Inflammation is your immune system’s built in defense mechanism for fighting infection. But when your body can’t turn off the inflammation (like with lupus, or other auto-immune diseases) or you give it too many inflammation-causing foods/substances, inflammation can run rampant and cause some serious problems. Researchers are finding that uncontrolled inflammation plays a role in obesity, heart disease and cancer.
What you eat day to day is very important. But, with lupus and other auto-immune diseases it is very important to watch what you put in your mouth. My goal is to start incorporating more of these amazing inflammation fighting foods into my diet every day! I hope you will join me. Here are some of my favorites (and some I’d like to try)!
All fish have some omega-3’s, with sardines, salmon, tuna, herring and anchovies leading the pack. If you’re like me and don’t care to eat a ton of fish, I try to make sure to take an omega-3 supplement daily.
Dark Leafy Greens
Kale and spinach are your friends! Dark colored greens tend to have higher concentrations of minerals and vitamins. Make a salad or throw them in a smoothie. Add them to an omelet or some pasta. You will hardly taste them… but eat enough of them and you will start to enjoy the taste!
Colorful Fruits and Vegetables
Add some color to your plate! The substances that give freggies their color- flavanoids and carotenoids, are super antioxidants. Eat more berries (specifically blue and black), carrots, sweet potatoes, oranges, broccoli, peppers, squash and melons. Beets have especially been shown to reduce inflammation, so add them to a juice or salad.
Ginger and Turmeric
I haven’t done much cooking with these two spices, but plan on trying to incorporate them more in my cooking. Turmeric works in the body by helping to turn off a protein called NF-kappa B that regulates the immune system and triggers inflammation. Ginger has been shown to help reduce inflammation in the intestines and be used to help with upset tummies.
According to Oregon Health & Science University researchers, tart cherries have a great anti-inflammatory effect. It has been shown to help athletes performance and can help reduce the use of anti-inflammatory pain medicines. Experts recommend eating 1 1/2 cups of tart cherry fruit or 1 cup of the juice per day to see benefits. I haven’t tried it yet, but am planning on getting some the next time I’m at the store.
What has your experience been with inflammation fight foods?
What are your favorites?
Have any recipes you would like to share?