Gastro Intestinal Health

Anti-Inflammatory & Disease-Fighting Foods

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Inflammation is generally identified as a symptom accompanied by pain and discomfort; however, this symptom is often necessary for preventing illnesses, treating injuries, and healing wounds. To a larger extent, inflammation is necessary to keep us healthy. However, an individual’s immune system occasionally can cause inflammation when there’s no apparent cause. From an improper diet to increased levels of stress and even environmental factors, inflammation can develop without any of the previously mentioned complications.

Fortunately, if this is the case, following a properly balanced diet and focusing on a variety of anti-inflammatory foods, an individual can reduce their inflammation and experience relief once more. The following foods are recommended anti-inflammatory foods to help fight the symptoms.

1. Leafy green vegetables

Dark, leafy greens like kale, spinach, bok choy, and Swiss chard are rich in flavonoids (powerful, plant-based antioxidants) that restore cellular health, which is essential to stopping inflammation.

In addition, they provide vitamins A, C, and K, which protect your brain against the oxidative stress caused by free-radical damage — the same process that causes aging and disease development.

2. Probiotic foods (sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, yogurt, kefir)

A very large portion of your immune system actually lives within your gut and is run by bacterial organisms — what you can think of as “your gut’s bugs.”

Microbial imbalances (when the bad bacteria outnumber the good) have been associated with heightened inflammation and increased risk of various diseases. Still, probiotic foods like sauerkraut and kimchi can help rebalance and heal your gut.

Probiotics are also linked to improvements in immune, cognitive, digestive, and endocrine system functions, and taking probiotics can cheer you up!

3. Bone broth

Bone broth — the rich liquid that results from boiling the bones of organic, grass-fed beef or poultry for hours — comes packed with several nutrients, including collagen. Collagen and the amino acids proline and glycine work in unison to heal the lining of an inflamed gut, which quickly stops your immune system from acting on overdrive and attacking the body’s healthy tissues, from the skin to the brain.

Bone broth is also a great natural source of chondroitin sulfates and glucosamine — the same compounds sold as expensive over-the-counter supplements used to limit arthritis and joint pain caused by inflammation.

4. Walnuts

As a great source of omega-3s and trace minerals, walnuts are known as a “brain food” because they supply special phytonutrients that help protect against cognitive decline.

An imbalance between oxidants (bad) and antioxidants (good) can eventually lead to oxidative stress, but walnuts help to calm an overactive immune system and reduce widespread inflammation.

5. Coconut oil

Coconut oil is a special saturated fat with built-in antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. Benefits of this miracle oil include being both easy to digest and helpful in restoring gut health, thanks to its ability to cause a thermic, warming response in the body.

Because coconut oil contains essential fatty acids that can fight bacteria, yeast, and infections within the digestive tract — where most illness and disease begins — it’s beneficial for preventing and treating inflammation.

6. Beets

As their deep pigment suggests, beets contain the antioxidant betalain, which works to repair cellular damage caused by inflammation. Beets can also help improve blood flow and supply high levels of inflammation-fighting potassium and magnesium, two important nutrients many people are deficient in.

7. Broccoli (and other cruciferous veggies)

Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts are packed with antioxidants, flavonoids, carotenoids, and key vitamins like vitamin C. These nutrients work together to lower oxidative stress in the body, help battle chronic inflammation, and reduce the risk of developing cancer.

8. Berries

The stars of the fruit world, berries stand out because of their high fiber content and antioxidants like quercetin, a flavonoid compound that supports healthy bacterial growth in the gut and prevents colon damage.

Berries have also slowed cognitive decline and improved memory and motor function.

9. Salmon

Consuming the ideal ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 essential fatty acids is one of the keys to fighting inflammation. Omega-6es are “pro-inflammatory,” while omega-3s are considered potent anti-inflammatory substances.

Wild-caught salmon and other oily fish (including mackerel and sardines) are the best food sources of omega-3s. They naturally lower the risk of developing many inflammatory diseases, especially heart disease, arthritis, depression, and cognitive disorders.

10. Super seeds (chia, flax, and hemp)

Super seeds like chia, flax, and hemp offer omega-3 (in the form of plant-based alpha-linolenic acid) and omega-6 fatty acids, which help stop our immune system from overproducing cytokines and oxidant molecules that can lead to inflammation.

They’re also full of fiber, antioxidants, protein, and numerous trace minerals that help regulate cholesterol and lower blood pressure levels before they cause further damage.

Sourced from: mindbodygreen.com

Insight

Inflammatory symptoms can create feelings of discomfort among those affected. Inflammation is a natural response to a harmful stimulation in the body; even certain foods can cause it. Fortunately, several foods can have wonderful anti-inflammatory effects on the body and disease-fighting benefits.

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Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "Anti-Inflammatory & Disease-Fighting Foods" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

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Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from various disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

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We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez, DC, or contact us at 915-850-0900.

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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN*, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed as a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) in Texas & New Mexico*
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