Inflammation is vascular tissue's biological response to infectious pathogens, skin and internal irritation, and cellular damage. Common causes of inflammation include arthritis, insect bites, burns, frostbite and allergies. Although your body uses inflammation as a restorative immune response, excessive inflammation can lead to tissue damage, chronic pain and hardening of the arteries. Several types of over-the-counter and prescription medications are aimed at treating inflammation, but mild-to-severe side effects may steer people toward more natural treatments by adding certain foods to their diet.
Foods High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Oily fish and other foods high in omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation, according to researcher Jerrold Olefsky and associates at the University of California at San Diego. They found that a specific protein receptor, GPR120, is a major culprit in triggering inflammation pathways associated with obesity and diabetes. GPR120 binds to omega-3 fatty acids, significantly reducing inflammation. The University of Maryland Medical Center states that fish high in omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, sardines, smelt, shard and anchovies. Other sources include flaxseed, soybeans, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin oil and walnuts.
Foods High in Vitamin C
Foods high in vitamin C can help reduce inflammation, according to Professor Emeritus Gladys Block, of the University of California. Vitamin C lowers levels of C-reactive protein, or CRP, a strong biomarker of inflammation often linked to heart disease and diabetes. People with high levels of CRP can benefit the most by eating foods rich in vitamin C. Foods high in vitamin C include oranges, kiwi, grapefruit, strawberries, papaya, apricot and cantaloupe.
Tumeric and Pineapple
Turmeric may also help in reducing inflammation. According to Dr. Gene Bruno and Dr. Art Presser from the American Academy of Nutrition, turmeric, this bright yellow spice, commonly used in Eastern cuisine, contains high levels of curcuminoids, which help prevent inflammation. The curcuminoids in turmeric reduce inflammation because they inhibit 5-lipo-oxygenase and cyclo-oxygenase. Cyclo-oxygenase inhibitors are the active ingredient found in most over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen.
Pineapple may help reduce inflammation. Its stem and flesh contain the enzyme bromelain, which has shown significantly effectiveness in reducing several types of inflammation, including inflammation after surgery, inflammation of the veins and sinuses and inflammation from rheumatoid arthritis. Bromelain may also help treat inflammation that flares up carpal tunnel syndrome, according to InflammationRemedy.com.
- "Science" Magazine: How Fish Oil Fights Inflammation
- ScienceDaily: Vitamin C Lowers Levels of Inflammation Biomarker Considered Predictor of Heart Disease
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- Huntington College of Health Sciences: Herbal COX-2 Inhibitors: A Natural Alternative
- Inflammation Remedy: Natural Inflammation Remedies
- Fruit image by Sergey Yakovenko from Fotolia.com
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.