul Kenny suggests that junk food consumption alters brain activity in a way similar to addictive drugs like cocaine and heroin.[8]

                                                            “After many weeks with unlimited access to junk food, the pleasure centers of rat brains became desensitized, requiring more food for pleasure.”

                                                            And you wonder why you seem to crave fast food when you just had some the day before?

                                                            While it may not be possible to remove junk food completely from our diet right away, we can reduce our junk food consumption starting today. Instead of soda, opt for a fruit juice (fresh juice, not the carbonated kind) or mineral water. Instead of fries, switch to mashed potato, a salad, or rice (many food outlets allow for this today). Instead of a fried meat patty, go for a grilled one.

                                                            Where possible, opt for healthy food joints like salad bars and delis as opposed to fast food outlets. Every little step goes a long way.

                                                            Here’re some healthy snacks ideas for you: 15 Healthy Snacks You Should Always Have At Home

                                                            8. Eating Too Much Red Meat

                                                            There has been conclusive evidence that consumption of red meat increases the risk of colorectal cancer; and suggestive evidence that it increases the risk of oesophageal cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, and endometrial cancer.

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                                                            In addition, some studies have linked consumption of large quantities of red meat with breast cancer, stomach cancer, lymphoma, bladder cancer, lung cancer and prostate cancer![9]

                                                            Personally, I’m a vegetarian so I don’t consume red meat, but for those of you who consume red meat, do watch out and limit your intake — better still, cut it out of your diet. World Cancer Research Fund recommends limiting intake of red meat to less than 300g (11 oz) cooked weight per week, “very little, if any of which to be processed.”

                                                            Of if you’re thinking about becoming a vegetarian, check out this guide: 5 Practical Tips For Starting a Vegetarian Lifestyle

                                                            9. Watching Too Much TV

                                                            I stopped watching TV since eight years ago and I have never regretted it. Every once in a while I will switch on the telly to see what is on, and then I will switch it off because it’s just the same boring shtick over and over again.

                                                            Watching TV, particularly well-written dramas, can be a good way to unwind. However, remember that TV isn’t your life.

                                                            Spending three hours every night watching TV will not change your life for the better. Rather, using that time to reflect on your life, take stock, and take action on your goals will.

                                                            It’s not easy to remove TV from your daily routine right away, but follow these 6 Steps To Remove TV From Your Life.

                                                            10. Being Late

                                                            Not only is being late being rude to others, it also means that you’re always rushing from one place to another, playing catch up in your agenda, and having to apologize to every person you meet.

                                                            Stop being late and not being punctual, but practice being early instead. Target to arrive 15 minutes earlier before any appointment and bring along something to do in those 15 minutes (or longer if the other person turns out to be late). Then you can stop playing catch up and stay ahead in life.

                                                            Learn more tips about how to be more punctual here: How to Be On Time Every Time

                                                            11. Being in Bad Relationships

                                                            Are you always dating the wrong guys/girls? Do you end up with jerks all the time? Well, you may not be able to stop yourself from meeting bad partners but you can certainly stop yourself from furthering contact with them, spending time with them, or even… entering into a relationship with them.

                                                            I used to invest myself in this guy who was nothing but toxic for me. After a good five months of experiencing nothing but getting burned over and over again, I realized that he was a total waste of my time and I deserved better. I decided to cut him off, and it was soon after that I met my soulmate.

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                                                            Learn about why you shouldn’t stay in a bad relationship and how to deal with it if you’re in one: Why Trying Hard to Stay in an Unhappy Relationship Is Not Love, but Fear

                                                            12. Leaving Things to the Last Minute

                                                            Burning the midnight oil isn’t fun — it’s exhausting.

                                                            Those of you who got through college by burning the midnight oil would have learned this the hard way. Not only is it damaging for your body, it is also mentally draining as you’re constantly in a hyper-tense mode, feeling anxious about whether you can finish your work on time.

                                                            Start today on a new note. Rather than react to your deadlines, be proactive about them by planning ahead, identifying what needs to be done for the week, and getting things done in advance.

                                                            By staying ahead of your tasks, you can also use your extra time to plan ahead in your life and get more things done.

                                                            Take a look at this guide and learn how to stop procrastinating: Procrastination – A Step-By-Step Guide to Stop Procrastinating

                                                            13. Focusing on the Negatives

                                                            In every situation, there are two ways you can react: zoom down to the problem areas and crib about how things aren’t the way you want, or celebrate the areas that are going well and work on making everything better.

                                                            Many of us see the importance of doing the latter but in practice, we do the former. Why though? Criticizing and focusing on the negatives is easy but it doesn’t empower nor inspire us to be better.

                                                            Make a change — for every negative encounter you run into, I challenge you to identify three things that are good about it. Practice doing this for one week, and by the end of the week you’ll find that your first instinct is to think positive, not negative.

                                                            And here’re even more ways to help you stay positive: 11 Tips for Maintaining your Positive Attitude

                                                            The Bottom Line

                                                            So here you find the 13 most common bad habits and their consequences on your mind and body. The good news’ you can quit them all.

                                                            Just spot out your own bad habits and take my suggestions to quit them. Then you’ll find your life a lot healthier and happier!

                                                            Need more tips to break your bad habits? Check out these articles:

                                                            Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                                                            Reference

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