Reducing Inflammation Through Food
Registered Dietitian Kristina LaRue of Love and Zest shares a few ways food can help you reduce inflammation.
Instead of reaching for the medicine cabinet the next time you feel joint pain, swelling, or stiff knees, head to the fridge! Foods like kale, salmon, and Montmorency tart cherries are rich in phytonutrients, like anthocyanins. These foods work as anti-inflammatory agents in our bodies.
Processed foods, poor sleep quality and a sedentary lifestyle can create inflammation in the body and may be at the root of chronic disease. A balanced approach to health is to put your energy into making small lifestyle improvements, such as boosting up those anti-inflammatory ingredients into your diet. Eating a diet rich in real whole foods may put you at a lower risk of chronic disease and inflammation, and you can feel good from the inside out, too!
Try incorporating these inflammation-fighting foods into your daily diet:
- Kale: This dark leafy green is an anti-inflammatory powerhouse, packed full of Vitamin K and omega-3 fats. Vitamin K eliminates inflammation markers and reduces the hardening of blood vessels, promoting heart health.
- Pumpkin: The high levels of Vitamin A and Vitamin C in winter squash work to reduce inflammation throughout our bodies. Vitamin C neutralizes free radicals before they are able to cause cellular damage, reducing the triggers of inflammation.
- Tart Cherries: Rich in anthocyanins, one study showed that Montmorency tart cherries have a higher anti-inflammatory content than any other food. In addition to showing relief from gout and osteoarthritis symptoms, tart cherry juice is a great way to reduce soreness and inflammation after a hard workout!
- Turmeric: A common spice in Asian cuisine, turmeric contains the chemical curcumin that has a strong anti-inflammatory effect and may reduce the incidence of cancer.
- Salmon: The omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon and other oily fish work to reduce the body’s inflammatory response and have been found to be as effective as ibuprofen in reducing arthritic pain.
As your body continues to age and undergo stress, eliminating processed foods and adding some of these anti-inflammatory options to your diet can boost your overall physical and emotional health while reducing levels of chronic inflammation. Instead of relying on pills and medical treatments, reducing chronic inflammation through a balanced diet provides a natural way to keep your joints happy and healthy for years to come.