Categories: Conditions

10 natural anti-inflammatories that fight pain

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Discover the 10 natural anti-inflammatories that fight pain.

There are foods that, due to their nature and composition, naturally confer anti-inflammatory properties. These are usually of plant origin due to the interaction of their biological molecules and their active principle. 

In the following article, we will talk about which are the ten anti-inflammatory foods that also help fight pain naturally and why this property is attributed to them.

What are the most powerful natural anti-inflammatories?

Anti-inflammatory foods are those that, due to their active biological components and molecules, allow their medicinal properties to intervene in the body of their consumers. 

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Different factors influence this process, but below we present and explain them, for their recognition and use if necessary:

1. Turmeric

Turmeric is a spice from India, known for giving curries their yellow color. However, in recent years, turmeric is gaining popularity especially for its anti-inflammatory properties, which have already been tested on numerous occasions.

You should know: Turmeric contains a biologically active compound called curcumin, which reduces inflammation at the molecular level. More specifically, curcumin blocks the NF-kB molecule, an inflammatory signaling molecule that enters the nucleus of cells and activates genes associated with inflammation.

Several studies have shown that curcumin can be as effective as some anti-inflammatory drugs, but with extra: no side effects.

To highlight: The consumption of turmeric has been associated with an improvement in the levels of inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes, among other diseases.

It is also important to note that the human body is not able to properly absorb curcumin, so it may be useful to accompany the turmeric with a little black pepper. Black pepper contains a substance called piperine, which has been shown to increase curcumin absorption by 2000%.

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2. Olive oil

Olive oil is one of the healthiest oils out there, along with coconut oil. It stands out for its high content of vitamin K and vitamin E, as well as healthy monounsaturated fats, of which the most abundant is oleic acid.

To highlight: According to experts, oleic acid and oleocanthal, a powerful antioxidant present in olive oil, are responsible for the anti-inflammatory effects of having this healthy fat.

For one thing, oleic acid has been shown to help lower levels of C-reactive protein, an important marker of inflammation.

On the other hand, oleocanthal is an active compound that works similarly to the anti-inflammatory drug ibuprofen.

Note: According to research, 3-4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (50 ml) would be equivalent in anti-inflammatory effect to 10% of the recommended ibuprofen dose for adults.

3. Ginger

Ginger has been used as a natural remedy for many ailments and diseases over the years. Its history of use is extensive and one of its best-known properties is its ability as an anti-inflammatory agent.

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Note: Ginger contains a bioactive compound called gingerol, responsible for its positive effects on inflammation.

In patients with osteoarthritis, the consumption of ginger extract reduces pain, as well as the dose of medication.

Also, ginger can be used topically along with cinnamon, mastic, and sesame oil as an effective treatment for pain and numbness caused by osteoarthritis.

In another study, 2 grams of ginger a day decreased exercise-induced muscle pain.

4. Avocado

Avocados are a special fruit. They contain a unique combination of healthy fats, notably oleic acid, which has been shown to help lower levels of the inflammation marker C-reactive protein.

To highlight: Consuming avocado provides you with large amounts of fiber, vitamin K, folic acid, vitamin C, potassium, and certain amounts of B vitamins and minerals.

In recent studies, the action of AV119, a natural sugar found in avocado, has been revealed that can positively alter the inflammatory response of younger skin cells.

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5. Rosemary

Studies carried out at the University of Maryland Medical Center, obtained results demonstrating the anti-inflammatory capacity of rosemary, even reducing cortisol levels in the body. 

To highlight: Rosemary confers antispasmodic, healing, and antiseptic properties, so an extract with leaves and stems of this plant will be very beneficial for the health of the consumer.

6. Arnica

Arnica is a very famous commercial product derived from a plant with the same name. It is applied for bumps or bruises due to its anti-inflammatory and analgesic power. It can be consumed but in regulated quantities, as it can be toxic.

Note: It is famous for being non-steroids and is credited with antirheumatic properties and is highly endorsed by the European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy and its topical use for treating bruises, sprains, and inflammations.

7. Honey

Honey is a natural product, which in general terms is a mixture of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which is why it is used as an antibiotic and anti-inflammatory agent.

Scientific research recognizes the presence of ribonucleic acid or micro RNA as one of the main anti-inflammatory loads, which favors blood circulation and reduces swelling.

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8. Tomato

Tomatoes are a very common vegetable rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K and various minerals such as magnesium or potassium. However, other compounds in tomatoes are responsible for their anti-inflammatory properties.

You should know: Lycopene is a natural pigment, an antioxidant that stands out for its ability to reduce pro-inflammatory responses associated with cancer.

In research carried out by several scientists, it was found that the consumption of lycopene through tomatoes and tomato products was much more effective than lycopene supplements in reducing levels of inflammation.

In addition, the effects are increased even more if you prepare the tomatoes with olive oil, since the lycopene dissolves in fat and, therefore, its absorption by the body increases.

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9. Red fruits

Red fruits are a group of fruits that traditionally grew wild, among which are strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc.

This species of fruit stands out for its high content of water, fiber, vitamin C, and other plant compounds.

Red fruits contain antioxidants from the anthocyanin family, a natural pigment responsible for their color, but also possessing anti-inflammatory effects.

To highlight: Several studies have confirmed that the daily consumption of berries considerably improves certain markers of inflammation.

10. Laurel

Laurel has a wide list of health benefits since it confers bactericidal, antiseptic, expectorant, and anti-inflammatory properties.

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It is rich in magnesium, potassium, and vitamins B6, B9, and vitamin C, in addition to having antioxidants, and therefore generates a reduction in the activity in the oxidation of cells and the presence of free radicals.

To highlight: A study carried out at the University of Vienna, determined that the essential oils of the laurel have analgesic and sedative effects.

It has been having medicinal applications since ancient times against local inflammations and mainly, bee stings.

Key Findings

Natural anti-inflammatories come mainly from medicinal plants that help reduce pain.

They are an alternative medical treatment, allowing patients to reduce joint pain, inflammation, and the nutritional contribution they confer.

The list of anti-inflammatory foods is quite extensive, although several of them are recommended to be used topically and not ingest more than several times a day because they can produce toxic reactions.

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It is important not to stop obtaining medical assistance in case of joint or limb inflammation, especially if there is no apparent reason.

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