Instead of running to the pharmacy, head to the kitchen to fight inflammation. One of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce the signs of inflammation - redness, swelling, heat, pain and/or loss of function - is through the diet! Lifestyle factors such as stress, lack of exercise or movement, and poor diet may lead to chronic inflammation. When our body is in a state of chronic inflammation, it may result in health issues, illness, and disease. Prevent illness, reduce injury, and improve your health with the addition of these five anti-inflammatory foods!
Add this potent superfood to your diet! Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Turmeric has been studied for its ability to decrease pain and inflammation, delay aging, fight chronic disease, and even help prevent cancer. Try adding turmeric to stir fry’s or curries, juice it, add to smoothies, make a warming golden milk latte, or take it in a supplement form.
Tip: To increase the absorption rate of turmeric, add a dash of black pepper to activate your turmeric, and pair with a healthy fat!
This infamous anti-inflammatory is one of the healthiest spices to exist. Gingerol, the bioactive compound in ginger is the property responsible for ginger’s medicinal properties. From a nutritional standpoint, ginger is one of the strongest painkiller alternatives, helping to fight inflammation, reduce muscle pain and soreness, treat nausea, and even improve chronic disease. Add a little ginger to spice up any dish or beverage while improving your health!
Tip: When you’re feeling inflamed, nauseous, or hungover, try taking a ginger shot! Best paired with lemon and cayenne pepper for an extra anti-inflammatory kick
What aren’t avocados good for? High in antioxidants and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, these fruits reduce inflammation, promote brain development, and are nutrient rich. With 6-7 grams of fiber per half fruit, avocados are great for digestion and detoxification helping maintain a healthy digestive tract. Containing over 20 essential vitamins and minerals in a single fruit, avocados are a great source of B Vitamins, Vitamin C, E, K, folate, and potassium (they even have more potassium than bananas!) Though they are considered a fruit, an entire avocado only has about 1 gram of sugar, is low in carbohydrates, and is instead rich in healthy fat. This creamy fruit makes a delicious health conscious fat alternative when baking or cooking! Avocado brownies or pudding anyone?!
Tip: When choosing your avocados, pay attention to the shape!
Pear-shaped + bumpy skin = smaller seeds (more avocado!)
Round shape + smooth skin = larger seeds (less avocado!)
While all fruits are a great source of antioxidants, berries are the superstars. Low in sugar and calories, these superfoods are one of the healthiest foods you can incorporate into your diet. Berries are a rich source of polyphenols, flavonoids, and antioxidants and are just as delicious as they are nutritious. Various berries have various nutrients, so try getting a mix of berries into your diet to get all of the health benefits! Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries are the highest in nutrients, though berries such as acai berries, golden berries and cranberries are all delicious alternatives with substantial nutritional values!
Tip: Shop for organic berries whenever possible! Berries are #1 on the Dirty Dozen list for highest in pesticides! Frozen organic berries are a great alternative to the more expensive fresh berry alternatives. Frozen berries are flash-frozen to retain their nutrients and are much more affordable!
There is a reason why health is synonymous with green veggies! Dark leafy greens are some of the most nutrient dense food available, meaning they contain a high amount of nutrients while remaining low in calories. Leafy greens have been shown to reduce chronic inflammation, are packed with phytonutrients and fiber, and contain a wide variety of vitamins and antioxidants. The darker the green, the more nutrient dense! Add these Dark Leafy veggies to your list: Arugula, Spinach, Kale, Collard Greens, Swiss Chard, Romaine Lettuce and Chicory.
Tip: Generally, the darker the green the more nutrient dense! Look for greens that are dark green with little to no yellow or wilting
In addition to the beneficial foods above, incorporating wellness treatments like cryotherapy, red light therapy, and time in an infrared sauna can all help to reduce inflammation. Book an appointment at Livkraft in La Jolla to experience a holistic approach to your health and wellness