If you follow health and wellness trends, you may have heard that "anti-inflammatory" is the new "gluten-free" for 2017. While not everyone needs to follow a gluten-free diet, everyone can benefit from adding anti-inflammatory foods to their diet.
Inflammation is basically a response to a trigger in your diet, environment, or lifestyle that causes your immune system to attack harmless cells in your body. It's linked to numerous issues, including digestive distress, depression and anxiety, cardiovascular disease, cancer, acne, arthritis, and autoimmune disorders. Food is one of the most powerful triggers of inflammation in the body, but the good news is that it is also one of the most powerful ways to speed healing from it and prevent it.
Here are some anti-inflammatory foods you can easily add to your diet. Eat them often to reap the benefits!
Leafy green vegetables
Dark, leafy greens are rich in flavinoids that restore cellular health. This is essential to fighting inflammation.
Probiotic foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, yogurt, and kefir help rebalance and heal your gut. A large portion of your immune system lives in your gut and is run by bacterial organisms. When the gut is out of balance (bad bacteria outnumber the good), that leads to inflammation.
Broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and cabbage contain antioxidants, flavonoids, carotenoids, and key vitamins that work together to lower oxidative stress in the body and help battle chronic inflammation
An antioxidant in beets works to repair cellular damage caused by inflammation. They also supply high levels of inflammation-fighting potassium and magnesium
Super seeds like chia, flax, and hemp offer both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which help stop our immune system from overproducing cytokines and oxidant molecules that can lead to inflammation.
Berries are great for you for a multitude of reasons, but they are superstar inflammation fighters because of their high content of both fiber and antioxidants like quercetin, a flavonoid compound that supports healthy bacterial growth in the gut.
Omega-3 fatty acids are considered potent anti-inflammatory substances. Wild-caught salmon and other fatty fish are the best food sources of omega-3s.
Another source of inflammation-fighting healthy fats is nuts—particularly almonds, which are rich in fiber, calcium, and vitamin E, and walnuts, which have high amounts of alpha-linolenic acid, a type of omega-3 fat.
Anti-inflammatory herbs and spices
Flavor your food with plenty of these herbs and spices that are known for their anti-inflammatory properties: turmeric, cloves, cinnamon, rosemary, ginger, sage, and thyme.
And a few foods to avoid...
Processed sugar, sodium, wheat flour, cow dairy, and alcohol. (We know, avoid alcohol?! We didn't say cut it out entirely...just watch it, ok?)