Thursday, May 26, 2016

Anti-Inflammatory Foods for a Healthier Body

Eating an anti-inflammatory diet can help reduce inflammation in the body and help with certain conditions that are caused by or worsened by inflammation. This can include diseases like heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Crohn’s disease, to conditions like eczema, asthma, and arthritis. 
The great part about eating anti-inflammatory foods is that many are also Superfoods, and good for you for a host of other reasons, including warding off cancer, losing weight, and having more energy.

The following are some examples and I selected those that I eat frequently. :)

16. Carrots
Carrots get a lot of respect from health food circles, and it’s pretty easy to see why. The beta carotene levels are impressive, and it also ranks highly in Vitamin A. One of the most popular ways to get more carrots is by drinking carrot juice. This is because it can be rather monotonous to chew up a carrot, and it’s hard to chew it up enough to release all of the nutrients. By blending it up and drinking the juice you’re unlocking all of that goodness. Add a carrot to your next smoothie for an anti-inflammatory upgrade.

17. Cauliflower
Cauliflower often gets paired with broccoli, both on the plate and during nutritional comparisons. They’re both cruciferous vegetables and their nutritional profile is quite similar. But the taste and texture is much different if you stop and appreciate each for what it is. Cauliflower contains the elusive Vitamin K, and a heaping dose of Vitamin C, powerful antioxidants that alone make it worth eating. But it’s the anti-inflammatory properties of cauliflower that are perhaps just as impressive, so it deserves a spot on your regular menu.

21. Cucumber
Cucumber is one vegetable that deserves more of the spotlight. It’s an alkaline-forming food, plus it’s ultra-hydrating, contains antioxidants, and has shown to be an anti-inflammatory food. The best part is that you can add it to a salad that is loaded with other anti-inflammatory vegetables and do yourself a huge service. It’s also great blended up in a green smoothie. Cucumbers are often used in the detox process, both eaten and used on the body such as in soaps and shampoos and also to help with puffiness around the eyes. It’s a very handy vegetable!

25. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) is an oil you’ll want to keep by your side in the kitchen due to its particular anti-inflammatory properties. It can easily become your go-to oil for use when cooking certain foods, but also as a great salad dressing, or used to top any dish that is a little dry and needs something to help its texture. It has a light flavor and simply can’t be overlooked because it has anti-inflammatory effects akin to taking certain drugs to treat inflammatory conditions. It actually contains a natural ingredient that is particularly effective at fighting inflammation, so you shouldn’t overlook this important oil.

31. Green Tea (and other teas)
Green tea has plenty of health benefits, including being able to help prevent cancer or even fight it if you have it. The antioxidant value is often trumpeted as the reason why it’s something to add to your daily routine. There are several other herbal teas that are good for an anti-inflammatory diet, and you’ll want to opt for ones that have flavonoids, as this is what gives them their anti-inflammatory benefits. What’s interesting is that many of these herbal teas are easy to prepare, and simply involve adding hot water to an herb or a tea bag full of an herbal mix.

38. Oats
Go for the steel-cut variety of oats, and opt out of the instant oatmeal packs you find on store shelves with added flavors and sugars. You’ll appreciate this anti-inflammatory food because it will give you plenty of energy and keep you full for several hours if prepared correctly and eaten in the right portion. Oats consistently rank as one of the healthier foods you can eat, specifically as a way to keep your heart healthy and maintain a proper weight. A breakfast of oatmeal is one way to stabilize blood sugars, and provide yourself with sustainable energy and no crash.

40. Oranges
Oranges are packed with broad spectrum of phytonutrients and and flavonoids, and this gives them their status as a super-healthy fruit. Of course we all know that they’re full of Vitamin C, and can give you a needed boost of energy when you need it, they’re also anti-inflammatory. Some might have trouble eating fruits that contain citric acid, but if you are not one of them this is something to start eating daily if possible. Oranges are a great fruit that is always available in both conventional and organic options at most grocery stores.

41. Papaya
Papaya is not a top-selling fruit in most parts of the United States, but it is one of the healthiest fruits you can eat, especially if you are trying to follow an anti-inflammatory diet. That’s because there are ingredients in papaya that aren’t found in other fruits that particularly gives it the edge on inflammation. Papaya is often made into a fruit salad, and it tastes great when mixed with other similar fruits. Once you get the knack for how to prepare papaya you’ll be happy you did, since you can enjoy it when it’s in season.

42. Pineapple
Pineapple gets mad props for its anti-inflammatory benefits, and you can enjoy it any way that you can, either by preparing it fresh, or finding it frozen or canned. It does have a large amount of sugar, so those that are watching their blood sugar levels to prevent or manage diabetes should check to see how their bodies handle it and keep portion sizes reasonable. It’s a great fruit to enjoy with other similar fruits like oranges, strawberries, and grapefruit, helping to add some sweet to the sour taste of citrus fruits.

