8 Anti-Inflammatory Foods to Add to Your Diet
Ever heard of an anti-inflammatory diet and wondered what it is and whether or not you should give it a shot? This diet is built around the fact that sugars, refined grains and saturated fats in processed foods can cause unnecessary chronic inflammation in the body. This can lead to an increased risk for health challenges like heart disease, intestinal issues, anxiety and depression. And if you already have an inflammatory disease like arthritis, it can make symptoms even worse.
An anti-inflammatory diet focuses on replacing processed items with foods rich in antioxidants and vitamins (think whole grains, fatty fish, spices, plant-based proteins and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables). Anti-inflammatory diets are specific to each person—foods that reduce inflammation in some may cause flare-ups for others. Introduce these foods one at a time and take note of their effect. Stop eating any foods that cause irritation and talk to your doctor if you have concerns or questions.
Ready to give it a shot? Try eating more of these eight foods to start fighting inflammation:
- Ginger: Fresh ginger is shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and can be added to a variety of dishes. Try this Asian Mason Jar Salad with Miso Ginger Dressing or make your own ginger tea.
- Turmeric: This spice, commonly found in curry, contains inflammation-fighting curcumin. Use it to liven up dishes like our Green Tea and Turmeric Oatmeal.
- Avocado: Good news, you now have more of an excuse to indulge in all things avocado! They are full of healthy unsaturated fats and reduce inflammation as well as the pain associated with different kinds of arthritis. You can use them as a healthy substitution in some of your favorite treats, like avocado fries and avocado chocolate mousse.
- Flaxseeds: Flaxseeds are a great source of omega-3s, which help fight inflammation. Mix flaxseeds with your granola or add it to your oatmeal. Remember, to get the full benefit of flaxseeds, it’s best to have them ground so your body can use the healthy fat in it properly.
- Walnuts: Like avocados, walnuts contain healthy fats and help the body regulate inflammation. Incorporate them into your dinner with this Raspberry Walnut Dressing.
- Fruits and veggies: While all produce is key to a healthy diet, make sure you’re getting enough dark leafy greens and brightly colored fruits. Antioxidants that give berries the purple/red color help the body’s immune system and aid in reducing inflammation. Vitamin K found in spinach, kale and broccoli can also help with inflammation.
- Citrus fruits: The vitamin C found in oranges, grapefruit and other citrus can help undo the damage done by autoimmune diseases. This makes it a staple for people with osteoarthritis.
- Beans: Most beans contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, while also being an excellent source of protein and fiber. Try this recipe for Red Quinoa Bean Salad or these Turkey and Black Bean Tacos.
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