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.
1. Almonds (and other nuts)
Nuts are known for their anti-inflammatory nature, but some are better for you in this regard than others. Consider almonds, which consistently make lists of foods that can help with inflammation. Cashews are another good choice, and walnuts specifically help with rheumatoid arthritis. The great thing about most of these nuts is that they’re very versatile, making a great between meals snack or adding flavor to any main dish or side dish. It’s typically quite easy to start eating more of them by simply being more aware that they can help you with your inflammatory conditions.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has several different uses. You can add it to your water to help purify it, and it is often added to smoothies and other detox drinks for its healthy benefits. You can add it to any of your beverages or cooking for added anti-inflammatory properties. It’s major contribution is helping the digestive tract, and so you’re going to see the most benefit if you suffer from conditions like spastic colon and gastroenteritis. A healthier digestive system also means that you’ll be processing foods better, which can also aid in weight loss, an added bonus.
Many fruits made our list of anti-inflammatory foods, and apricots are one that you can add to your shopping cart regularly. Often with inflammation it’s all about the phytochemicals, and apricots have one in particular that helps in this department, called quercetin. Apricots also add a great taste to a salad. Consider a spinach salad with apricots and nuts like almonds as this would be a great mix of anti-inflammatory foods, while tasting great at the same time. Drizzle a little Extra Virgin Olive Oil as the dressing and you’ll have a nice meal for lunch and help stay healthy.
Besides being a Superfood, asparagus is also anti-inflammatory, so you can add this to your regular menu during the week as a go-to vegetable. It’s interesting to point out that not all veggies are anti-inflammatory, so you should lean more towards the ones that further your cause. Asparagus is nice because it makes a fantastic side all by itself, and also plays nice with other foods when used in a recipe. This is one vegetable that you’ll want to buy fresh if possible, but you can also opt for the frozen variety as well.
Avocado has a knack for making it onto several of our healthy foods lists, like our list of alkaline foods, and even the Healthiest Foods on the Planet list. It can add another feather to its cap by being an anti-inflammatory food as well. The healthy fats it contains make it a great choice for losing weight and fat loss, which is helpful if you are concerned about inflammation. Maintaining a healthy weight is important as it helps to keep inflammation under control and avocados can be of assistance in this department. Not to mention they taste great and can be added to just about any meal, even as a side garnish.
6. Basil (and other spices)
Spices are a great way to add anti-inflammatory properties to your meal. When you add spices like basil, parsley, and rosemary to your cooking you’ll be doing a bit more for yourself and helping to keep inflammation at bay. The added bonus is that they taste great, and are already included in many popular recipes, so it’s not something that you have to feel forced into using. You don’t have to use a bunch of it either, just a dash or a sprinkle will help matters, especially if you are already eating a meal consisting of anti-inflammatory foods listed on this page.
7. Bell Peppers
It’s the flavonoids in bell peppers that give them their anti-oxidant properties. It’s also the reason why they’re a Superfood. The bright colors are the tip off, and they contain some pretty powerful antioxidants that help your body in many ways, not just with inflammation. You can use bell peppers for weight loss, as they are a low calorie food, and the antioxidants they contain will help combat free radical damage within the body. Be sure to mix up the colors and alternate between red, yellow, and green so you’re getting a broader spectrum of flavonoids.
8. Black Beans (and other beans)
Beans of all kinds are anti-inflammatory, but black beans are the ones that are most commonly found, so they’re easier to incorporate into your diet starting today. Many restaurants now offer black beans as a side dish alternative so you can replace an inflammatory food like french fries for one that is anti-inflammatory. Beans are also digested slowly by the body, making them great for your weight loss efforts, and contain a good amount of fiber so your body is more regulated. All of this makes them a healthy choice overall, and since they’re easy to cook and go with many different foods, it’s easy to eat more of them.
9. Blueberries (and other berries)
Blueberries and other antioxidant-laden berries like raspberries and blackberries are also full of phytonutrients that give them their anti-inflammatory abilities. So you’re really getting a double feature here because anti-oxidants will help protect you from free radical damage, which has been shown to help prevent diseases like cancer and heart disease, and also they’ll help with inflammation which can worsen or cause many of the same diseases. Plus berries taste great and are one way to help start off your day feeling fantastic. Many times you will see them added to smoothies or detox drinks because they’re so cleansing and provide energy. You can drink those kinds of beverages for your anti-inflammation goals as well.
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