By Stuart Cooke
Inflammation is not our friend, it can be the underlying cause for weight gain, the precursor to ill-health and has been linked to high cholesterol and heart disease (watch the 2-minute video here).
Food allergies, poor food choices, a stressful lifestyle and lack of quality sleep all take their toll in the form of inflammation. Take the first step and tackle inflammation head on, reduce processed, refined and sugary foods and then include smart choices from the 10 anti-inflammatory foods listed below.
Side note: After delving into the world of inflammation I undertook a simple 40 minute food sensitivity test from our Naturopath Tania Flack and found that I was highly reactive to eggs which was causing internal inflammation. After dropping the eggs I’m sleeping better, have more energy and feel better than ever – Stu.
Top 10 Anti-inflammatory Foods are:
1) Salmon (wild is better than farmed):
Our favourite oily cold water fish contains anti-inflammatory omega-3s which have been known to help numerous ailments. If you’re not a fan of fish, try a high quality fish supplement.
Kelp has unique anti-inflammatory properties found in the substance fucoidan. It’s high in fibre, and helps control liver and lung function while dousing inflammation. It’s also high in vitamins A, B1, B2, C, D and E.
3) Extra Virgin Olive Oil:
This oil provides a healthy dose of fats that fights inflammation, can help lower risks of asthma and arthritis, as well as protect the heart and blood vessels. Great on salads mixed with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.
4) Cruciferous Vegetables:
Broccoli, brussel sprouts, kale and cauliflower are all loaded with antioxidants. Naturally detoxifying, they can help rid the body of possible harmful compounds.
Blueberries not only reduce inflammation, but they can protect the brain from ageing and prevent diseases. Aim for organic berries, as pesticides are hard to wash away due to their size.
This powerful Asian spice contains a natural anti-inflammatory compound, curcumin, which is often found in curry blends. It is said to have the same effect as over-the counter pain relievers.
Ginger helps reduce inflammation and control blood sugar. Ginger tea is a great addition to any diet. Try a slice of fresh ginger and lemon with hot water when you wake up.
Garlic can help reduce inflammation, regulate glucose and help your body fight infection. It’s good for joint pain too as the anti-arthritic property of garlic is due to diallyl sulphide and thiacremonone.
9) Green Tea:
Like produce, this tea contains anti-inflammatory flavonoids that have been shown to reduce the risks of heart disease and some cancers. Coupled with the awesome anti-oxident qualities and you’re onto a winner.
10) Sweet Potatos:
These gems are a good source of complex carbohydrate, beta-carotene, manganese, vitamin B6 and C as well as dietary fibre. Working together, these nutrients are powerful antioxidants that help to heal inflammation.