Today, there’s more and more evidence to show that inflammation is the root cause of everything from heart disease to Alzheimer’s. When your body is inflamed, it is constantly on high alert with no rest. It’s damaging, and because it’s on the inside, we may not always feel it.
Fortunately, a diet low in processed foods and high in produce that is full of antioxidants is a great start to preventing disease. There are also specific foods that have been show to have anti-inflammatory properties. Let’s take a look at a few, and how you can incorporate them into your diet.
Berries– If you need something sweet, berries are the answer. Rather than a sugar-filled treat, which actually promotes inflammation in the body, berries are sweet with natural sugars and a healthy dose of fiber. Multiple studies have shown that different berries help to reduce the risk of certain cancers, so be sure you’re getting a variety- raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries are wonderful, and summer is the best time to find them. Have them as dessert or a snack with a handful of nuts, or add some coconut cream and/or almond butter to dip them in.
Omega-3’s– You’ve probably heard about Omega-3’s in health news a lot lately. They’re good for everything from hormone balance to brain health, and one of the reasons is because they reduce inflammation. You can of course find Omega-3’s in supplement form, but why not get a healthy dose from food a few times a week? Try salmon or tuna, or vegan sources like flax seeds and chia seeds.
Ginger– Ginger is something to keep in your kitchen, just in case you get sick. It has some real anti-inflammatory fighting power and can help with tummy trouble too. The anti-inflammatory compounds in ginger are called gingerols and they’ve been shown to help with arthritis and muscular discomfort. You can chew raw ginger if you’re not afraid of a spicy punch, but it’s easily enjoyed as an addition to stir fries or in homemade ginger tea.
Garlic– The sulfur compounds in garlic have also been praised for their anti-inflammatory effects. Like ginger, studies on arthritis have shown its great benefits. Stir fries are always an easy way to add garlic, but you can also add it to meat patties. It adds amazing flavor to soups as well, so don’t be afraid to experiment with it in different ways.
Do you include any of these anti-inflammatory foods in your diet? Do you have any other anti-inflammatory foods you enjoy?