With inflammation at the root of nearly all disease, it is essential to take a look at the foods we eat and how they contribute to the inflammatory response in the body. Chronic inflammation has been found to increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disorders, bone and joint diseases, cancer, as well as metabolic and endocrine disorders.
The great news is that there are a number of foods you can include in your diet that hold anti-inflammatory benefits. Let’s take a look at five foods you can start adding to your diet to slash your risk of disease.
#1 Turmeric: Turmeric has long been viewed as one of nature’s best anti-inflammatory spices. Curcumin, which is the active component in turmeric has been shown to be effective in fighting against inflammatory bowel disease. A study was conducted at the Father Muller Medical College in Karnataka, India that found that curcumin worked against IBD as it helped to increase antioxidants in the body and in ridding the body of free radicals which can trigger inflammation.
To add turmeric to your diet, trying adding this spice to your smoothies or sprinkling it in your stir-fries. It has a nice, mild flavor. If you are really up for an anti-inflammatory boost, try making a turmeric milk latte and enjoying it as you wind down your day. Use full-fat coconut milk, organic turmeric, a pinch of black pepper, and raw honey for a delicious and anti-inflammatory caffeine-free latte.
#2 Wild Caught Fatty Fish: Wild-caught fatty fish is an excellent addition to any diet as these fish are rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. Human studies have found omega-3 fatty acids to be helpful for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, as well as reducing inflammation in those who are chronically ill. Ideally, you will want to enjoy two to six four-ounce servings of fatty fish per week such as wild Alaskan salmon, sardines, or herring.
#3 Berries: Adding berries to your diet is an excellent way to ensure that you are getting enough antioxidants as well as flavonoids in your diet which both play a role in helping to fight off inflammation.
#4 Healthy Fats: Healthy fats like avocados, olives, nuts, seeds, and extra virgin olive oil can all be extremely beneficial for fighting off inflammation and promoting overall wellness in the body. Things like walnuts can also be beneficial as they are rich in plant-based omega-3 fatty acids and contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits to help fight off disease. Flax and chia seeds are also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and can be added to things like smoothies or sprinkled over yogurt.
#5 Beets: That beautiful deep purple color is exactly what gives beets their amazing anti-inflammatory health benefits. Beets are rich in betalain which is an antioxidant that holds powerful anti-inflammatory properties which can help reduce inflammation in the body. Try roasting some beets and adding them to your salads for an added health boost.
Inflammation can be caused by a number of different things and the foods found in the Standard American Diet are often to blame. To help reduce the inflammatory load on your body, start by looking at your diet and removing foods that trigger inflammation. You will want to avoid things like sugar, processed and fried foods, conventional dairy products, and trans and hydrogenated fats. Instead, fill your diet with powerful anti-inflammatory foods like the ones listed here. Start by adding each one of these to your diet each week until you are enjoying them regularly. You would be surprised at what simple, yet very effective dietary changes can do for your overall health.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rebecca Jacobs N.C is a Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant, specializing in digestive and women's health. She doesn't believe in dieting but rather making lifestyle changes, and believes that healthy eating must be delicious. Rebecca is also a recipe developer and creates healthier alternatives to traditionally unhealthy foods.