Good Food

3 min read
Keep these items in your pantry — they not only taste good, but their anti-inflammatory properties also do good to your body.

When browsing health websites or listening to celebrity doctors, the term ‘inflammation’ often pops up. For most, the word conjures up images of swelling and bruising. These external signs of inflammation occur when the body defends itself against an intruder, whether it be a thorn or an infection-causing virus.

When your cells are in distress, they release chemicals to alert the immune system. The immune system then sends inflammatory cells to trap the offending substance or heal the tissue. This results in acute inflammation that usually subsides after a few days.

Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, happens when the body is exposed for an extended period to irritants, or when the immune system mistakenly attacks normal healthy tissue, such as in autoimmune disorders. It can go on for months or years.

Among the diseases linked with chronic inflammation are asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, periodontitis, and Crohn’s disease. They also put sufferers at risk for certain cancers.

Our lifestyles have a role to play in cellular inflammation. This includes diet. Studies have shown that certain superfoods can help prevent or reduce it. To stay healthy, pop the following superstars into your cart the next time you go grocery shopping.


TURMERIC
Turmeric has lately been touted as a superfood. Indians, of course, have been using it in their cooking for centuries — it is what gives curries their distinctively bright yellow colour. In addition, the curcumin in turmeric has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Try pairing it with black pepper for better absorption.
GINGER
Ginger is a common ingredient in Asian cooking. Thanks to the gingerol inside, it is effective in reducing inflammation, swelling and pain. It is also a good antidote for dyspepsia, colic and other gastrointestinal problems. Besides using it in soups and stir-fries, you can enjoy it as a tea as well — as all you teh halia lovers already know. You’ll be further chuffed to know that downing a cup of ginger tea daily has been found to reduce risk of hypertension and other chronic cardiovascular diseases.


CAPSICUM
On top of adding colour to pastas and stir-fries, capsicum contains capsaicin, whose antioxidant properties make it a natural anti-inflammation fighter. It’s also linked with improved metabolism and reduced pain levels.


GREEN TEA
While not a food, green tea is high in antioxidants, which combat the inflammatory effects of free radicals in the body. Drinking it regularly is said to improve mood and brain health.


SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS
Apart from injecting umami to your dishes, daily consumption of shiitake mushrooms lowers inflammatory markers and boosts immune-system function. Oyster and enoki mushrooms boastsimilar anti-inflammatory properties.


OILY FISH
Salmon and other oily fish contain omega-3 fats, DHA and EPA, both of which help suppress inflammation and boost the production of anti-inflammatory compounds. Plan to eat fish at least two to three times per week.


BONE BROTH
If you are plagued by digestive issues, bone broth is what you should be taking. It is rich in glutamine, an important amino acid that plays a key role in intestinal health.

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