What to Eat When You Have Inflammation
Inflammation can be pretty bad for our health. This is especially true when it’s chronic and lasts a long time.
Inflammation has been linked to heart disease, obesity, dementia and diabetes, just to name a few.
Instead of writing all about what it is, I will focus on foods that are packed with anti-inflammatory properties and have been proven to help reduce inflammation. We can use our food as medicine!
Here are my food recommendations to help reduce inflammation:
Would a list of anti-inflammatory foods be complete without this amazing spice?
Turmeric contains the antioxidant curcumin.
This compound has been shown to reduce the pain of arthritis, as well as have anti-cancer and anti-diabetes properties
I’ve added it to the broccoli and pepper recipe below for a 1-2-3 punch, to kick that inflammation
#2: Healthy Fats (fatty fish, avocado, olive oil)
Fat can be terribly inflammatory (just think of “trans” fats), neutral (have you heard of “saturated” fats?), or anti-inflammatory (the “omega-3s”), this is why choosing the right fats is so important for your health.
The best anti-inflammatory fats are the unsaturated ones, including omega-3s. These are linked to a reduced risk of diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers.
Opt for fresh avocados, extra virgin olive oil, small fish (e.g. sardines and mackerel), and wild fish (e.g. salmon). And don’t forget the omega-3 seeds like chia, hemp, and flax.
#3: Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate, with at least 70% cocoa is packed with anti-inflammatory antioxidants (namely “flavonols”). These reduce the risk of heart disease by keeping your arteries healthy. They’ve even been shown to prevent “neuro-inflammation” (inflammation of the brain and nerves). Reducing neuro-inflammation may help with long-term memory, and reduce the risk of dementia and stroke.
Make sure you avoid the sugary “candy bars.” You already know those aren’t going to be anti-inflammatory!
#4: Green Tea
Green tea contains the anti-inflammatory compound called “epigallocatechin-3-gallate”, otherwise known as EGCG.
EGCG is linked to reduced risk of heart disease, certain cancers, obesity, and dementia.
Drinking steeped green tea is great, but have you tried matcha green tea? It’s thought to contain even higher levels of antioxidants than regular green tea.
#5: Berries, Grapes, and Cherries
Perhaps the most amazingly delicious anti-inflammatory foods are a sweet favourite of yours.
Berries, grapes, and cherries are packed with fiber, and antioxidant vitamins (e.g. vitamin C) and minerals (e.g. manganese).
And did I forget to mention their phytochemicals (phyto=plant)? Yes, many antioxidants such as “anthocyanins” and “resveratrol” are found in these small and delicious fruits.
In fact, berries, grapes, and cherries may be the best dietary sources of these amazingly healthy compounds.
#6: Broccoli and Peppers
Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that contains the antioxidant “sulforaphane.” This anti-inflammatory compound is associated with reduced risk of heart disease and cancer.
Bell peppers, on the other hand, are one of the best sources of the antioxidants vitamin C and quercetin.
Just make sure to choose red peppers over the other colours. Peppers that are any other colour are not fully ripe and won’t have the same anti-inflammatory effect.
I pack these two super-healthy vegetables together in this week’s recipe (see below).
There are just so many amazingly delicious and nutritious anti-inflammatory foods you can choose. They range from colourful berries, vegetables, and spices, to healthy fats, and even cocoa.
You have so many reasons to add anti-inflammatory foods to your diet to get your daily dose of “anti-inflammation.”
Need help with adding these foods to your diet? I have an Anti-Inflammatory Program available for you HERE.
Once you purchase the program, it will be delivered to your inbox.
The program includes:
- 6 Day Meal Plan
- 16 Recipes
- Prep Guide
- Grocery List
- Daily Nutrition Breakdown
This meal plan is designed to decrease inflammation in your body. It is free from common inflammatory foods like nightshades, eggs, and soy.
To discuss a more personalized meal plan CLICK HERE to schedule your Discovery Session.
In the meanwhile, try this amazing recipe!
Anti-inflammatory Quinoa (Serves 2)
- ¾ cup dry quinoa (pre-rinsed)
- 2 tbsp coconut oil1 medium onion, diced1 bell pepper, chopped1 dash salt½ tbsp turmeric1 dash black pepper
- 2 cups broccoli, chopped
- In a saucepan place 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add the quinoa and simmer until the water is absorbed (about 10-15 minutes).
- Melt coconut oil in a skillet. Add diced onions, turmeric, pepper and salt, and lightly sauté for a few minutes.
- Add broccoli and lightly sauté for 5-6 minutes, until it becomes softened.
- Add the cooked quinoa and stir everything together.
Serve & enjoy!
Tip: Add some cayenne pepper or curry spice for an extra spicy kick.
Dr. Anna ND
- 13 Most Anti-Inflammatory Foods You Can Eat. https://authoritynutrition.com/13-anti-inflammatory-foods/
- Burton-Freeman BM, Sandhu AK, Edirisinghe I. Red Raspberries and Their Bioactive Polyphenols: Cardiometabolic and Neuronal Health Links. Advances in Nutrition. 2016;7(1):44-65. doi:10.3945/an.115.009639.
- 10 Proven Benefits of Green Tea. https://authoritynutrition.com/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-green-tea/
- Matcha – Even More Powerful Than Regular Green Tea? https://authoritynutrition.com/matcha-green-tea/
- Brain Food Essentials :: Cacao. http://neurotrition.ca/blog/brain-food-essentials-cacao
- Foods vs. Supplements: The Turmeric vs. Curcumin Edition. http://leesaklich.com/foods-vs-supps/foods-vs-supplements-the-turmeric-edition/