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Anti-inflammatory Diet – Foods that Fight Inflammation

Anti-inflammatory Diet – Foods that Fight Inflammation

By Nordic Balance

Inflammation is a natural process that helps our bodies fight infections. But when it is chronic, it can lead to long-term damage of tissues and may contribute to many serious diseases, including obesity, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, dementia and heart disease. As we learn more about inflammation, the more we understand how our diet and lifestyle can help prevent or reduce chronic inflammation. This article looks specifically at an anti-inflammatory diet and the foods that fight inflammation.

 

Anti-inflammatory Diet – Symptoms of Chronic Inflammation

 

Symptoms of chronic inflammation can include achy joints, brain fog, weight gain, muscle soreness, bloating and even anxiety and depression.

 

It is essential that, when presented with any of these symptoms, we try to find the root cause and make the necessary changes to our diet or lifestyle to prevent long-term disease.

 

Anti-inflammatory Diet – Foods that Fight Inflammation

 

Fortunately, there are certain foods that we know are anti-inflammatory. As Hippocrates once stated, food is medicine! So, every time we eat, we can prevent or reduce inflammation in the body.

 

Pro-inflammatory foods include sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, vegetable and seed oils and refined carbohydrates, and by consuming these foods regularly, we increase the risk for chronic inflammation. It is, therefore, best to replace them with these five foods known to fight inflammation.

 

Anti-inflammatory Diet – Oily Fish

 

Anti-inflammatory Diet - salmon uncookedOily fish include salmon, sardines, mackerel, anchovies and herring. These cold-water fish are high in the omega 3s EPA and DHA, which help reduce chronic inflammation and maintain healthy blood vessels.

 

It is best to eat wild-caught fish as the content of omega 3s is higher. Aim for 2-3 portions of oily fish per week, incorporating it in lunches or dinners.

 

Cooking Suggestion:

 

Make a broth using onion, garlic, ginger, lemongrass and some vegetable broth.

 

Simply poach the salmon fillets until cooked through and serve on a bed of noodles & a sprinkling of coriander.

 

Anti-inflammatory Diet – Dark Leafy Greens

 

Anti-inflammatory Diet - kale leavesDark green leafy vegetables include spinach, kale, rocket, and collard greens. These plants contain high levels of phytochemicals called carotenoids, which can protect against certain cancers. Aim for at least a cupful daily.

 

Suggestion:

 

Have a daily salad with one of these greens as the base. Or mix in a handful into soups or stews.

 

Anti-inflammatory Diet – Flaxseeds

 

Anti-inflammatory Diet - flaxseedsThese seeds are high in omega 3’s so ideal for those that do not eat fish. They also contain high levels of lignans, which have anti-cancer properties.

 

Suggestion:

 

Grind them up in a coffee grinder or purchase ground seeds.

 

Ensure to keep them in the freezer to preserve the delicate fats. Add 2-3 tablespoons into your overnight oats or breakfast yoghurt bowl, or sprinkle over salads.

 

You can even add a couple of tablespoons to stews at the end of cooking.

 

Anti-inflammatory Diet – Berries

 

Anti-inflammatory Diet - mixed berriesBerries include blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, tart cherries, strawberries, and cranberries.

 

They are rich in antioxidants known as anthocyanins that reduce inflammation. Also, they add essential fibre to your diet, which feeds the good bacteria in your gut, producing metabolites that calm the immune system.

 

Suggestion:

 

Add half a cup to your morning breakfast bowl or a smoothie with a banana and a handful of spinach.

 

Anti-inflammatory Diet – Tumeric & Curcumin

 

Anti-inflammatory Diet - tumeric and cumin seedsCurcumin, the active compound in turmeric, has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The body cannot easily absorb curcumin, so always try to pair it with fat & black pepper, increasing its bioavailability by up to 2000 per cent.

 

Suggestion:

 

Sprinkle liberally onto potatoes & vegetables before roasting, or add to soups & stews.

 

You can also make an anti-inflammatory warm drink by adding 1 tsp of turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, and a dash of honey into oat or soy milk.

 

Adding these anti-inflammatory foods to your diet is a start to preventing or reducing chronic inflammation.

 

You may also want to make lifestyle changes, including daily movement and keeping your stress levels in check.

 

Working with a registered Nutritional Therapist like Nutrition Applied can guide you on your healing journey by testing your inflammation levels, formulating a Health Plan tailored to your unique lifestyle and needs, and holding you accountable to ensure you maximise the chances of optimising your health.

 

 

The article was written by London-based Nutritionist Katia Frank. A Nutritional Therapist and Gut Health Specialist who is fully insured and regulated by the British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine (BANT) and Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC).

For more tailored advice and guidance book an nutritional assessment with Katia at Nordic Balance in St. James’s, London.

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