June 18, 2014

Inflammation generally means infection. That holds true whether you are talking about a cut on your finger or something that is more of a system wide problem like an overload of toxins. Your body responds to irritation, damage and harmful organisms much in the same way as it responds to a cut.

Fighting Inflammation with Food

Your body often takes care of inflammation on its own. However, if the problem doesn’t go away, the issue could be chronic inflammation. These foods have been shown to help fight inflammation that may cause swelling, redness, pain, fever and a general feeling of being unwell. Try to incorporate more of these healthy foods into your diet.

  • Fish like salmon and mackerel have been shown to help fight inflammation due to their fatty oil content.
  • Avocado is a great source of healthy fats and also helps reduce inflammation. One of my favorite ways to enjoy avocado is in a fresh salad.
  • Walnuts are both anti-inflammatory and high in antioxidants. A healthy serving of nuts is about an ounce. Snack on them alone or top your salad with them.
  • An Indian spice called turmeric has been shown to help with inflammation like that from rheumatoid arthritis and swelling of the joints. Try serving curry for dinner a few times a month to use this healthy spice.
  • Broccoli, kale and collard greens are healthy leafy greens that help your body fight inflammation. When choosing salad greens, always choose dark over light.
  • Extra virgin olive oil is a very healthy choice for many reasons. It is known to help with weight loss, lowering cholesterol and reducing inflammation.
  • Beets are a delicious vegetable known for heart health and reduction of swelling. You can eat them raw or boiled. I enjoy yellow beats roasted in olive oil and garlic salt. You can even thinly slice the beets, add olive oil and salt and roast on both sides until they are crisp for homemade beet chips.

There are other foods that help fight inflammation as well but these are the ones I find easiest to incorporate into my diet. I even manage to sneak a few into the kid’s meals without complaint. They love walnuts on top of their yogurt or their oatmeal in the morning and one of their favorite snacks is to have tortilla chips along with sour cream, salsa and guacamole to dip.

Do you have any favorite recipes that use these foods that fight inflammation?