Imagine this, you are walking into your kitchen and you trip over another toy left on the floor, that you’ve told your child a dozen times to put away. As you proceed to pick yourself up off the floor, you notice your arm is beginning to swell and turn red and an imprint of the notorious toy is pressed into your skin….sound familiar?
Your arm in the meantime is getting redder and feels warm. The chemicals responsible for this instant reaction are called eicosanoids. There are actually two sets of eicosanoids, prostaglandins and leukotrienes which both trigger inflammation.
Many believe that inflammation is a bad thing, but actually it is a sign that the body is healing itself. However, severe inflammation can prolong rehabilitation and increase discomfort. The key is to prevent excessive inflammation and this can be accomplished through nutrition. Below you will learn about 5 of the top inflammation busting foods on the market and you may already have some in your kitchen.
Grapefruit- this citrus fruit is loaded with bioflavonoids which are extremely effective in alleviating inflammation. These fruits hinder the release of chemicals associate with inflammation, stabilize cell membranes and decrease the contraction of smooth muscle. The Vitamin C also found in citrus fruits speeds healing of collagen and connective tissue.
Rice Bran- although this is not very exotic, it does possess several of the nutrients that are needed to inhibit inflammation.
Pineapples and Papayas- these exotic fruits contain enzymes called proteolytic enzymes. These enzymes break down protein and inhibit inflammation by averting tissue damage. This in turn results in up to 50% faster healing time.
Cold Water Fish- mackerel, salmon, trout and sardines are some examples of cold water fish that combat inflammation. Arachidonic acid, an essential fatty acid which is found in dairy products, peanut oil, beef, eggs and animal fats is the major nutritional promoter of inflammation. The gamma linolenic acid which is found in evening primrose oil, black currant seed oil and omega-3 fatty acids (flaxseed oil and fish oils) displaces the arachidonic acid from the cell membrane, and reduces the production of pro-inflammatory chemicals.
Indian food- if you suffer from inflammatory pain, stir up a pot of curry. Many of the spices found in Indian food inhibit the chemical process associated with inflammation called cyclooxygenase. Curcumin, (the major component of turmeric), ginger and cayenne are just three of the many tasty options.