Updated: Sep 28
Inflammation refers to your body’s natural process of fighting off things that could be harmful - such as infections, toxins and injuries, in an attempt to heal itself. When cells get damaged, our body releases chemicals that trigger a response from our immune system.
In the case of acute inflammation (like a bruise or swelling from an injury), this doesn't linger for longer than a few days.
On the other hand, chronic inflammation occurs when our body’s fighting off response persists and leaves us in a state of defense. This persistent state of alert can be harmful to our health. Chronic inflammation can be brought on by exposure to toxins like pollution, industrial chemicals, chemicals ingested and put on our skin like creams and soaps. Chronic inflammation can lead to disease such as cancer, heart disease, depression, arthritis and Alzheimer’s.
The good news is that we can use foods to combat chronic inflammation. On a daily basis, you can add in all of these delicious ingredients to your meals to reduce inflammation rather than consuming inflammatory foods like sugar, soda, refined carbs, alcohol, red meat and processed foods.
Here are 7 Anti-Inflammatory Foods you can include in your diet every day to improve your health!
Vegetables are the number one thing missing from the Standard American Diet and are the first thing I recommend adding in. Leafy greens such as kale, bok choy, spinach, swiss chard, and cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, brussel sprouts and broccoli have powerful anti-inflammatory effects and reduce certain levels in the body that drive inflammation. Avocado and chili peppers also have been shown to have properties that protect our body. Cook vegetables into your egg frittata or add them to your soups and smoothies.
Nuts When it comes to combating inflammation, omega-3 fatty acids are where it's at. Seeds and nuts are packed with anti-inflammatory effects. Add pistachios, hemp seeds, flaxseeds, almonds, and walnuts to your diet to help reduce inflammation. I love sprinkling nuts on my salads, yogurt and oatmeal.
Berries Berries like strawberries, blueberries and acai are packed with antioxidants that may reduce inflammation while also boosting immunity. Pack them into smoothies, stir them into oatmeal, or make your own acai bowl. Berries are sweet enough on their own, so remember it's not necessary to add any sugar to them.
Turmeric Turmeric has a powerful constituent called curcumin, which is what's responsible for turmeric's rapid rise in popularity. It has serious anti-inflammatory benefits. Trendy golden lattes are on the rise and can be bought at many coffee shops. I like to add turmeric to my eggs, soups, quinoa and dressings. Tip: Add freshly ground black pepper to increase turmeric's absorption.
Ginger Ginger helps ease inflammation by slowing the body's production of cytokines, a protein that triggers chronic inflammation. Ginger's a natural remedy for an upset stomach, too. Serve it with sautéed vegetables, add some to your juice or even bake it in your cookies.
One of my favorites. The cocoa in dark chocolate is one of the best sources of antioxidants including polyphenols, flavanols, and catechins that help fight free radical damage on cells. Tip - choose dark chocolate with cocoa content higher than 70% and avoid the types that have added sugar, to get the full benefit of this numerous antioxidant.
Water Last but not least, there's water: It hydrates us and helps your cells function properly. For an anti-inflammatory upgrade, make tea! Green or black tea has flavonoids, which have anti-inflammatory properties. Brew it yourself to avoid any unwanted sugars from packaged versions.
Looking for an easy, convenient way to start adding these anti-inflammatory foods into your diet today? The Clean Eats™ program is a super easy, 4-day meal program delivered right to your door (New York Clients Only).
Each week we cook up delicious, nutritious, nutrient-dense breakfast, snacks and lunches that contain seasonal, anti-inflammatory ingredients to help you live a healthy, nutritious lifestyle with ease.
Sign up for the next Clean Eats Program.
Our new menu is up for next week. Order are due by Thursday September 15th at 10 pm. Delivery on Sunday, September 18th.