• Rebecca

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…

  • Weight gain,

  • Poor sleep quality,

  • Constant fatigue,

  • Mood swings & irritability,

  • Weakened immune system,

  • Digestive discomfort,

  • 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​ ​hyperten​sion​ ​and inflammation.​ ​


Trans​​fats ​​​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.

● Broccoli

● Tomatoes

● Artichokes

● Spinach

● Red​ ​peppers

● MIcro greens


Fruits: Fruits contain fiber and antioxidants that are great for inflammation.

●  Citrus​ ​fruits

●  Strawberries

●  Apples

●  Berries


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!

● Cinnamon

● Turmeric

● Garlic

● Onions

● Lemon


Healthy fats: Fats containing Omega-3 acids,​ ​including​ ​EPA,​ ​DHA​ ​and​ ​ALA,​ ​reduce inflammation and increase satiety.

Salmon

● Avoado

● Flaxseed​ ​oil

● Tuna

● Walnuts

● Seeds​​(flax,​​chia,​​sunflower)


Fermented foods: They’re full of probiotics that help heal our guts and fight inflammation.

●  Kombucha

● Apple Cider vinegar

●  Sauerkraut


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​ antioxidant​s ​ ​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





DESCRIPTION

Packed with simple, Whole Foods that have amazing anti-inflammatory properties.


INGREDIENTS

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**


INSTRUCTIONS


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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