How to beat inflammation with food
Food & Health  

The body’s response to illness or infection can lead to a series of health ailments. Here’s what you can do to combat it.


Healthcare practitioners say that chronic inflammation can severely damage the body, and can be triggered by a number of factors, ranging from viruses and bacteria to mental and emotional ailments such as heightened stress and anxiety. Even though inflammation is part of the body’s response to illness or infection, chronic inflammation can lead to a series of health ailments. Whether you’ve recovered from Covid-19 or are fighting heightened anxiety and stress, Dr Vishnuraj Prakash, head of Ayurveda practice at Vana, Dehradun, recommends a number of ways to combat inflammation.
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Water: Water is one of the best anti-inflammatory consumables. Apart from being a critical resource for life, it also helps in modulating the body’s inflammatory response. When it comes to Covid-19 in particular, water may also help in balancing the cytokine activity. It is recommended that people drink at least four litres of water every day. To add health benefits, one can infuse water with five tulsi leaves, two thin slices of ginger and two thin slices of turmeric per litre. All three of these foods are well known for their immune-modulatory activity. When taken as prescribed, this infusion has a healing effect.
Amla: The Indian gooseberry is rich in anti-oxidants and vitamin C, which may be very helpful in reducing the inflammatory response consequent to an active infection. According to Ayurvedic knowledge, amla rejuvenates the tissues, balances all doshas and has anti-ageing properties. Eating an amla in the morning can be beneficial for a balanced immune response.
Bael and Pomegranate: Add these to your diet to aid in healing inflammation.
Vegetable Bowl: Ash gourd, zucchini, drumsticks, ivy gourd, shallots, cooked leafy greens like spinach, celery and fenugreek leaves when seasoned with ginger, turmeric and nutmeg help balance inflammatory responses.


Stay away from
Dairy: According to Ayurveda, milk and milk products like yoghurt should be avoided because they have a tendency to enhance inflammation. Cow milk can also be avoided as it promotes an increase of mucous secretion and impacts inflammation.
Meats: Non-vegetarian food, especially processed meats, which are high in saturated fat, can increase inflammation in the body.
Spices, sour and salty food: An excess of sour, spicy and salty foods are best avoided when recuperating from an illness.
Mind over body
The mind plays an important role in the healing process. Awareness is the key to reducing post-Covid-19 anxiety, or for that matter, anxiety caused by any disease or illness. The sooner one understands that everything is not in our control, the better. An attitude of gratitude and staying engaged in the present moment work wonders in reducing anxiety. For this, mindfulness is the key—this can be achieved by simply being more aware of what you are doing in a given moment, such as when drinking tea or eating a meal.



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