Most health advice doesn’t fail to mention inflammation. You probably know that you’re supposed to keep your body’s inflammation levels under check. But what exactly is it? And why is too much of it bad for you?
Simply put, inflammation is part of the body’s immune response. A defense mechanism. As Pooja Thacker, nutritionist, Bhatia Hospital, Mumbai, puts it, “Inflammation can be both a friend and foe for your body. A low-grade inflammation protects you in case of injuries and heals wounds. When there is any sort of disease, there’s an inflammation. But if it’s not cured, there’s an increase in cytokines. Whenever we do a blood test, it depicts as CRP – C Reactive Protein. This means that the body has underlined inflammation. Something is going wrong in the body which is trying to get healed. Long-term inflammation can lead to conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.”
You can keep your body balanced by making sure you include these anti-inflammatory foods in your diet. Here’s what Thacker recommends:
Foods rich in omega-3 are very important as they reduce cytokines levels. Consuming a diet which includes fish, olive oil, walnuts, flaxseeds and chia seeds will bring down inflammation and CRP levels.
It’s an anti-oxidant and helps strengthen the body’s immune system. The best source of vitamin E is all fatty fishes like salmon, tuna and mackerel.
All types of berries like blueberries and blackberries are high on vitamin A. You should also favour red and orange coloured fruits and vegetables like carrots and peppers.
Resveratrol which is found grapes, and therefore, wine, is good for you. Apple peels have a good amount of flavonoid, turmeric has curcurmin, and garlic and broccoli are organic sulphur compounds – they will all help you in bringing down inflammation.
It helps to reduce extra sugar in body. Bajra, brown rice, oats, black raisins are great sources of fiber. If you make wheat flour at home, instead of discarding husk, add it to the flour. In local terms, it’s called Punjabi atta.