09 Dec Fight Inflammation with Good Food and Spices!
Inflammation is a hot topic in the world of health and nutrition. It’s the body’s natural response to an infection or injury and without it our body would not be able to heal. However, inflammation that persists—known as chronic inflammation—plays a role in serious illnesses such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and many types of cancer. Thankfully healthy food choices among other lifestyle choices can reduce risk of developing chronic inflammation.
There may not be one super food to cure chronic inflammation, but a healthy and varied diet can boost the body’s immune system and reduce inflammatory stress. Additionally, other lifestyle choices that reduce risk of chronic inflammation include: maintaining a healthy weight, getting plenty of sleep and engaging in regular physical activity.
This month I’m sharing foods and spices that help fight inflammation. Enjoy all the autumn harvest has to offer by incorporating seasonal produce and spices into meals, all while fighting inflammation. Remember, you have to eat well to feel great!
Cranberries contain phytonutrients shown to have anti-inflammatory effects on the cardiovascular system and digestive tract. Sprinkle a handful of dried cranberries in your morning oatmeal or mix with roasted nuts for a quick healthy snack.
2. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes have high amounts of antioxidants—beta-carotene, vitamin E and vitamin C—that have anti-inflammatory benefits. Try roasting sweet potatoes in the oven and drizzling with honey or maple syrup for a warm fall dessert.
Apples are plentiful in fall and have been shown to reduce inflammation through their polyphenol content. They’re great on their own for a quick grab and go snack or are delicious baked with cinnamon sprinkled on top.
The magnesium found in dates has been linked to reduced blood pressure and has anti-inflammatory benefits. Dates are naturally sweet and are great when used in baking as an alternative sweetener or an elegant appetizer stuffed with cheese or nuts.
Pumpkin is one of the best sources of alpha- and beta-carotene, which gives pumpkin its orange hue. The seeds are a good source of alpha-linolenic acid, known to fight inflammation. Toast pumpkin seeds in the oven and drizzle with olive oil, sprinkled with sea salt for a delicious fall snack.
Pecans are a traditional fall staple, rich in magnesium and are known to have anti-inflammatory benefits. Pecans are great in salads or as a topping on hot cereal. Toasting pecans enhances their flavor.
7. Turnip Greens
The greens of this root veggie are an excellent source of vitamin K and omega-3 fatty acids, both known as anti-inflammatory nutrients. Turnip greens are great sautéed or drizzled with a vinaigrette dressing.
Inflammation is a natural reaction from injury or infection of the body. However, inflammation that becomes chronic can take a negative toll on the body. Chronic inflammation has be linked to illness that can be life threatening, but luckily incorporation of these food and spices in your diet, along with a active lifestyle, will reduce the risk of chronic inflammation. To receive further information and tips on helpful topics, you can purchase one of Eat 2 Performs workbooks that allow access to informative nutrition tips to improve your overall health!
by Rafael Bettencourt
Check out the Family Nutrition Workbook for more ways to improve your health!