Fighting chronic inflammation with food is smart and much nicer than taking supplements and drugs.
So, you knock on the next door of life. The one that is super close to the one labelled in big ass letters ARCHAIC and your elbow jumps in pain with each echoey rap. That, my nearly ancient friend, is chronic inflammation.
Chronic inflammation is like that really annoying relative that just won’t leave. He moves in on weak links in your body and without care and attention from you will never leave. Whenever you sit they are there. When you head off on your walk in the morning he makes sure to remind you that your knees hurt. In the spring when your sinuses feel like they are about to explode, he’s getting right up your nose.
Inflammation is a vital part of the body’s immune system.
Instances when it can be considered chronic include –
Inflammation is linked to obesity, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes.
Eating anti-inflammatory foods is a great way to naturally improve inflammation. I have included my top recommendations for you here.
Berries are packed with fibre, and antioxidant vitamins e.g. vitamin C and minerals like manganese.
Another top antioxidant, resveratrol is found in dark chocolate and red wine. So it’s not like we need to go around munching on raw kale or anything. It goes without saying that a vat of red wine is not what we are talking about, we’re not drowning the inflammation, just warding it off.
Dark chocolate, with at least 70% cocoa is packed with anti-inflammatory antioxidants “flavonols”. These reduce the risk of heart disease by keeping your arteries healthy and they have been shown to prevent “neuroinflammation”, inflammation of the brain and nerves. Reducing neuroinflammation may help with long-term memory, and reduce the risk of dementia and stroke. Make sure you hide it in the back of the fridge where the kids can’t see it.
Please avoid the sugary “candy bars.” You already know those aren’t going to be anti-inflammatory!
Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that contains the antioxidant “sulforaphane.” This anti-inflammatory compound is associated with reduced risk of heart disease and cancer.
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 colours. Peppers that are any other colour are not fully ripe and won’t have the same anti-inflammatory effect.
I pack these two super-healthy vegetables together in this week’s recipe (see below).
Fat can be inflammatory, hello “trans” fats. Neutral as in saturated fats. Or anti-inflammatory welcome omega-3s, this is why choosing the right fats is so important.
The best anti-inflammatory fats are unsaturated fats including omega-3s. These can reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.
Opt for fresh avocados, extra virgin olive oil, small fish: sardines and mackerel, and wild fish like salmon. Don’t forget the omega-3 seeds like chia, hemp, and flax, be still my beating heart.
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 contains higher levels of antioxidants than regular green tea and makes fabulous lattes.
Would a list of anti-inflammatory foods be complete without the amazing spice turmeric?
Turmeric contains the antioxidant curcumin.
This compound reduces the pain of arthritis and has anti-cancer and anti-diabetes properties.
I’ve added it to the broccoli and pepper recipe below for a 1-2-3 punch.
Always, when eating Tumeric, it pays to add a pinch of pepper which increases our ability to absorb all its wondrous health benefits.
With this list of delicious foods, you have so many reasons to add anti-inflammatory foods to your diet. Make sure to add them to your shopping list now.
Melt coconut oil in a skillet. Lightly sauté the diced onions, turmeric, pepper and salt for a few minutes.
Add broccoli and sauté for 4-5 minutes, until it starts to soften.
Finally, add the cauliflower and cook until softened.
Serve & enjoy!
Tip 1: To speed up the process pre-cook the broccoli and cauliflower in the microwave.
Tip 2: Add some cayenne pepper or curry spice for an extra spicy kick.