Inflammation. It’s not just for health headlines.
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.
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; I want to focus on what you can do to reduce it. Here are my favorite foods packed with anti-inflammatory antioxidants that are proven to help reduce it?
Berries, Grapes, and Cherries
In my opinion these are the most delicious anti-inflammatory foods there are. :) Berries, grapes, and cherries are packed with fiber, and antioxidant vitamins (e.g. vitamin C) and minerals (e.g. manganese).
Oh and their phytochemical- Yes, many antioxidants such as "anthocyanins" and "resveratrol" are found in these small and delicious fruits.
In fact, berries, grapes, and cherries may be the best dietary sources of these amazingly healthy compounds.
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.
Healthy Fats (avocado, olive oil, fatty fish)
Fat can be terribly inflammatory ("trans" fats), neutral (saturated fats), or anti-inflammatory ("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.
Green tea 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 even has higher levels of antioxidants than regular green tea.
Would a list of anti-inflammatory foods be complete without the amazing spice turmeric?
Turmeric contains the antioxidant curcumin.
This compound has been shown to reduce the pain of arthritis, as well as have anti-cancer and anti-diabetes properties.
Ok, This *may* be tide with my #1 pick of berries, grapes, and cherries.
Dark chocolate, with at least 70% cocoa is packed with anti-inflammatory antioxidants (namely "flavonols"). These reduce the risk of heart disease by keeping your arteries healthy. They've even been shown to prevent "neuro-inflammation" (inflammation of the brain and nerves). Reducing neuro-inflammation may help with long-term memory, and reduce the risk of dementia and stroke. Bring on the chocolate- BUT Make sure you avoid the sugary “candy bars.” You already know those aren’t going to be anti-inflammatory!
Which foods will you add to your diet to get your daily dose of "anti-inflammation?"