Often when speaking with clients, I find myself applauding folks on eating whole, real food, while suggesting they need to add more anti-inflammatory foods. And as you can imagine, people just look back at me as if I have 3 heads. What do you mean, and what foods does this include?
Overall, an anti-inflammatory diet is important for optimal health. It can combat heart disease, joint pain, enhance performance, among many other things. When people are inflamed, they may not know it. Dr Sears calls inflammation a silent epidemic that triggers chronic diseases over the years. Indeed the Standard American Diet is very pro-inflammatory as is processed food. Yet, even eating a whole food-based diet can still lack phytonutrients to help calm inflammation in the body, and therefore this list calls for attention.
My favorite anti-inflammatory foods, and always remember to fill at least half of your plate with produce:
- seaweed including kelp (yet go easy on the seaweed snack as they are loaded w/ salt and potential vegetable oil/safflower oil/canola oil)
- spices including turmeric (don’t buy spices in bulk either. They can easily grow mold in them and lose their nutritional benefits if not used up quickly. I love Costco for many things, yet, spices is not one of them).
- seafood – wild salmon, sardines, mackerel (farmed fish does not hold a candle to wild, cold water fish. Read labels).
- tea, especially green tea
- extra virgin olive oil – Explore an olive oil store (I love the few in Lincoln Park) or take my word on this online one, it is guaranteed to have no fillers and it tastes awesome.
- cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower. Cauliflower can be the perfect comfort food too.
- sweet potato and pumpkin
- spinach and Swiss chard
- macadamia nuts