4 Steps to Creating the Ultimate Anti-Inflammatory Meal03 October, 2017
Inflammation is a necessary evil. It’s the body’s way of protecting itself from foreign invaders (think bacteria and viruses). However, chronic inflammation can tear down the body and eventually lead to health complications.
We are seeing more and more that people are suffering from chronic inflammation triggered by diet, environment, or lifestyle habits that cause the immune system to have a low-level attack on healthy cells in the body. Over time, this can result in heart disease, cancer, digestive issues, and autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis.
There are many things you can do to decrease your exposure to inflammation–avoid harsh cleaning chemicals, get a proper amount of sleep, practice stress management–but probably the most influential is paying attention to what you eat.
Certain foods are more inflammatory than others. Sugar, oil, fried foods, refined flour, dairy, artificial anything, processed meat, pre-packaged/processed gluten, alcohol, and most fast food can cause your body to go on the defense. It’s best to limit these as much as you can in your diet.
Instead of focusing on what you shouldn’t eat, let’s talk about what you should eat:
- Fruit and vegetables should make up 50% of every meal. Fresh fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can actually reduce inflammation. Additionally, they provide fiber so you’ll feel fuller longer.
- Choose quality protein sources. Investing in organic, grass-fed meat is worth the extra cost. And if you’re vegetarian or vegan, you can supplement with pea protein or combine foods like beans and rice to get all the essential amino acids needed for the body.
- Don’t be afraid of fat. Healthy fat sources like avocado, nuts, and fatty fish supply the body with omega-3 fatty acids that can help neutralize inflammation.
- Consider adding anti-inflammatory powerhouse ingredients to your recipes. Turmeric, pineapple, ginger, blueberries, beets, and garlic stand out as inflammation-fighting ingredients.
Keep these points in mind when you are making your shopping list for the grocery store. If you can check off these four boxes, you are on your way to a healthier, more balanced life.