Inflammation is your immune system’s reaction to irritation, injury, or infection. It’s a normal response (and actually a good thing), and it’s a natural part of healing.
By following an anti-inflammatory diet you can help to counter some of the chronic inflammation that comes from leading a not-so-healthy lifestyle. Why not start including some of these foods that are all nutritious and fit perfectly into an anti-inflammatory diet to start yourself on the road to a healthier lifestyle.
- Kale is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K, and a good source of calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin C while being low in sodium. It’s also low in calories and has a bit of fiber.
- Avocados are rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, plus they’re an excellent source of magnesium, fiber, and potassium, while being low in sodium. Eating half an avocado will also add nicely to your daily intake of vitamins C, A, E, and B-complex vitamins. The combination of these nutrients and the polyphenols that work as antioxidants make avocados a must-have for any anti-inflammatory diet.
- Almonds are an excellent source of monounsaturated fats (similar to olive oil),vitamin E, and manganese. They’re also a good source of magnesium and plant protein. Eating almonds has been associated with having a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, by improving the fatty acids profile of your blood.
- Blueberries contain significant amounts of polyphenols that trigger antioxidant activity and may help to prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease. These phytochemicals, including flavonoids, anthocyanidins, phenolic acids, and tannins, prevent and repair the cellular damage done by free radicals. They help add vitamin C, vitamin E, and fiber to your daily diet. And don’t forget they’re also absolutely delicious!
- Carrots contain beta-carotene, which your body can convert to vitamin A, plus it’s a powerful antioxidant in its own right. Carrots also contain zeaxanthin and lutein, which are also related to vitamin A.
- Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C and potassium, and they also contain fiber, calcium, and folate. The fiber and folate in oranges may help keep your heart healthy, and the vitamin C is essential for immune system function, strong connective tissue, and healthy blood vessels. Oranges and orange juice are excellent additions to an anti-inflammatory diet.
- Spinach is one of the best known of all the anti-inflammatory superfoods. It contains lutein, which is related to vitamin A and beta carotene. Spinach also gives you iron, vitamin K, and folate, and it is very low in calories, so it’s perfect for weight loss diets.
- Strawberries are delicious, juicy, and sweet – and to make it even better, they’re also good for your health. Strawberries are low in calories, high in fiber, and they contain vitamins and minerals your body needs to function normally, including a lot of vitamin C. They also have anti-inflammatory properties and plenty of potential health benefits.Just about all berries are good for you because the pigments that give them their color also contain antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation.
Summer Anti-inflammatory Strawberry Smoothie
Here is a fabulous, refreshing smoothie for those on the go.
- 1 large leaf kale
- 1 small leaf collard greens (such as spinach)
- 1/2 pinch turmeric
- 1/2 banana
- 10-15 strawberries
- 10 macadamia nuts (optional for omega-3 & protein boost)
Directions: blend the first three ingredients with a cup of water until liquid. Add another cup of water and the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Enjoy!