(HealthyResearch.com) – Healthy foods are a lot like magic; the right combination can transform your body in extraordinary ways. An anti-inflammatory diet includes a good variety of healthy foods, with lots of health-boosting veggies. Want to feel better and reduce your inflammation levels? These seven vegetables may help.
1. Dark, Leafy Greens
Salad greens, spinach and kale are packed with nutrients including vitamins A, C, E and K. Among its numerous health benefits, vitamin K reduces inflammation and can protect against inflammatory diseases. These foods also have a high fiber content and low glycemic index, which helps to protect against type 2 diabetes.
Carrots are another great choice for reducing inflammation, according to Consumer Reports. They’re high in beta carotene, which is vital for eye health and important for keeping inflammation levels down. Carrots, particularly the purple varieties, also contain bioactive chemicals called polyacetylenes, which are especially effective at reducing levels of pro-inflammatory cells in the body.
3. Allium Vegetables
Onions, garlic and chives contain a host of compounds that can reduce inflammation levels and prevent numerous diseases. One compound, in particular, a flavonoid called quercetin, has been studied extensively for its ability to cut inflammation and boost immunity. The sulfur compounds in these veggies have similar properties, and they may also protect against heart disease.
Beets are high in nitrate, which may reduce inflammation and improve cardiovascular function. They also contain betalains, which give them their bright color. Betalains have reduced inflammation in animal models, and researchers believe these powerful antioxidants may be an effective weapon against arthritis, liver disease and possibly even cancer.
5. Purple Sweet Potatoes
This beautiful, brightly-colored vegetable gets its purple hue from anthocyanins. These strong antioxidants can protect against inflammation in numerous areas of the body, even in potentially precancerous esophageal tissue. Purple sweet potatoes can also protect against inflammation of the retinas, which may help preserve eyesight.
Long used as a traditional herbal medicine, this root vegetable may be an effective anti-inflammatory for people with arthritis and other degenerative diseases. Some evidence suggests ginger can improve exercise recovery time, protect against heart disease and possibly even reduce cancer risks. It might also protect against liver inflammation and numerous gastrointestinal issues.
Turmeric is a close relative of ginger, and it’s just as effective against arthritis and numerous other inflammatory conditions. One of its most powerful compounds, a polyphenol called curcumin, may even protect against metabolic syndrome. Add black pepper to absorb about 2000% more of this difficult-to-process miracle antioxidant.
The choices you include in your diet can have real, lasting effects on your health. Incorporate as many anti-inflammatory foods into yours as you can to feel your best and help prevent inflammatory diseases. You deserve to stay as healthy as possible, and a balanced diet that includes plenty of healthy veggies can be vital to that.
~Here’s to Your Health & Safety!
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