As we take time to care for ourselves, feeding our body nourishing food is a huge part of being and feeling well. Inflammation is a sign in your body that something is wrong. It’s your body’s way of telling you: something’s going on here. When we hurt any part of our body, it inflames, to protect the area. What we eat has the same effect on our digestive tract. Inflammation is the precursor to many diseases and chronic conditions, so it’s really important that we focus on foods that reduce any irritation in our bodies.
The first step in reducing inflammation is to cut out the foods that cause it. The main culprits are: dairy, sugar, fried foods, alcohol, trans and saturated fats, fast food, red meat and any processed food. Eliminating these from your diet is the best way to prevent inflammation.
Next, you can reduce inflammation is by eating foods that are non-inflammatory. Here are 7 tips (and foods) that will help your body reduce inflammation:
Have a cup of green tea
Green tea is like drinking liquid vegetables. It’s very anti-inflammatory and helps to keep any bloating or inflammation in balance. It’s also great in fighting cancer and heart disease too. Enjoy a cup of tea everyday—it’s relaxing too!
Garlic works wonders on swollen joints and inflammation. Even though it can leave your breath stinky, it’s worth it for the health benefits. Add garlic to your meals when you can and your digestive system will thank you.
Use olive oil for cooking and salads
Cook with olive oil, instead of vegetable oils. It’s rich in oleic acid, an omega-9 fatty acid that helps reduce inflammation. Make a salad dressing with olive oil as the base, adding in balsamic vinegar and spices to your liking. You can also try out grapeseed or avocado oils too. These are also good for your brain and heart.
Sprinkle herbs for healing
Herbs have been used for hundreds of years to promote healing in the body. Basil, thyme, and oregano are great choices to use when you cook—and they’re also a big source of antioxidants. Cumin and chili pepper are also specifically great for inflammation.
Snack on nuts and fruits
When you feel a hunger pang between meals, grab a handful of nuts and/or fruits instead. Walnuts, almonds, and sunflower seeds are wonderful snacking nuts. Apples, bananas, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries are also healthy alternatives. These foods won’t cause bloating and will help keep you full until your next meal.
Swap red meat for fish
Red meat has more salt and cholesterol than fish—which is why it’s better to choose a fish option when possible. Try out salmon, tuna, cod, halibut because they’re all filled with omega 3s that are good for your body. If and when you do eat red meat, be sure it’s grass-fed.
Treat yourself to dark chocolate
Chocolate is a special treat that can actually help your body! When you snack on dark chocolate that’s at least 70% cocoa, it can help reduce inflammation in your body and be good for you. Of course, eat it as a treat in moderation, but stick to a few pieces and you’ll reap the health benefits.