If you are interested in aging without pain and inflammation, this is for you! The foods we eat can either feed disease or fight it. What kind of foods do you eat? Do you know that excess inflammation has been proven to be the major cause of unhealthy aging? It is one of the major risk factors for heart disease and arthritis. Therefore, it is very important for every adult especially from the age of 40 to eat foods that fight pain and inflammation.
What is Inflammation?
Inflammation is the process which results from chemical messengers repairing wear and tear in the body. The body has the ability to carry out repair of wear and tear. However, this stays at a normal level when the body is healthy. When you consume too much sticky stuffs or unhealthy oils like trans-fat or excess saturated fats, they build up in the blood vessels making the arteries narrow and stiff. This leads to excess inflammation which can damage cells and tissues and also lead to heart disease also known as cardisis, arthritis and gastritis. This does not just accelerate the aging process but also leads to painful aging.
Foods that Fight Pain and Inflammation
Since the major cause of excess inflammation is unhealthy oils, changing your oils to a healthy one will help to reduce inflammation. Eat more of fish oil, flax oil, olive oil, nut oil and coconut oil. Eat less of corn oil, cottonseed oil, palm kernel oil, sunflower oil and soybean oil and avoid hydrogenated oils, partially hydrogenated oil or trans-fats.
These are made of different vegetables and sometimes added fruits. Variety is the key to proper nutrition, so try to add multiple vegetables to your salad. Salads can be consumed as a meal with added protein because they are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that fight free radicals. A great way to improve the taste and quality of salads is also to add nuts and use olive oil or vinegar for dressing (rather than salad creams) to increase the absorption of vitamins and minerals.
Seafood like wild salmon, Arctic char, Atlantic mackerel, sardines and anchovies are very rich in healthy fats such as omega 3 which prevents blood from clumping together to form clots in the arteries. It helps to reduce inflammation and promote a healthy heart. Seafood is super healthy because aside their richness in very crucial Omega-3 fatty acid, they are also rich in protein and minerals. It is important to note that the omega-3 contained in seafood is in the form of the compound (EPA and DHA) which is directly used by the body while the omega-3 in plant foods like walnuts and chia seeds contain ALA which the body must convert to EPA and DHA to use. Most times the success of the conversion process is less than 5%, aim to get omega-3 from seafood.
Sipping smoothies are also a great way to fight pain and inflammation in the body. This is because they are semi-liquids and are consumed in that form, so they do not put pressure on the digestive system to breakdown. It is easily absolved by the body and the nutrients transported. Depending on the ingredients of your smoothie, it can be consumed as a meal for breakfast or snack during the day. Adding ground flax seeds to your smoothie enriches it with heart healthy polyunsaturated fatty acid. For a healthier smoothie, choose plain greek yogurt, berries, peach, kiwi, spinach and pomegranate (juice).
Spices are also nature’s goodness that contain powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. For instance, turmeric contains Curcumin which is a very strong antioxidant that also has anti-inflammatory effects. Garlic, ginger, black pepper, cinnamon and oregano also contain antioxidants which neutralizes the effects of free radicals in the body and help to fight pain and inflammation. See also Healthy Spices and Herbs
Foods rich in Anthocyanins: Anthocyanins are antioxidants that contain anti-inflammatory compounds. Foods rich in this anthocyanins include, blueberries, blackberries, grapes, black currants, red cabbage, red and purple grapes. Choosing these foods and consuming them in multiple combinations will help to reduce pain and inflammation and promote healthy aging.
Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie Recipe you can Try
This delicious smoothie contains some anti-inflammatory foods like blueberries, ginger, turmeric and grapes.
1/2 cup of red or purple grapes
1/2 cup of blueberries
1/2 green apple
30g of fresh chopped turmeric
30g of fresh chopped ginger
1 cup of baby spinach
1 cup of water or Ice
Blend smooth and enjoy!
So what are you waiting for? Start investing in your health bank, making healthy choices and eating foods that fight pain and inflammation for a healthy aging! Please feel free to leave a comment and share.