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7 foods with anti-inflammatory properties
Inflammation is a significant problem for many: arthritis and joint diseases affect around 43 million people in the US, almost 20%of the population.
This doesn’t mean having to load up on medication and chemicals to treat this problem. There are a number of natural ways to treat inflammation, from yoga to medicinal herbs and Organic CBD capsules. However, probably the most natural solution of all can be found in our diet. There are a number of foods with anti-inflammatory properties which can help to manage inflammation. Here are 7 of the best.
Tomatoes have an incredible range of benefits for health: they are high in vitamin C, potassium and lycopene. They are also high in antioxidants, which in combination with the lycopene has amazing anti-inflammatory properties. Lycopene also reduces pro-inflammatory compounds which have been linked to several types of cancer. You can get these benefits by consuming tomatoes in a variety of ways, from fresh to cooked or even drinking tomato juice. Try a fresh tomato dish today like this Tuscan tomato and bread salad.
2. Olive Oil
Olive oil, or specifically extra virgin olive oil, is another food with great anti-inflammatory effects. This is in addition to a range of other health benefits including lowering the risk of heart disease, brain tumours, and a number of other chronic health conditions. One study found that people following the Mediterranean diet and consuming at least 50 mL (1.7 ounces) of olive oil a day had significantly decreased levels of inflammatory markers. Other research has indicated that anti-inflammatory effects are significantly higher in extra virgin olive oil.
Berries are not only high in vitamins, minerals and fiber, but they are also a great source of antioxidants. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are all high in antioxidants and are easy to integrate into your diet whether you put them in your smoothie or simply grab a handful. In particular, blueberries contain powerful antioxidants including Ouercetin, and have more different types of antioxidants than any other berry.
4. Green Leafy Vegetables
Green leafy vegetables are an essential part of a healthy diet for many reasons, one of which is that they are high in anti-oxidants. There is also a huge variety of these veggies around, from spinach and kale to arugula, collard greens and Swiss chard, so you don’t need to worry about getting bored! Other veggies that are high in antioxidants are the cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.
5. Fatty Fish
Another group of foods that is high on the antioxidants list is fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines. This is because these fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and in particular alpha-linolenic fatty acid, a powerful anti-inflammatory. These fatty acids are also highly beneficial to heart, skin and brain health. Some patients have even found that they can cut back on their anti-inflammatory medication after increasing their intake of Omega-3 fatty acids.
6. Seeds and Nuts
There are a number of seeds and nuts that work wonders for inflammation. Almonds are great for reducing inflammation, as well as being high in magnesium and plant protein. Walnuts also contain Omega-3 fatty acids along with monounsaturated fatty acids, protein, vitamin E and a number of other minerals. Chia seeds are a super food with some incredible properties: these tiny seeds are packed with vitamins and minerals as well as essential fatty acids including Omega-3’s. This makes them great for fighting inflammation, as well as helping to manage cholesterol, blood pressure and promoting better heart health. Other seeds with anti-inflammatory qualities include hemp seeds and flaxseeds.
Turmeric is a Middle Eastern spice that gives food an interesting flavor and a distinctive yellow-orange color. It has gained fame in recent years because it contains curcumin, the pigment that gives turmeric its color and is also a powerful anti-inflammatory. Initial studies indicate that curcumin may have positive impacts on some types of cancer, diabetes, osteoarthritis and retinal damage. “Golden Lattes” containing turmeric have become popular of late, but turmeric can also be used to flavor soups, dressings, grain bowls and other dishes. It is also a good idea to add freshly-ground black pepper at the same time as turmeric, as this is thought to increase the absorption of turmeric. If you’re not sure how to integrate turmeric into your diet, try this delicious recipe for Indian lamb korma curry.
By simply integrating some of these foods into your diet you will boost your intake of antioxidants and other anti-inflammatories, not to mention a range of other vitamins, minerals and nutrients to promote better overall health.