Swelling, aching joints, arthritis, hay fever, bunions and even heart disease are caused by inflammation.
As the saying goes, we are what we eat, so our food choices can play a part in reducing the onset of these painful and debilitating conditions. Choose a lot of colours in your food. Greens, (dark leafy vegetables such as spinach and collard greens), red (tomatoes, cherries, peppers), and blues (various berries) contain antioxidants and nutrients that play an important part in the body’s defense against inflammation. Obtain Omega - 3 fatty acid by eating wild salmon, cod, tuna and other deep sea fish. Nuts such as walnuts also provide Omega-3 which helps in controlling cholesterol levels.
Studies have shown that bad cholesterol (Low Density Lipoproteins or LDLs) levels can be lowered with foods that are high in (High Density Lipoproteins - HDLs). The LDLs contribute to the buildup of plaque in the arteries. Plaque is a hard waxy substance which coats the lining of the arteries and constricts the flow of blood; a major cause of strokes and heart attacks.
HDLs help remove LDLs from the arteries by carrying the plaque deposits to the liver, where it is broken down and then eliminated from the body.
Some foods high in HDLs are almonds, avocados, oats, beans, lentils and olive oil.
Spice up your dishes with ginger and turmeric. Curcumin, which is found in the spice turmeric, and ginger have excellent anti-inflammatory properties. Bromelain is also a good anti-inflammatory agent and is found in pineapples.
If you drink alcohol remember that a glass of red wine is the best choice. Red wine has anti-inflammatory properties, containing antioxidants such as resveratrol, quercetin, and catechins, which help to neutralize harmful free radicals in your body.
And last but not least, exercise helps in relieving stress as well as maintaining good health.
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This article was first published in July 2012 and the content has been revised for freshness and relevance.