image

4 of the best superfoods to help reduce inflammation

From strawberries to spices: why these nutritional powerhouses deserve some space in your fridge this summer

You’ve probably heard the term ‘inflammation’ mentioned on health podcasts and nutritionists’ Instagram posts, but do you know what the buzzword actually means?

Inflammation is a useful, short-term immune response that helps to protect your body from outside invaders, such as bacteria, toxins and viruses. When inflammation becomes chronic and long-lasting though, it can have a negative effect on our health, contributing to diseases like heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes.

Diet is just one key way that we can help to control chronic inflammation in the body – and while sugary and processed foods can worsen the problem, these superfoods may help to keep it in check.

Berries

Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries don’t just taste great – they’re all rich in antioxidants too. These disease-fighting molecules help to protect your body against free radicals; unstable atoms that can damage cells, causing illness and aging.

All berries contain flavonoids, but certain varieties are more potent than others. Blackberries are known for their high content of the phytonutrient, which has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and can play a role in supporting the immune system too.

If you can’t afford to buy fresh punnets of berries from the supermarket on a regular basis, you can pick up frozen varieties for much cheaper, which you can sprinkle over yoghurt or whizz into post-workout smoothies.

Fatty fish

We should all aim to eat at least two portions of fish per week, according to the NHS. Fatty varieties of fish, such as salmon, mackerel, anchovies and sardines, supply us with EPA and DHA – long-chain, omega-3 fatty acids that have well-documented anti-inflammatory properties.

When you eat these kinds of fish, your body breaks down the marine fatty acids into compounds called resolvins and protectins, which can help to reduce levels of inflammation in the body.

Tinned fish can be a tasty sandwich-filler, while larger cuts of salmon and tuna are great for adding into salads as a substitute for meat.

Broccoli

This staple of the Sunday roast dinner has some pretty impressive health benefits that many of us don’t realise. As well as being a good source of fibre and protein, this nutrient-dense powerhouse is especially rich in antioxidant flavonoids like kaempferol and quercetin.

It’s also packed with a variety of carotenoids, which can help protect against the development of skin cancer and certain eye diseases.

As well as being a great pairing with your roast beef, why not try adding broccoli into stir-fries, soups and side salads too?

Turmeric

Like kale and quinoa, this golden coloured spice has become one of those trendy ingredients that everyone now seems to have in their cupboards.

The reason? Because turmeric has some well-researched anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce the aches and pains associated with arthritis, as well as soothing inflammatory skin issues like acne.

Researchers have found that the bright yellow chemical that gives turmeric its unusual colour, called curcumin, is capable of interacting with a variety of molecules involved in inflammation, and some believe it’s just as effective at suppressing inflammation as over-the-counter painkillers.

You can sprinkle turmeric over vegetables and roast in the oven, add it to Sunday egg scrambles or have a go at making golden milk – a delicious Indian drink that involves warming cow or plant-based milk, with turmeric and other spices, such as cinnamon and ginger.

The following two tabs change content below.

The Press Association

News from the Press Association - the national news agency for the UK and Ireland

Leave a Comment!

Not a member?

You need to be a member to interact with Silversurfers. Joining is free and simple to do. Click the button below to join today!

Click here if you have forgotten your password

Community Terms & Conditions

Content standards

These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.

You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.

Contributions must:

be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.

Contributions must not:

contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.

Nurturing a safe environment

Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.

We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!