Inflamation refers to your body’s natural process of fending off things that could be harmful – injuries, infections, or toxins – in an attempt to heal itself. When something hurts our cells, we release chemicals that trigger a response from our immune system, which includes antibodies, proteins, and increased blood flow to the damaged area. In the case of acute inflammation (like a bruise or swelling from an injury), this doesn’t linger for more than a few days. Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, is what happens when our body’s “fending off” response lasts and leaves us in a constant state of alert. It’s no secret that chronic inflammation can be detrimental to our health: It’s been linked to many major diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, depression, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s.
The good news is that we can use food to combat chronic inflammation. Instead of focusing on all of the inflammatory foods that are quite obvious – sugar, soda, refined carbs, alcohol, red meat, and processed foods – let’s home in on the delicious ingredients you can load up on to reduce inflammation.
If you’re curious about your chronic inflammation status, look at the fasted insulin, HbA1c and CRP results in your next blood work.
Leafy greens like Swiss chard, spinach, and kale and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussel sprouts have powerful anti-inflammatory effects that reduce certain levels in the body that drive inflammation.
Add avocados to your list as it also has beneficial compounds that protect against inflammation.
Chili peppers and raw or lightly cooked mushrooms will also help in your fight against inflammation.
Berries like acai, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are packed with antioxidants that may reduce inflammation while also boosting immunity.
When it comes to combating inflammation, omega-3 fatty acids should definitely be kept in mind. All kinds of fish from salmon to sardines should be consumed at least once a week; better still twice a week.
Nuts and seeds
Seeds and nuts are also packed with anti-inflammatory nutrients. Add hemp seeds, flaxseeds, almonds, and walnuts to your diet to help reduce inflammation. You can add them to your breakfast bowl or sprinkle them on your salads and vegetables.
Turmeric has a powerful constituent called curcumin and is the reason for turmeric’s rapid rise in popularity. It has serious anti-inflammatory benefits. You can add this superfood spice to soups, tea and dressings. Don’t forget to add freshly ground black pepper to increase turmeric’s bio availability (absorption).
Ginger helps ease inflammation by slowing down the body’s production of cytokines, a protein that triggers chronic inflammation. Ginger is a natural remedy for an upset stomach, too. Serve it with sautéed vegetables, fish and add it to your “health tea”.
Last but not least, water. It hydrates us and helps soothe inflammation in the body. For an anti-inflammatory upgrade, make tea. Green or black tea has flavonoids which have anti-inflammatory properties. Brew it yourself to avoid unwanted sugars from packed versions.
That’s it for now my friends; see you all the next time.