Inflammation serves a valuable purpose in our bodies. When we sustain an injury, the brain sends a signal to the (injured) area in an attempt to heal itself. The problem comes when the inflammatory process hangs around longer than wanted or expected. This is when the real damage occurs because inflammation accelerates aging.
- Ginger, turmeric, cinnamon and garlic have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. These spices can be easily incorporated into many recipes for stews and sauces.
- Oily fish such salmon, trout, black cod, sardines, mackerel, herring and anchovies contain omega-3 fatty acids which not only reduce inflammation but also decrease levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol.
- Adding a colorful variety of vegetables and fruits to your diet can help fight inflammation because they are low in fat and calories and high in antioxidants.
- Legumes such as lentils and chickpeas and seeds including chia and flax help to increase the healthy bacteria lining the stomach which helps to reduce inflammation.
- Consume anti-inflammatory alternative grains such as quinoa, amaranth, millet and barley as opposed to refined white flour, rice and pasta. Whole grains have more fiber, which has been shown to reduce levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation in the blood.
Enjoying delicious anti-inflammatory foods while avoiding inflammatory ones, as well as avoiding lifestyle choices that leave us vulnerable to inflammation, not only slows the aging process it can help prevent chronic disease. That’s a win-win situation for everyone!