Inflammation is a natural response of the immune system, acting to cure a particular problem that has occurred at the site of the inflammation. In a healthy body, the inflammation that occurs at the site of an injury or infection gradually subsides as the healing process progresses.
However, inflammations are sometime chronic in nature. If our immune system becomes overactive, chronic inflammation occurs. Certain foods, such as peanut, soy, sunflower, corn and safflower oil are rich in omega-6 fatty acids, which are responsible for inflammation. Intake of simple carbohydrate rich foods, which push up the insulin level, could make our immune system overactive. LDL or bad cholesterol and trans fats also trigger inflammation. Inflammation can also arise from food allergies. As the level of estrogen changes during menopause, risk of inflammation increases in women during and after menopause. According to studies, psychological stress can trigger the inflammation process.
Inflammation can be prevented and treated with the help of certain natural foods.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. Eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and decosahexaenoic (DHA) acids present in omega-3 fatty acids can obstruct the action of the pro-inflammatory chemicals secreted in the body. Omega-3 fatty acids also prevents break down of the cartilage of the joints. Cold-water fish, such as salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerels and trout are the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
This herb is widely used as a coloring agent in Indian cooking. Turmeric contains curcumin, a plant compound, which acts as a cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitor. COX-2 is known to trigger inflammation.
Evening primrose oil
Although, omega-6 fatty acids in the form of linolenic acid is often responsible for developing inflammation, but Gamma-linolenic acid, which is also a form of omega-6 fatty acid, can prevent inflammation. Evening primrose oil is rich in Gamma-linolenic acid.
Pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme capable of reducing inflammation. The flesh and stem of pineapple plant are particularly useful for treating inflammation.
Ginger is another herb packed with several compounds noted for their anti-inflammatory properties.
Polyphenols present is green tea are powerful anti-inflammatory agents. Drinking green tea regularly can prevent chronic inflammation.