Eating healthily is all well and good and is certainly encouraged by medical professionals, but in some cases, what we eat can have a major effect on specific conditions. The stuff we put into our bodies is broken down in the stomach and absorbed into the bloodstream. The stomach and digestive system are sometimes called ‘the second brain’ because of their importance to the body’s overall health, and the way they regulate how we respond to certain diseases and disorders is a major factor in how fast we can recover from them. It’s not just physical ailments, either; recent research has outlined how a healthy gut can have a positive effect on our mental health too, warding off symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Inflammation occurs in many conditions, when the body’s immune system responds to an infection. It’s used as a tool to fight back against a perceived threat, but on occasion, it can become a symptom in and of itself, and severely debilitate the patient. This is what happens in chronic conditions like Lyme disease. The actual bacteria presence might be low for some long-term patients, but the inflammation is severe, because the immune system has been kicked into overdrive for so long. When this occurs, antibiotics alone won’t solve the issue, and patients are better off looking at more natural ways to reduce the inflammation. One thing that can significantly help the body to quell inflammation is diet, so here are five of the top anti-inflammatory foods that can aid patients on the way to recovery.
Salmon is a popular healthy food and can often be seen topping the charts in many ‘best of’ lists. And with good reason: salmon is a prime source of omega-3, a healthy fat that benefits several areas of the body. These omega-3 fats are also a significant source of anti-inflammatory substances, and eating salmon regularly can even sometimes reduce the need for anti-inflammatory medications. The benefits of salmon don’t stop there, either; like most fish, it’s also a prime source of protein, and is crammed with loads of other vitamins and minerals.
Although they originate from entirely different areas of the world, kimchi and sauerkraut are essentially the same thing: cabbage (and other vegetables) in a healthy fermented brew. If they’re live (i.e. still fermenting), these two foods are a fantastic source of probiotics – healthy bacteria that the gut requires to regulate itself. Many diseases put our digestive flora out of whack, and require extra help to rebalance. Probiotics are also important during a course of antibiotics, as the medicine can severely deplete the body’s reserves. Both kimchi and sauerkraut also contain large amounts of vitamin C and K, and are very good for our bodies overall.
Pineapple probably isn’t the first thing that pops into people’s minds when they think of healthy food. Yes, it is a fruit (which is generally regarded as being healthy all round), but it is also very sweet (and strange-looking!). Regardless, pineapple is an excellent source of bromelain, a digestive enzyme that aids the body’s immune response in keeping unnecessary inflammation down. Bromelain can also help prevent blood clots and platelet build-up (the cause of strokes). Pineapple in general is full of beneficial vitamins and minerals, making it a perfect choice in the fruit aisle.
Any food that ends with the word ‘berry’ is likely to be healthy and particularly adept at keeping inflammation down. These include strawberries, blackberries and especially blueberries, which are considered one of the best anti-inflammatory fruits around. They contain a powerful antioxidant called quercetin, which helps in the battle against inflammation, and a number of other beneficial antioxidants, making them the best of the berries. Cherries can also be added to this list; they are a prime source of anthocyanins, a class of compound with significant antioxidant effects.
In herbal medicine, anthocyanins have long been used to treat a large number of conditions, and continue to be one of the best diet benefits around. Getting the right amount of these ingredients is crucial, especially when it comes to fighting chronic conditions like Lyme disease, which revolve around an inflammation response. A healthy diet is crucial, but can also be supported by supplements from experts, like those at Make Well. Their significant line-up of all-natural products has been aiding patients all over the world as they fight back against chronic disease, supporting their treatment in accordance with their doctor’s plan.
Although they’ve recently been hijacked by a certain type of millennial (at least in the media), avocados have been around for much longer than that, and have been supporting healthy diets for many decades. Avocados help increase the absorption of carotenoid, a beneficial antioxidant that helps keep inflammation down. They can also strengthen the body’s immune system, making sure that when it does have to fight back against a significant infection, it’s in the best possible shape to see it off in short order.