As Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” And even thousands of years afterward, food remains to be an important part of health. Food provides the nutrients that our cells need to perform their daily functions, such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and essential fatty acids.  However, foods can also help to prevent inflammatory conditions, diabetes, hypertension, and obesity among many other conditions.  Food is even considered an important part of most treatments, along with physical activity, and prescribed drugs depending on the health condition. However, maybe so many years taking so many medications have left your gastrointestinal tract a bit sensitive and you rather focus on anti-inflammatory foods.

Many foods display anti-inflammatory properties after certain substances released during their digestion and absorption. These substances can be very powerful to maintain the healthy balance between inflammation and anti-inflammation properties.  Underway scientific research is trying to show evidence that inflammatory conditions can be changed through regular consumption of foods belonging to the Mediterranean diet.  The main features of such a diet are a high consumption of vegetables (fruits, greens, legumes, dry fruits), bread and wheat cereals, olive oil as a main source of fat, vinegar, and a moderate consumption of wine.

Based on that, we are going to highlight the anti-inflammatory properties of 5 different foods that will provide a healthier and more balanced diet, especially if you have an inflammatory disease or want to prevent one.

1. Grapes, wine, and berries – They are all important because they have anti-inflammatory molecules that will also reduce the oxidative stress as they fight inflammation. Grape and berries can be taken in concentrated juices, and these have proven effects against inflammatory damage.  Even grape seeds, when they are eaten and digested, are able to prevent chronic inflammation of the colon.

2. Broccoli – It is considered to be one of the best moderators of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory conditions, especially if they are age-related. The anti-inflammatory properties of broccoli work along with the nutritious content in vitamins and minerals to provide a full-packed anti-inflammatory food.  Broccoli can inhibit the mechanisms through which your immune system overreacts and starts damaging your own body. As such, this food can provide a protective effect, even in low doses.

3. Potatoes – You might wonder if potatoes are your best friends or number one foes. They should be eaten with moderation if you have diabetes or any sugar-related problem, but they are not a bad food choice.  Potatoes have an anti-inflammatory effect and even counter gastritis and reflux, but they should be prepared and eaten along with their peel.

4. Flaxseed – These little seeds have increasing amounts of essential fatty acids, especially omega 3. Consuming flaxseed oil and extracts has anti-inflammatory properties, the same and even more than extra virgin olive oil and similar products. Flaxseeds are easily digested and have important fiber contents that will help you solve many issues you may have with your colon.

5. Turmeric – This is an herbal plant that grows in Asia and it is used as a spice, the same as ginger.  Turmeric is one of the spices with the highest anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Even clinical trials have been performed with a prolonged intake of turmeric, showing that it provides protection against inflammation, oxidation stress, and cellular death.