5 Delicious Ways to Reduce Inflammation
Making the Choice to Support Rather than Harm
I recently shared an article about food that can cause inflammation in the body. You can check that out here. Inflammation seems to be a hot topic right now. There is more and more science to prove that inflammation in the body is the root of disease. There is a direct connection between inflammation and autoimmune diseases, arthritis, high blood pressure, irritable bowel and so many other illnesses.
The fact of the matter is, we can fight inflammation in our body by avoiding the foods that cause inflammation (things like processed foods, gluten, sugar etc), as well as by eating foods that fight it. That is good news for all of us! A diet that fights inflammation is going to be full of fresh fruit and vegetables, wild meat as well as nuts and seeds.
I want to share with you my top five food choices for fighting inflammation in the body. The exciting news is, all of these foods have many other benefits for your body!
#1 — Leafy green vegetables
These green veggies are high in antioxidants and polyphenols which fight inflammation in the body. Increasing your consumption of these vegetables is going to support your body as it restores cellular health.
Other benefits include:
- Lowering your risk of cancer
- Protect your bones from osteoporosis
- Low in calories and carbohydrates
- Provide an array of vitamins and minerals
If you struggle eating these veggies from a plate, you could juice them or make a smoothie instead. Either way, just make sure you are getting lots of these veggies.
#2 — Dark berries, citrus fruit and mango
Eating fresh fruit is a great way to support your body and fight inflammation. There are several fruits that are full of antioxidants. These antioxidants protect the body from damage by free radicals (a molecule or atom with an unpaired electron that may react with cells in the body and cause damage to those cells). That protection helps keep the body free of inflammation.
Blueberries, other dark berries and citrus fruit in particular, have quercetin which is a flavonoid (phytonutrients aka plant chemicals) that has been shown to fight inflammation. They also help the body fight oxidative stress which helps with memory and motor function.
Another fruit that is great for inflammation is the mango. The vitamins, minerals and carotenoids (plant pigments that protect health in the plant and in those that eat them) found in these fruits also fight inflammation in the body. They also boost your immune system and support a healthy heart!
#3 — Bone Broth
One of my most favorite things is bone broth. Not only is it delicious and make the best soups on the planet, but it is also very helpful in reducing inflammation.
Bone broths (all types) are nutrient-rich, easy to digest and boost healing. The long simmering process causes the bones to release collagen/gelatin and amino acids like proline, glycine and glutamine.
Collagen/gelatin is great for our joint health, skin health and helps seal the gut lining and aid in healing digestive issues. Gelatin also promotes good probiotics.
Amino acids in bone broth helps regenerate damaged cells, help detoxify the body, help regenerate cartilage and heal joints, protects gut health and boosts metabolism.
All these healing benefits are going to help the body release inflammation!
#4 — Seeds
Eat your seeds! Seeds are a great resource for reducing inflammation. Specifically, I’m referring to pumpkin, flax, chia, hemp and sesame seeds. These seeds all are good for the body in so many ways! They have good Omega-3 fatty acids as well as lots of antioxidants. Both of these are very supportive of the body and releasing inflammation.
All these seeds have other health benefits too! Things like:
- Reducing cholesterol
- Reducing blood pressure
- Healthier skin
- Reduced risk for heart disease
And that is just the short list! One of my favorite ways to get seeds is by making my own seed crackers.
#5 — Spice
There are several spices that are particularly anti-inflammatory. Spices also have lots of antioxidants, they also serve to keep your gut healthy and happy.
My top three choices for spices to fight inflammation are:
Turmeric — You likely have heard about the benefits of turmeric. This is largely due to the curcumin which is very potent as an antioxidant and can dramatically reduce inflammation. It can also inhibit the growth of cancer cells as well as improve insulin resistance. I don’t know about you, but I need more of this in my diet!
Tip — Add some turmeric to warm almond milk for a delicious anti-inflammatory golden milk.
Ginger — This one has been used for centuries to help manage pain and reduce inflammation. It has a potent antioxidant, 6-gingerol, that inhibits the production of the specific free radicals that cause inflammation and pain. It acts like a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen or Aleve.
Tip — Add some ginger to your next smoothie for a kick as well as these wonderful benefits.
Cinnamon — You may have already heard about cinnamon’s ability to lower and balance blood sugar. But it also is antioxidant rich and had anti-inflammatory properties. Cinnamon specifically blocks pro-inflammatory genes and growth factors for abnormal cell growth.
Tip — Add some cinnamon to your morning cup of coffee! Your body will thank you!
I love using spices targeted to cleansing during my food cleanses, and all three of these spices are ones I use. When I work with my clients, we work to incorporate all of these things into their diets as well as limiting the ones that cause inflammation. My clients find that they release inflammation and feel better.
How about you? Are you looking for ways to reduce your inflammation? Comment below and tell me about it.
Sherry Parks is a Wellness Coach who helps career women escape feeling trapped and out of control in their work life, so that they are happy on their own terms and have joy and excitement for their life. Grab her Free PDF, Top Tips for Successful Food Cleansing, here.
To connect with Sherry, join her women-only Facebook group Lives in Balance.