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Anti-Inflammatory Foods to Help Reduce Inflammation

What does inflammation have to do with nutrition?

 

When discussing health, “inflammation” is more than a buzz word. It is scientifically linked to chronic disease. These diseases include cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, diabetes, autoimmune, to name a few. Even though the cause of the inflammation may vary, the diet intervention remains the same.


A vegetable salad in a dish consisting of chopped avocado, tomato and herbs

My Top 12 Anti-Inflammatory Foods List to Reduce Inflammation and Improve Your Health:

  1. Avocado

  2. Berries

  3. Broccoli

  4. Cherries

  5. Fatty Fish

  6. Grapes

  7. Leafy Greens

  8. Mushrooms

  9. Nuts

  10. Olive Oil

  11. Tomatoes

  12. Turmeric

 

Tips to Get You Started with My Anti-Inflammatory Foods List:


3 ripe avocados sitting on a marble countertop

1. Avocado

Eat guacamole. Instead of using chips, dip your favorite vegetables (radishes, carrots, broccoli) into your guacamole.


 

Fresh raspberries and blueberries in a bowl

2. Berries

Eat them fresh as a snack or make a berry bowl with a home-made whipped cream for dessert. See my dairy-free whipping cream recipe below that only requires a sturdy whisk, strong arm and cold bowl.


 

Freshly chopped raw broccoli florets in a bowl

3. Broccoli 

Make a salad out of your broccoli. My favorite recipe is steamed broccoli, tomatoes, artichoke hearts and your favorite Italian vinaigrette.


 

A bunch of cherries set in a towel

4. Cherries

Sliced cherries are a great addition to any rice dish – I add mine to a wild rice and white rice combo.


 

Cooked sardines with red pepper flakes and parsley presented on a plate

5. Fatty Fish

If you like fish, purchase wild caught fish (anchovies, mackerel, salmon or sardines) and let the fish shine. I dare you to make sardines your new home pantry staple (see one of my favorite at-home snack recipes below). Goodbye tuna, hello sardines.


If you don’t like fish, try to get omega 3 fats from the following sources: chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, walnuts and seaweed.


 

Freshly washed grapes on a cutting board

6. Grapes

Freeze them! Frozen grapes are game changer for a hot summer day.


 

A person's hands hold out fresh spinach in a bowl

7. Leafy Greens

Have you ever had greens for breakfast? A mound of greens with lemon juice, olive oil and a couple of over easy eggs is one of my favorite weekend breakfast dishes.


 

Raw baby bella mushrooms on a countertop

8. Mushrooms

If you are vegetarian or vegan, mushrooms are probably a commonly used ingredient. If mushrooms aren’t part of your dietary routine, start with adding a few mushrooms to your favorite stew recipe. Chop them up or buy them pre-sliced and drop them in the stew. No other prep necessary. It’s the perfect time of year for a warm and hardy meal like stew.


 

A handful of almonds, walnuts and currants in a bowl

9. Nuts

Use macadamia nuts as a crust for your favorite fish.


 

A bottle of olive oil being poured into a small dish, with bread and olives in the background

10. Olive Oil

You should be making your salad dressings at home. And, extra virgin olive oil can be your base. It’s an easy way to eliminate the additives and extra salt and sugar of store-bought shelf stable salad dressings.


 

Vine tomatoes rest on a wooden cutting board

11. Tomatoes

Roasted tomatoes on toast! Yum. If you can tolerate dairy, add a layer of your favorite cheese (ie. Ricotta or goat cheese) or try a dairy free option like Miyokos.


 

A turmeric latte and dish of ground turmeric on a countertop

12. Turmeric

Make your own savory nut blend and use at parties or when you need a satisfying and flavorful trail mix. One of my go to blends is turmeric, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, and rosemary. Don’t forget salt and pepper.


 

Easy Recipes for Uncommon Anti-Inflammatory Foods

 

Last, but not least, I want to make sure you have a starting point to implement some of these foods that you might not have used before. Here’s two of my favorite recipes for sardines and a dairy-free whipping cream.

 


A fish pate spread on a slice of fresh bread

Sardine Spread Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 sardines (in oil, drained)

  • 1 ½ Tbsp mayonnaise

  • 2 ½ Tbsp apple cider vinegar

  • 1/2 cucumber (sliced)


Directions

  1.  Mash together the sardines, mayonnaise and apple cider vinegar.

  2. Serve alongside the cucumber or your favorite cracker and enjoy.


 


Whipped cream atop a chocolate drink in a transparent mug

Coconut Milk Whipped Cream

Ingredients

  • Canned Coconut Milk (Full Fat, refrigerate overnight)

 

Directions

  1. Place canned coconut milk in refrigerator overnight.

  2. Place mixing bowl in the fridge for 10 minutes before whipping.

  3. Scoop out the thicken cream from the can into the mixing bowl, and set aside the remaining coconut juice for other uses (like baking your favorite muffin or cornbread)

  4. Whip the coconut cream with a whisk or hand mixer, gradually working up to high speed for approximately 5 minutes.

  5. Enjoy!

 

Conclusion

Will you consider adding these 12 anti-inflammatory foods into your diet? If you need more info on how to do so, please reach out to me at luxfordnutrition.com. If you are concerned about a more serious health problem that won’t be solved by lists found on the internet, visit my Services page to learn how I can help you personally.


 

This article was guest-written by:


Headshot of Emily Luxford, Dietitian
Emily Luxford, MS, RD, IFNCP, CLT

Emily Luxford is a functional dietitian nutritionist helping patients navigate gut health, diabetes, obesity, malabsorption disorders, and autoimmune diseases, along with complex illnesses such as immune dysfunction syndromes, myofascial pain, depression, vertigo, headaches, and cancer. Learn more about her and her services at www.luxfordnutrition.com.

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