Inflammation. It’s not just for health headlines. It’s a fact.
Scientists are measuring levels of inflammation in our bodies and finding that it can be pretty bad for our health; this is especially true when it’s chronic.
Inflammation has been linked to obesity, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and diabetes, just to name a few.
But, instead of writing all about what it is, how it’s measured and where it comes from; I thought I would focus on some foods packed with anti-inflammatory antioxidants that are proven to help reduce it.
Here are my top anti-inflammatory food recommendations:
#1: Berries, Grapes, and Cherries
Perhaps the most amazingly delicious anti-inflammatory foods are a sweet favorite of yours? So, let’s not save it for last.
Berries, grapes and cherries are packed with fiber and antioxidant vitamins (vitamin C) and minerals (manganese).
Plus, they have phytochemicals which include “anthocyanins” and “resveratrol” are found in these small and delicious fruits. In fact, berries, grapes and cherries may be the best dietary sources of these amazingly healthy compounds.
Food #2: Broccoli and Peppers
Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that contains the antioxidant “sulforaphane.” This anti-inflammatory compound is associated with reduced risk of heart disease and cancer.
Bell peppers, on the other hand, are one of the best sources of the antioxidants vitamin C and quercetin.
Choose red peppers over the other colors. Peppers that are any other color are not fully ripe and won’t have the same anti-inflammatory effect.
Both of these on a salad will pack a good punch of antioxidants to your meal!
Food #3: Healthy Fats(avocado, olive oil, fatty fish)
Fat can be terribly inflammatory (“trans” fats), neutral (saturated fats) or anti-inflammatory (omega-3s), this is why choosing the right fats is so important for your health.
The best anti-inflammatory fats are the unsaturated ones, including omega-3s. These are linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.
Opt for fresh avocados, extra virgin olive oil, small fish (e.g. sardines and mackerel) and wild fish (e.g. salmon). Oh, and don’t forget the omega-3 seeds like chia, hemp and flax.
Food #4: Green Tea
Green tea contains the anti-inflammatory compound called “epigallocatechin-3-gallate”, otherwise known as EGCG.
EGCG is linked to reduced risk of heart disease, certain cancers, obesity and Alzheimer’s.
Drinking steeped green tea is great but have you tried matcha green tea? It’s thought to contain even higher levels of antioxidants than regular green tea.
Food #5 – Turmeric
Turmeric is the most common word we hear nowadays when it comes to anti-inflammatory foods so my list wouldn’t be complete without the amazing spice.
Turmeric contains the antioxidant curcumin. This compound has been shown to reduce the pain of arthritis, as well as have anti-cancer and anti-diabetes properties.
Food #6: Dark Chocolate
Ok, ok. This *may* be slightly more decadent than my #1 pick of berries, grapes and cherries but you have to remember it’s not the same as eating a dark chocolate candy bar. Those are not anti-inflammatory.
Dark chocolate, with at least 70% cocoa is packed with anti-inflammatory antioxidants (namely “flavanols”). These reduce the risk of heart disease by keeping your arteries healthy. They’ve even been shown to prevent “neuro-inflammation” (inflammation of the brain and nerves). Reducing neuro-inflammation may help with long-term memory and reduce the risk of dementia and stroke.
There are just so many delicious and nutritious anti-inflammatory foods you can choose. They range from colorful berries, vegetables and spices, to healthy fats and even cocoa.
You have so many reasons to add anti-inflammatory foods to your diet to get your daily dose of “anti-inflammation.”