Differences between antioxidant food and anti-inflammatory food

July 24, 2023by Yuvraj Patil

Commonly used in the medical and healthcare field, the words anti-inflammatory and antioxidants differ from one another. Those who are new to these words should know, anti-inflammatory indicates the inflammatory response to the way our body reacts to invasions or tissue injury. It further increases the immune activity in the body while reducing its impact. Inflammation is necessary to protect the body against injury and pathogens. Our body has four signs of inflammatory responses which include redness, swelling, pain, and heat.

The immune cells are meant to remain active until the damaged or affected tissues are restored repaired, or the existing pathogen has been removed. On the successful onset, the anti-inflammatory signals are sent further to halt the inflammation so that our body gains the ability to return to its normal state while lowering the inflammation that exists. This entire process goes through the above listed four stages that demonstrate gradually restoring inflammation.

Once the inflammatory state fails to restore, the affected area still remains inflamed. It further begins to damage the tissue over the inflamed area while later on affecting the whole body. At times, the immune cells, even under zero injury stage tend to send pain and inflammation through our body if there’s internal damage. Interestingly, our body can be brought back to its condition by adding anti-inflammatory food to the regular diet. This food stimulates an anti-inflammatory response in the body to slowly allow you to get back in the game.

Anti-inflammatory foods are as follows:

  • Walnuts and almonds
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Chia and flax seeds
  • Citrus fruits and berries
  • Olive oil
  • Fatty fish

Antioxidants are great to offer cell protection from several damages. This usually occurs due to reactive oxygen species (ROS) and free radicals. These two elements are meant to be unstable molecules in nature which can lead to damage to the cell structures. On the occurrence of inflammation within the body, there is a sudden spike in ROS. It further damages the surrounding tissues.

Antioxidants are responsible to prevent cell damage caused by ROS. It further aims to neutralize damaged cells and prevent the oxidation of molecules. Our body has a natural antioxidant system that keeps on getting pumped up by receiving additional antioxidants from the food that we eat. With a poor fuelling process, oxidative stress tends to spike, which leads to various diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, respiratory issues, cancer, asthma, obstructive pulmonary disease, or atherosclerosis.

Some of the best sources of antioxidants are:

As mentioned above, the best way to get antioxidants is through food. Some of the best sources of antioxidants are Vitamin E, Vitamin C, and Phytochemicals.

Vitamin E with antioxidants are:

  • Seeds and nuts
  • Soya
  • Olive oil
  • Spinach
  • Avocado

Vitamin C with antioxidants are: 

  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Citrus fruits
  • Pepper

Phytochemicals with antioxidants are:

  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Beans, seeds, and nuts
  • Carrots
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Mangoes

Some other sources of antioxidants are:

  • Fish
  • Brazil nuts
  • Meat
  • Eggs
  • Leafy green vegetables

Yuvraj Patil

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