December 10, 2019
Anti-inflammatory Diet Essentials
Reducing your inflammatory load may be one of the best ways to protect your health now and safeguard your health for the future. As more research emerges on just how damaging inflammation can be to the body, more people are taking an anti-inflammatory approach to how they eat.
Read on to learn about anti-inflammatory diet essentials and the top five foods to include in your diet to keep inflammation at bay.
5 Anti-inflammatory Diet Must-Haves
#1 Blueberries: Blueberries are an easy and delicious addition to any diet. They make for a convenient anti-inflammatory snack and are perfect for throwing into your blender and whipping up a delicious smoothie. And, not only are they delicious, but they are also rich in anthocyanins, an antioxidant that comes with some impressive anti-inflammatory potential. Consider adding some blueberries to your diet to help keep inflammation at bay.
#2 Dark Leafy Greens: There’s a reason we all were told to eat our veggies growing up. Vegetables, and particularly dark leafy greens (spinach, kale, collard greens), come with a huge list of health benefits, including their ability to help ward off inflammation. Dark leafy greens are full of antioxidants and vitamin C to help fight off free radicals than can cause damage to your cells.
#3 Bell Peppers: Not only do bell peppers make a yummy crunchy snack to dip into hummus, they are also a great addition to an anti-inflammatory diet. Bell peppers are loaded with vitamin C, which plays an important role in fighting off those free radicals that can trigger inflammation.
#4 Sweet Potatoes & Other Orange Veggies: When it comes to an anti-inflammatory diet, you want to focus on adding as many colors to your plate as possible. Orange vegetables, like sweet potatoes, are a great source of carotenoids such as beta-cryptoxanthin, which have been found to lower your risk of developing inflammatory conditions, like rheumatoid arthritis.
#5 Foods Rich in Omega-3’s: Omega-3 fatty acids are notoriously known for their ability to help fight off inflammation. You can pack in a healthy dose of omega-3’s by enjoying fatty fish (salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel), and adding things like flax, chia, and hemp seeds to your diet.
Foods to Avoid
In addition to adding anti-inflammatory foods to your diet, there are some highly inflammatory foods you will want to avoid, including:
- Trans fats
- Hydrogenated fat
- Refined sugar
- High fructose corn syrup
- Refined carbohydrates (white bread, pasta, pastries)
- Artificial flavorings & coloring
Inflammation is at the root of nearly all chronic diseases seen today. From things like depression to cancer, and even Alzheimer’s disease, inflammation plays a role. The most important thing you can do to support your health today is to take a look at your diet and aim to incorporate more anti-inflammatory foods.
Focus on eating as many whole foods as you can, while staying away from foods that come in a box—the more whole and nutrient-dense your diet, the lower your inflammation load. And, with lower inflammation, comes greater overall health.