Have you heard the news? The medical community is saying that inflammation is the cause of most disease and discomfort.
Inflammation is an immune response that our bodies use to protect itself from irritants. Although, when inflammation gets out of control -- your body is in a constant state of attack. This is when the damage can happen and leave us with a host of uncomfortable health issues to deal with. Please remember, all inflammation isn’t bad. Any acute inflammation that protects the body such as a cut, broken bone or infection is actually good.
Some foods can cause inflammation, such as the unhealthy junk foods loaded with sugar and chemicals our bodies don't recognize. There are also foods that can fight inflammation, allowing an anti-inflammatory benefit to sweep through your digestive system. Here are eight of my favorite anti-inflammatory foods for you to enjoy more of on a regular basis!
Hearing leafy green vegetables are good for you probably isn’t a surprise. We know how beneficial they are, packed with nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that fuel the body optimally. But in case you didn’t know, they’re also great for fighting inflammation. They’re rich in antioxidants and flavonoids, which restore normal cellular balance as well as fight inflammation.
Try a collard green wrap with hummus and chopped veggies or sautéed kale instead of rice with your next Mexican meal. I personally add greens to my smoothies and fill up with green juice.
Blueberries are an excellent source of anti-inflammatory nutrients. They boast a wealth of quercetin, an anti-inflammatory flavonoid also found in olive oil, citrus, and other dark-skinned berries. Blueberries are high on the pesticide list, so buying them organic — and local, if possible — will be most advantageous to you.
Get creative in your kitchen and instead of jelly on your toast try mashing up blueberries and topping your toast with this powerhouse berry.
Beets are chock-full of betalain, a fantastic antioxidant that helps curb cell damage caused by inflammation. Aside from being anti-inflammatory, beets also assist with natural detoxification and provide the body with a slew of powerful antioxidants.
Toss beets in olive oil and salt and pepper and roast them in your oven until fork tender. Chop the beets and add some walnuts or goat cheese up and serve them as a side dish at your next BBQ.
Who doesn’t love a fresh pineapple on a hot day? Aside from quenching our thirst, pineapples are also rich in two antioxidants that hold anti-inflammatory properties — bromelain and quercetin. When spring allergies hit, I always reach for some fresh pineapple to soak up the anti-inflammatory properties that help combat my spring allergies.
Personally, I love pineapple cut up in a big bowl with other fruit and a fork. Simple and easy.
Having celery on your plate frequently is incredibly beneficial. Not only is celery packed with antioxidants and prebiotic, but also has plenty of anti-inflammatory flavonoids. Coincidentally, an abundance of potassium, vitamins, and antioxidants in celery can also help fuel your body with the nutrients it needs to thrive.
It easy to add chopped celery to stir-fry’s, salad or soup. Another tasty way to get celery is with almond butter spread on the celery sticks. To me, this is a perfect snack.
Broccoli is a cruciferous veggie that is packed with fabulous antioxidants. In addition to magnesium, vitamins, and potassium, broccoli is also a significant source of anti-inflammatory carotenoids and flavonoids.
Other cruciferous veggies that host a bounty of benefits as well are Brussels sprouts, kale, and cauliflower.
I’m not someone who love broccoli raw so I always sauté, roast or add to casseroles (I’m from the south and we love casseroles). Broccoli can be added to anything, even homemade veggie burgers.
Figs contain many beneficial nutrients such as fiber, potassium, and calcium -- along with antioxidants that naturally help reduce inflammation in the body. Along with pineapple and blueberries, figs also contain quercetin that assists with combating inflammation. It naturally reduces the release of histamine which can stop the symptoms of an allergic reaction and halt inflammation.
Forget the sugar filled Fig Newtons. Add dried figs to your next smoothie or fresh figs to your next salad.
Nuts are high in unique phytonutrients, which come with huge anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. They are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Other beneficial nutrients you get from walnuts include potassium, copper, and magnesium.
Walnuts are a staple in my house. I love walnuts on my salads or just by the handful with a few goji berries.
It’s easy to fight inflammation with our drugs and as we all now know, prevention is the best medicine. Allow healthy food to fuel your body to fight inflammation. Besides being an inflammation buster, eating and living a healthy lifestyle might make you spontaneously burst out with a song in dance on how great you feel.
I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below and tell me how many of the above foods you eat in a day or week!