How to cut disease-promoting inflammation with foods. (And, yes, it CAN be done). Read more below!
Reduce Inflammation With These 5 Key Foods
Inflammation. It is the fire in our body that fuels so many health problems. You can achieve pain-free living by taking steps to reduce inflammation.
It’s a fact.
Scientists are measuring levels of inflammation in our bodies and finding that it can be pretty bad for our health; this is especially true when it’s chronic (i.e. lasts a long time).
Inflammation and chronic disease
Inflammation has been linked to obesity, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes, just to name a few. But, instead of writing all about what it is, how it’s measured, and where it comes from; why don’t I focus on some foods packed with anti-inflammatory antioxidants that are proven to help reduce it?
Here are my top 5 anti-inflammatory foods that reduce inflammation:
#1: Dark berries
Why save the best for last? Perhaps the most amazingly delicious anti-inflammatory foods are a sweet favorite of yours? Get those dark berries in! These can include blueberries, cherries, raspberries, grapes, all are packed with fiber, and antioxidant vitamins (e.g. vitamin C) and minerals (e.g. manganese).
Oh, and did I forget to mention their phytochemicals (phyto=plant)? Yes, many antioxidants such as “anthocyanins” and “resveratrol” are found in these small and delicious fruits. You many have heard the word “resveratrol” its found in red wine!
It’s why dark berries maybe the best dietary sources of getting those antioxidants into your diet!
#2: Broccoli and Peppers
Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that contains the antioxidant “sulforaphane.” This anti-inflammatory compound is associated with reduced risk of heart disease and cancer.
Bell peppers, on the other hand, are one of the best sources of the antioxidants vitamin C and quercetin.
Just make sure to choose red peppers over the other colors. Peppers that are any other color are not fully ripe and won’t have the same anti-inflammatory effect.
#3: Healthy Fats (avocado, olive oil, fatty fish)
Fat can be terribly inflammatory (hello: “trans” fats), neutral (hello: saturated fats), or anti-inflammatory (hello: “omega-3s), this is why choosing the right fats is so important for your health.
The best anti-inflammatory fats are the unsaturated ones, including omega-3s. These are linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.
Opt for fresh avocados, extra virgin olive oil, small fish (e.g. sardines and mackerel), and wild fish (e.g. salmon). Oh and don’t forget the omega-3 seeds like chia, hemp, and flax.
#4: Green Tea
You all know I’m all about drinking that Jasmine green tea! Not only is it cooling in Chinese Medicine perspective but it is a killer antioxidant. Green tea also contains the anti-inflammatory compound called “epigallocatechin-3-gallate”, otherwise known as EGCG. EGCG is linked to reduced risk of heart disease, certain cancers, obesity, and Alzheimer’s.
Drinking steeped green tea is great, but have you tried matcha green tea? It’s thought to contain even higher levels of antioxidants than regular green tea.
#5 – Turmeric/Curcumin
My favorite! Would a list of anti-inflammatory foods be complete without the amazing spice turmeric? It’s key compound is curcumin and they often are referred to together. In a recent study it was termed “the spice for joint inflammation.” In numerous studies, curcumin has been found to provide anti-inflammatory properties, specifically to joints and osteoarthritis.
That is big news for those joint pain sufferers out there! Read more about turmeric and curcumin in our previous post here.
There are just so many amazingly delicious and nutritious anti-inflammatory foods you can choose. They range from colorful berries, vegetables, and spices, to healthy fats, and even cocoa.
You have so many reasons to add anti-inflammatory foods to your diet to get your daily dose of “anti-inflammation.”
If you or someone you know suffers from chronic pain or inflammation, give us a call today (425) 686-4498 to learn how we can help you find relief in an all-natural way!
Schedule online here:
Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc, is a naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist in Bothell, WA at her practice Starting Point Acupuncture. She is a pain specialist, seeing people who suffer from chronic pain, migraines, as well as digestive issues. Offering pain relief injections, acupuncture, facial rejuvenation, and nutrition consults. Most insurances accepted. Dr. Ellie Heintze is also the author of the book, A Starting Point Guide to Going Gluten-Free on Amazon.
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Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc
- Master’s Degree in Acupuncture
- Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine
- Master’s Degree in Chemistry
Northern Arizona University
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