Inflammation, is not just another headline in the health industry it’s a fact.
Scientists have found inflammation in our bodies can be really bad for our health, especially when it’s chronic (i.e. lasts a long time).
Inflammation has been associated to obesity, heart disease, Alzheimer's, and diabetes, just to name a few.
I imagine you want to stay away of those horrible conditions and want to reduce inflammation as much as possible.
Am I right? So, what can be done?
What can you do to reduce inflammation?
One of the simplest ways to help you reduce inflammation is to incorporate foods that are packed with anti-inflammatory antioxidants. Here are my top anti-inflammatory food recommendations (psst... these foods have been scientifically proven to help reduce it):
Berries, Grapes, and Cherries
These are probably the most delicious anti-inflammatory foods.
Are these sweet treats a favorite of yours too?
Berries, grapes, and cherries are small and delicious fruits packed with fiber, antioxidants (i.e. anthocyanins and resveratrol), vitamins (i.e. vitamin C), and minerals (i.e. manganese).
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.
But peppers come in different colors, which one should I use?
Choose red peppers since peppers that are any other color are not fully ripe and won't have the same anti-inflammatory effect.
The recipe I’m sharing with you today, includes these two vegetables.
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.
The best anti-inflammatory fats are the unsaturated ones, including omega-3s. These are associated to a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.
Choose avocados, extra virgin olive oil, small fish like sardines and mackerel, and wild fish (e.g. salmon). Oh and let’s not 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 associated with a 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's thought to contain even higher levels of antioxidants than regular green tea.
If you haven’t this may be the reason you do.
This amazing spice cannot be left behind. 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.
I've added it to the broccoli and pepper recipe below for a 1-2-3 punch, to kick that inflammation.
Before you say anything in my defense I don’t care much for chocolate. That’s why my #1 pick is berries, grapes, and cherries.
But you are right, this can be considered a more decadent option.
That’s what probably my 3yr old would tell you. Although, I’ll have to test him to see which one he would pick, grapes or chocolate?
Dark chocolate, with at least 70% cocoa is packed with the anti-inflammatory antioxidants called 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). Which may help with long-term memory, and reduce the risk of dementia and stroke.
This may be a great reason to start liking dark chocolate.
Make sure you avoid the sugary “candy bars.” Those don’t fall in this category!
So, as you can see there are many amazingly delicious and nutritious anti-inflammatory foods you can choose from. They range from colorful fruits, vegetables, and spices, to healthy fats, and even chocolate.
You have so many reasons to add anti-inflammatory foods to your diet to get your daily dose of "anti-inflammation."
Broccoli, Pepper, Turmeric Quinoa Recipe
¾ cup dry quinoa (pre-rinsed)
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 dash salt
½ tbsp turmeric
1 dash black pepper
2 cups broccoli, chopped
1. In a saucepan place 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add the quinoa and simmer until the water is absorbed (about 10-15 minutes).
2. Melt coconut oil in a skillet. Add diced onions, turmeric, pepper and salt, and lightly sauté for a few minutes.
3. Add broccoli and lightly sauté for 5-6 minutes, until it becomes softened.
4. Add the cooked quinoa and stir everything together.
5. Serve & enjoy!
Tip: Add some cayenne pepper or curry spice for an extra spicy kick.