Foods that fight inflammation!
We hear the word inflammation all the time - on the internet, from blogs, on TV, in magazines, from our doctors - but do we know what it really is? The idea of inflammation can be kind of confusing for most people. It’s essentially the body's reaction to stress. That stress can come from diet, lifestyle, environment, or an infection. Inflammation becomes an issue for the body when it becomes chronic. Chronic inflammation is linked to heart disease, obesity, diabetes and just about every other chronic disease that can have severe, life-threatening consequences. It’ ias also related to the foods that we eat, and knowing which foods cause inflammation and which foods fight it is one of the best ways to reduce chronic inflammation and keep your body disease-free and healthy.
But how do you know if it’s something you’re experiencing inflammation? It might look like…
Poor sleep quality,
Mood swings & irritability,
Weakened immune system,
Bloating, constipation, aches and pains,
Puffy/problematic skin such as (psoriasis, eczema, redness).
What are the main culprits of these inflammatory markers?
Sugar can wreak in flammatory havoc in both solid and liquid form causing tissues damage and insulin resistance because it generates inflammation in the liver that impairs insulin sensitivity.
Sodium intake is linked to blood pressure and too much sodium can lead to hypertension (high blood pressure.) Research has shown an association between hypertension and inflammation.
Transfats are naturally found in small amounts in animal products like meat and in processed foods as partially hydrogenated oils. They have zero health benefits and plenty of risks. Research has shown that a high intake of trans fatty acids increases certain markers of inflammation in the body, which is also a risk factor for heart disease.
But, in the words of Hippocrates "Let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food.” You don’t need to wait until you’re experiencing these symptoms to start enjoying the benefits of an anti-inflammatory diet. That’s because the roots of simple, whole, unprocessed foods, is a good framework to follow for long-term health and vitality.
Here are some of the foods that are great for fighting inflammation:
Vegetables: Veggies provide important nutrients such as Vitamin C, folate and magnesium. They feed your good gut bacteria and contain phytonutrients (plant chemicals) that fight inflammation.
● Red peppers
● MIcro greens
Fruits: Fruits contain fiber and antioxidants that are great for inflammation.
● Citrus fruits
Beans and legumes: On top of being anti inflammatory, beans and legumes also full of fiber, protein and magnesium.
● Legumes (kidney beans, black beans, lentils)
● Nuts (almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts)
Spices: Spices are not only good for fighting inflammation, but they also make our food taste better!
Healthy fats: Fats containing Omega-3 acids, including EPA, DHA and ALA, reduce inflammation and increase satiety.
● Flaxseed oil
Fermented foods: They’re full of probiotics that help heal our guts and fight inflammation.
● Apple Cider vinegar
It’s important to remember that many foods have a number of different components that make them anti-inflammatory, not just one. Strawberries, for example, contain antioxidants and are also packed with vitamin C! Eating well not only gives you helpful compounds to fight inflammation, like antioxidants, but also helps you maintain a healthy weight and thus, prevents diabetes, heart disease, and other conditions associated with inflammation. It’s all connected!
Here is a recipe for one of my favorite inflammation fighting salads!
Anti-inflammatory berry power salad
Author: Faithfully Rooted Time: 15 minutes Yield: 2 servings
Packed with simple, Whole Foods that have amazing anti-inflammatory properties.
2 cups baby spinach
1/2 cup fresh berries
1/4 cup raw unsalted walnut halves/pieces
1/4 cup cooked chickpeas
1/2 small ripe avocado
2–3 tbsp thinly sliced or minced red onion
1 tbsp each torn or thinly sliced fresh mint
Garnish Options: sprouts – radish, sunflower, pea – whatever you like
Ginger Citrus Vinaigrette (you will have some leftover & works as a great marinade):
1/2 cup avocado oil or extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp of orange zest
1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
2 tsp raw honey or maple syrup
sea salt + black pepper, to taste
**option to add 2 tsp of dijon mustard & a pinch of paprika if you are looking for a little more spice**
Make the dressing: In a small container or mason jar, shake up all of the ingredients. Add a few pinches of sea salt + black pepper to taste. (Alternatively, if you want it to be super smooth, use a food processor to blend out the ginger bits.) Set aside.
Wash the greens. Pat dry with a paper towel and place them in a big bowl with the herbs, berries, chickpeas, and walnuts.
Add some of the dressing and toss well to coat.
Gently mix in the avocado, then divide the greens between two bowls.
Arrange between the bowls, followed by a garnish of your choosing.
Serve with additional dressing on the side if needed.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?
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