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Foods to Fight Inflammation
Inflammation is usually associated with swelling and pain from an injury such as a sprained ankle or even from a sinus infection. This is considered to be acute inflammation and is usually of short duration. There is another form of inflammation that is low-grade and is generally not associated with pain. Low-grade inflammation is linked to several health conditions that include: cancer, diabetes, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease. Research is emerging relating diet and inflammation and how it may effect these issues.
Foods that May Help Fight Inflammation
- Omega-3 Fats - these fats are converted into substances that may decrease inflammation. Foods rich in omega-3s include: salmon, sardines, halibut, herring, mackerel and flax seed meal.
- ✓ Eat a variety of seafood at least twice a week.
- Probiotics - are found in foods that are fermented and may reduce inflammation in the gut. Foods rich in probiotics are: yogurt, kefir, acidophilus milk, buttermilk, sauerkraut and kimchi.
- ✓ Beware of added sugar, calories and salt in these foods. Have Greek yogurt with fresh berries for a snack.
- Herbs and Spices - play a role in reducing inflammation and are rich in antioxidants. Rosemary, sage, thyme, oregano, turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg and cayenne pepper.
- ✓ Use herbs & spices instead of salt. Try adding nutmeg to oatmeal.
- Antioxidant-Rich - foods quiet the immune system and reduce inflammation. Colorful fruits & vegetables, onions, garlic and olive oil are excellent sources of antioxidants.
- ✓ Add a variety of colorful vegetables to soups & pasta dishes. Choose different fruits daily as well.
- Healthy Carbs - are minimally processed and fiber rich such as: vegetables, legumes, fresh whole fruit and whole grains. These will minimize spikes in blood sugar which may help reduce inflammation.
- ✓ Use garbanzo beans or lentils in salads or add berries to oatmeal for a quick and easy breakfast.
MINIMIZE Foods that Fuel Inflammation
- Fried or grilled foods
- ✓ Choose baked or broiled instead
- Highly processed foods and fast foods
- ✓ Have minimally processed fresh whole foods
- Refined sugars and grains
- ✓ Choose yogurt and fresh fruit instead of ice cream
- Excessive omega-6 fats - [found in refined vegetable oils including corn and soy oil]
- ✓ Use olive, avocado or peanut oil
- Partially hydrogenated/trans fats [found in processed baked goods and margarine.]
- ✓ Try herbs & spices along with olive oil on vegetables instead of margarine.
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