Are you trying to incorporate more anti-inflammatory foods to boost your healing process? My friend Shelley shares 7 foods that are ahhhmazing for this purpose. If you’re already eating these daily- go you!!
Our Bodies & Inflammation
Our bodies are amazing machines. Yes, I call them machines. They have the power to detoxify and fix small problems all on their own. However, sometimes we need to give it a little helping hand. That’s where nutrition comes into play!
By eating a whole food diet we can prevent and help the body overcome things such as inflammation. In simple terms, inflammation is primarily caused by oxidative stress on the body. These little molecules called ‘free radicals’ are formed when the body is under stress (both physical and mental). The best way to reverse the action of free radicals is through naturally occurring antioxidants in the body. The antioxidants actually bind to the free radicals to break them down into unreactive and hence safe molecules.
Inflammation can also be caused by saturated fats. Think greasy food, pizza, cheeses etc. The best way to diminish this inflammation in the body is through consumption of omega 3 also know as a “Healthy Fat.” Omega 3 has anti-inflammatory properties that work on decreasing inflammation of fat tissues.
But that is enough of the science. While antioxidants and healthy fats are naturally occurring in the body, it is important to include them in your diet as well to assist your body!
The Super 7
So here are my top 7 anti-inflammatory foods you should be including in your diet everyday:
- Berries – Berries are rich with antioxidants. It’s actually what gives them their dark color. So, the darker the berry the higher the level of antioxidants. Berries are also low in sugar making it the perfect anti-inflammatory snack. Blueberries are my favorite!
- Salmon (or any oily fish, eg. Mackerel) – Oily fish is one of the best sources of omega 3 (aka healthy fat). Plus, fish is loaded with other health benefits. Try and include a piece of oily fish in your diet twice a week – here is my favorite salmon recipe.
- Turmeric – Or more accurately curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric). It is now well known for it’s anti-inflammatory properties. Make sure to include a little black pepper to activate the curcumin. Here is my favorite drink when I’m sick.
- Avocado and Olive Oil – Both of these are full of healthy fats to fight inflammation. Contrary to media attention, olive is actually a great oil to cook with. It has a smoking point of 200 degrees celcius (392 fahrenheit), so best to cook on a low to medium heat.
- Nuts – In particular walnuts, are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids which assist in reducing inflammation in the body. They make for a great snack or eat with a nut butter for breakfast!
- Green Leafy Vegetables – Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, and chard are all packed full of antioxidants and phytonutrients, which work to reduce inflammation around the body. If you don’t like the taste, blend them up with your favorite fruit for a delicious smoothie.
- Beets – Beetroots, just like berries get their rich purple color from antioxidants. They also have loads of other health benefits such as assisting with blood glucose regulation and reducing blood pressure. I love using cooked beets in my salads or smoothies – grated raw beets also make for a delicious salad!
Shelley is a passionate Foodie, avid photographer and founder of Shelley’s Good Eats. She is a qualified Nutritionist with a Bachelor of Food Science and Nutrition and is currently furthering her study with a Masters in Public Health Nutrition.
Tired of hearing the nutrition advice that is confusing and even sometimes harmful, Shelley founded Shelley’s Good Eats to promote and help others build a healthy relationship with food. She strives to clarify nutrition for the community through education workshops, nutrition consultations and recipe development. She loves to put a healthy twist on the classics that she learnt to cook as a young kid. You can connect with Shelley by emailing her firstname.lastname@example.org or on Instagram.