Inflammation is the root of many diseases.  By attacking inflammation with anti-inflammatory foods, the symptoms of many of these diseases can be cured.  Diseases such as arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, and IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) must be addressed with long term lifestyle changes.  Anti-inflammatory foods can make a tremendous change to your health.  Promoting an anti-inflammatory lifestyle by moving away from overly processed, unbalanced diets and more towards a classic Mediterranean diet.  A Mediterranean diet consists mainly of fresh fruits and vegetables, little or no red meat, a plethora of omega-3 foods, and no chemicals or meat additives.  By adding the following 5 anti-inflammatory foods into your diet little by little it will be easier for your body to adapt to the change in diet and less likely for you to go back to your old habits.

1. Leafy Green Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are the first line of attack against inflammation.  They restore cellular health and anti-inflammatory flavonoids.  They are rich in antioxidants, particularly swiss chard nutrition is extremely high in vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K.  Vitamin K can protect the brain from oxidative stress due to free radical damage.  Vitamin K deficiency is an issue which swiss chard can help protect against.

 

2. Beets

Beets is packed with antioxidants.  A tell tale sign of food that is rich in antioxidants is deep color – which beets certainly has.  The antioxidants in beets as well as others on this list fight to repair cell damage caused via inflammation.  Specifically the antioxidant betalain found in beets is an amazing anti-inflammatory.  They also have high levels of potassium and magnesium.  If the body is magnesium deficient, inflammatory conditions have been proven to rise.  Magnesium breaks down calcium – if too much calcium builds up in the body, inflammation increases.

 

3. Salmon

One of my favorite foods.  Salmon is a great source for essential fatty acids and one of the best omega-3 foods.  Omega-3s have consistently shown relief of inflammation and is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory substances.  Increasing omega-3 fatty acid intake has been shown thru research that it may help lower the risk of certain chronic diseases, including cancer, heart disease and arthritis.  Omega-3s are also very important for brain function such as memory and performance and behavioral functions too.  Be careful when you buy farmed fish, as that does not have the same nutritional value as wild-caught salmon.

 

4. Turmeric

Turmeric health benefits are invaluable when it comes to an anti-inflammatory diet.  It is incredibly effective in helping people manage rheumatoid arthritis (RA).  Tumeric’s main compound is curcumin.  Studies have shown that curcumin is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory agents in the world, much higher than aspirin or ibuprofen.

 

5. Walnuts

Nuts are an important part of balanced diet, and if you are not eating a lot of meat in your diet, nuts are a good substitute.  They provide enough protein and omega-3s to make up the difference you might be missing in other parts of your diet.  The main compound in walnuts, phytonutrients, are hard to find in other foods and can help fight against cardiovascular problems, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.