Foods That Fight Inflammation
Inflammation has become a hot topic in recent years, and for good reason. As more research emerges, we are finding that chronic inflammation can be at the root of many serious diseases ranging from cancer to Alzheimer’s and autoimmune diseases. Adding foods that fight inflammation to your diet, while limiting foods that cause it can produce drastic changes in your health and wellbeing.
Foods That Cause Inflammation:
· Refined carbohydrates such as white bread and pastries
· Excess sugar
· Fried foods
· Soda and other sugar sweetened beverages
· Processed meats
· Margarine, shortening and lard
Foods that Fight Inflammation:
· Omega 3 fatty acids - The top sources of omega 3’s include: wild caught salmon, mackerel, sardines, walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds.
· Antioxidants - These compounds fight free radicals, which cause disease, by both reducing their production and removing them. Some sources include: berries, grapes, walnuts, dark leafy greens, bok choy, celery, beets, tomatoes, broccoli, coconut oil, green/black tea.
· Probiotics- Probiotics such as those found in sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, yogurt, and kefir have been indicated in relieving intestinal inflammation.
· Curcumin- This bright yellow anti-inflammatory chemical can be found in: turmeric, curry, cayenne, chili.
· Polyphenols - This specific antioxidant is found most abundantly in olive oil, walnuts, and dark chocolate (70% and higher).
· Sulforaphane - This natural substance has been shown to prevent oxidative stress and block the actions of carcinogens. It is found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and kale and is most abundant in broccoli sprouts.
Instead of focusing specifically on cutting out the more refined foods, added sugars and sweetened beverages aim to incorporate a few more of the foods that fight inflammation to your diet. As you start to eat more of these healthful foods there will be less room for those that do not benefit you. For instance, instead of reaching for dessert try to satisfy your sweet tooth with some frozen blueberries topped with a little yogurt. It will provide antioxidants, probiotics and the protein will help you to feel full and satisfied, leaving less room for processed foods. It also takes your mindset off the idea of "I can not have" and instead focuses on all the things you can have. This is the best way to instill healthy habits and lower your inflammation for the long term, not just for a week or season.