9 anti-inflammatory foods you should be eating

By Louise Belle BHSc (Nut Med)

Some inflammation in the body is necessary, such as when you cut your finger and your immune system responds to prevent infection. Chronic, low grade inflammation on the other hand can be detrimental to your health. It can affect your mood, your digestion, energy levels, blood pressure and immunity – just to name a few. A large percentage of the population eat a highly inflammatory diet without even realising, and this doesn’t do your body any favours! Processed foods, damaged vegetable oils, sugar, gluten, artificial additives and dairy can all contribute to excess inflammation in the body. Including additional anti-inflammatory foods in your diet is always a good thing!

1. Nuts

Nuts contain healthy omega 3 fats that help to fight inflammation in the body. Brazil nuts in particular are the richest food source of the mineral selenium which has anti-inflammatory properties, is a powerful antioxidant and supports a healthy immune system. Unfortunately, Australian soils are depleted and as a result, many people aren’t getting enough selenium in their diet. This is where a selenium supplement can be beneficial.

2. Leafy greens

Leafy green vegetables such as rocket, spinach, cabbage and bok choy are packed with minerals like calcium and magnesium that help to rebalance acidity in the body. They are also full of compounds such as lutein which reduces inflammation and may help to protect against macular degeneration and protect heart health.

3. Citrus fruit

Lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruit, mandarins and tangerines are loaded with vitamin C and bioflavonoids that reduce inflammation in the body and support the immune system. Vitamin C is also beneficial for supporting healthy collagen production and reducing joint pain and inflammation.

4. Ginger

This zingy vegetable is fantastic at reducing inflammation and pain in the body. It is also great for calming nausea and fighting against viruses or infections. Do yourself a favour and put raw ginger in your juices, or steep it in warm water to reap the benefits.

5. Green tea

Green tea is believed to have many benefits, stretching from weight loss, to improved memory and reduced risk of cancer. It is rich in a compound called Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG) which is a potent anti-inflammatory substance that can prevent cell damage. Sipping on a green tea of a morning or afternoon may do more for you than give you a little energy boost.

6. Garlic

When fresh garlic is chopped or crushed, it releases a property called allicin which is responsible for many of garlic’s health benefits. Garlic has potent anti-inflammatory properties, as well as being antibacterial, antimicrobial and antifungal. Including raw garlic in your regular diet is both beneficial and delicious!

7. Berries

Strawberries, blueberries, cherries, raspberries and blackberries are rich in a class of antioxidants called anthocyanins, which have strong anti-inflammatory abilities, and protect cells against free radical damage. Berries are also a great source of immune-boosting vitamin C.

8. Salmon

This wonderful fish is bursting with omega 3 fats that reduce inflammation in the body and nourish our organs. In particular they are a great source of omega 3 EPA and DHA which have the most anti-inflammatory benefits. Wild caught Atlantic salmon is preferable, as farmed fish is generally contaminated with heavy metals.

9. Turmeric

This tasty spice has been gaining popularity in recent years for its vast range of health benefits. Turmeric is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties, and also acts as an antioxidant and supports the liver. The active compound in turmeric- curcumin is combined with green lipped mussel in Natural Pain Manager.

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