46. Salmon (and other fish)
Salmon is one of the best types of fish to eat if you are trying to help with an inflammatory disease or condition. That’s because it has copious amounts of omega-3s in it, and these have been verified over and over again as having a strong anti-inflammatory effect. The consumption of salmon and other fish that are high in omega-3s like anchovies and sardines can help combat the over-consumption of foods with omega-6 in them. An improper balance of omega-6s to omega-3s can actually lead to inflammation and is what is helped by eating more omega-3 foods.

47. Shiitake Mushrooms
For a long time we’ve known about the benefits of shiitake mushrooms to the immune system, but it’s only been recently recognized as an anti-inflammatory food. Unlike other mushrooms they contain specific substances called polysaccharides that provide the anti-inflammatory benefits you’re seeking. The great part is that you can use these mushrooms in place of ordinary mushrooms in all of your favorite recipes, since they cook up just like them and provide a similar yet distinct taste, so no reason to be shy around them.

48. Shrimp (and other shellfish)
You can enjoy shrimp and oysters as part of an anti-inflammatory diet, as long as you don’t have an allergy of course. Shrimp themselves are rich in astaxanthin, which is what is responsible for their anti-inflammatory properties. Additional shellfish choices include oysters and scallops which have been said to be slightly anti-inflammatory. Just be sure to keep your portion of these meats to a minimum and focus more on filling your plate with vegetables found on this page, as these types of shellfish are known to be high in cholesterol, so get just enough to help meet your protein needs.

49. Spinach
Spinach is something we should all eat more of since it is one of the most nutrient dense vegetables around. It is full of fiber, phytonutrients, and protein, making it an all around good source of nutrition. It is also an anti-inflammatory food that you can have each day if you want as part of a health conscious diet that helps you avoid things like heart disease and even cancer. Spinach is so easy to incorporate into your diet because it’s as simple as buying baby spinach and using that as the foundation for a salad each day. You can also find it frozen, or put fresh spinach into a smoothie to make it green.

52. Tomatoes
Tomatoes are good for you for so many reasons, mainly for the lycopene they contain. They’ve long been suggested as part of a heart-healthy diet for the boost to the cardiovascular system. You can eat them any way you can, either raw or cooked, and you can buy them in several different forms as well, including fresh and canned. They consistently make lists of anti-inflammatory foods, and are one of the more highly-researched items on this page, with verifiable proof that you are helping to calm inflammation by eating them.

56. Zucchini
This is a vegetable that makes it onto plenty of dinner tables each night, and maybe when word gets out that it’s an anti-inflammatory food it will become even more popular. While not as anti-inflammatory as some of the other more powerful vegetables like spinach and cabbage, it’s still a worthwhile addition to your weekly menu plan. Zucchini is so easy to prepare and serve up, and tastes great as well. You probably have your own set of recipes that use Zucchini, and if you’re ever stuck you can always do a quick search and get plenty more. It’s that easy to use, and always comes out wonderful.

Anti-Inflammatory FAQ

Will eating anti-inflammatory foods help with sciatica?
If you have an inflamed sciatic nerve and continue to eat inflammatory foods you will not be helping your condition, but rather making it worse or prolonging it. By changing your diet to include foods that not only are anti-inflammatory but also contain antioxidants and other healthy things your body needs you are giving your body the best bet at healing itself.

Will eating anti-inflammatory foods help with fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is caused by inflammation and sticking with an anti-inflammatory diet over the long term should help to keep symptoms at bay. It’s always best to consult with your doctor to come up with the best treatment plan for your specific condition. However, eating a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods and that cuts out foods that are known to cause inflammation is a positive and proactive step.

Will eating anti-inflammatory foods help with a toothache?
There is some indication that eating anti-inflammatory foods will help your toothache, namely because they contain many fruits and vegetables and help you to avoid sugar and other foods that may lead to additional tooth pain.

Will eating anti-inflammatory foods help with hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are an inflammatory condition and eating anti-inflammatory foods should help calm them down. Keep in mind though that this is no overnight solution, and if your hemorrhoids are bad enough you might not want to wait up to two weeks to have any relief. In this instance a topical solution mixed with dietary changes should yield the best result.

What are the top anti-inflammatory foods?
Some of the absolute best anti-inflammatory foods you can eat are Wild Salmon, Trout, Turmeric, Garlic, Onions, Cabbage, Kale, Spinach, Flaxseed, and Extra Virgin Olive Oil. These give you the most bang for your buck from an anti-inflammatory standpoint. Of course you don’t need to eat them all at every meal, but choosing one or two to eat every day will be a big help.

Stay healthy! :)

Cheers all

Om Guru Lian Sheng Siddhi Hom
Lama Lotuschef

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