Inflammation is your body’s natural way of protecting itself when you are injured or sick; it helps to defend your body and to also stimulate natural healing. Conversely, chronic inflammation can be harmful to your body and it is often linked to diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, or fibromyalgia. Little do many know, some of the common foods we eat can play a role to improve the inflammation in our body. Foods that Reduce Inflammation
The first food is berries, most common being strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and my favorite boysenberries. Berries are small fruits packed with fiber, vitamins and most importantly antioxidants. Antioxidants have tremendous anti-inflammatory effects and have been known to help decrease your risk of many diseases.
Next on our list is broccoli. Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable (cruciferous means being a member of the mustard family) like cauliflower and Brussel sprouts (ask me for a great Brussel sprout recipe) that are known to have anti-inflammatory benefits as well as decreasing risks for cancer heart disease.
Number three on our list is a “superfood” called avocados. Avocados are packed with nutrients and minerals that reduce inflammation in the body and are known to reduce the risks of cancer. They also make a delicious snack that you can dip tortilla chips in.
Next up are peppers. Bell Peppers and chili peppers are loaded with vitamins and anti-oxidants to provide significant anti-inflammatory benefits and lead to healthier aging.
Grapes have been shown in research to contain minerals that are significant anti-inflammatories but also help reduce the risk of disease including heart disease, obesity, Alzheimer’s, and eye disorders. Hmmm, maybe a glass of wine a day is not a bad thing…
Extra virgin Olive Oil is one of the healthiest fats you can eat. Last week we discussed trans-fats as being one of the worst foods you can eat. Many times vegetable oils contain these trans fats. Olive oil, on the other hand, has been linked to decrease the risk of heart disease, and brain cancer. The anti-inflammatory benefits of extra virgin olive oil have been compared to anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen.
Turmeric is actually a spice used in curry dishes that has powerful anti-inflammatory benefits. The benefits of turmeric are most noticeable for people with inflammatory arthritis.
Next to last is the tomato. Tomatoes are a “nutritional powerhouse” that have very impressive anti-inflammatory properties. Research has shown that cooking tomatoes actually results in an improved nutrient uptake by the body.
Last, but not least, on our list is chocolate. Not any chocolate, but dark chocolate. The benefits of dark chocolate have been known for a long time and the food itself is also delicious! In order to receive the benefits of dark chocolate, make sure the chocolate contains at least 70% cocoa with more cocoa all the better