Can the foods you eat help reduce inflammation? Some experts believe it’s possible, I’ll explain which foods may be anti-inflammatory foods (and which ones to avoid).
Foods To Eat
Fats and Oils. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in cold-water oily fish, flax seeds, canola oil and pumpkin seeds. Consumption of monounsaturated fatty acids found in olive oil, avocados, and nuts has been linked to reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Other healthful oils include rice bran oil, grape seed oil, and walnut oil
Fruits and Vegetables. Whole fruits, berries and vegetables are all rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and phytochemicals. Choose green and brightly colored vegetables, and whole fruits such as broccoli, chard, strawberries, blueberries, spinach, carrots and squash. You should eat at least five and preferably more) servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
Protein Sources. Possible anti-inflammatory protein sources include lean poultry, fish and seafood (fatty fish offer protein as well as omega-3 fatty acids). Soy and soy foods such as tofu and tempeh, along with other legumes and nuts and seeds can be used as plant-based protein sources. The best nuts are walnuts, almonds, pecans and Brazil nuts.
Beverages. Your body needs water. Drink tap, sparkling or bottled water, 100-percent fruit juices, herbal tea, low-sodium vegetable juice, and low- or non-fat milk are all healthful sources of water.
Foods To Avoid
Loading up on junk foods, high-fat meats, sugar, and highly processed foods may increase the potential for inflammation in your body (find out how much sugar you can have each day). Reduce your consumption of trans-fats and saturated fats by cutting back on highly processed foods, red meats, and high-fat processed meats such as bacon and sausage. Cut out refined white flours in bread and pasta (look for 100-percent whole-grains instead). Eliminate your consumption of sugary sodas, pastries, candy, rich desserts, and pre-sweetened cereals.
Another possible source of irritation comes from the nightshade family of plants, which includes potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplant. These vegetables contain a chemical alkaloid which can trigger pain in some people. While there aren’t any formal research findings that back the claim about nightshade plants, some people do believe they get relief from the symptoms of pain and inflammation when they eliminate them.
Here are 10 excellent inflammation-fighting foods and ways to incorporate them into your lifestyle:
- Turmeric is a spice used extensively in other cultures, and for good reason. It contains curcumin, a substance that actively reduces inflammation. Try sprinkling turmeric onto cooked squash or quinoa for a different flavor.
- Ginger works in a way similar to turmeric to lower inflammation and in some studies has been shown to reduce pain associated with arthritis.
While processed foods may seem like the easier choice at first, they deplete your health over the long haul.
Developing a healthy eating plan can sometimes seem difficult but like anything that is new, it becomes second nature over time. And the payoff is well worth it: with a proper diet, you can take a proactive stance against inflammation and disease by incorporating these superfoods into your life.
With diet and lifestyle choices that support your health, you’ll fight disease, illness and the signs of aging!