Eliminating these foods from your diet can improve your health substantially, but don’t simply focus on what you shouldn’t eat (which may lead you to feel restricted). What you do eat is just as important as what you don’t eat. There are certain foods you can add to your diet that have anti-inflammatory properties to help reduce bloating and beat back that chronic inflammation.
- Nuts & Seeds - Healthy fats play a key role in reducing inflammation, and certain seeds can offer additional benefits because of their magnesium, zinc, linoleic acid, vitamin E content, and fiber. Seed cycling, which switches between a blend of pumpkin/flax seeds and sesame/sunflower seeds according to the phases of your menstrual cycle, can be a great way to boost your intake of anti-inflammatory foods while also balancing your hormones.
- Cruciferous Vegetables - Eating more cruciferous vegetables like brussel sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, kale and even cauliflower can provide anti-inflammatory benefits. Studies have shown that eating 1.5 cups of cruciferous vegetables per day can substantially lower inflammatory markers in the blood.⁴
- Antioxidant-Rich Berries - While all types of fruit fall under an anti-inflammatory diet, the darker the fruit the bigger the benefit. Dark cherries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries contain the best antioxidants for fighting back inflammation in the body.⁵
- Anti-inflammatory Spices - Certain spices have long been used in alternative forms of medicine for their anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric, ginger, fenugreek, cinnamon, garlic, and pepper all contain active compounds that help battle chronic types of inflammation.⁶⁷⁸ Adding some extra spice to your cooking might help take that extra inflammation out of your body.
Of course these aren’t the only anti-inflammatory foods out there. If you’re looking to switch to a more anti-inflammatory diet the biggest key is to aim for a diet built around whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and any other sole ingredient foods that are found in nature. The more good food you put into your diet, the more good health you’ll get in return.
¹ Dr. Hyman: Inflammation & Immune Balance
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⁵ Harvard Health: Eat these fruits for their anti-inflammatory benefits
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