Top 10 Foods and Spices to Help Reduce Inflammation

Acute and Chronic Inflammation can be burden for many of the patients we treat at West End Chiropractic and Wellness. Our doctors and team have helped thousands of patients get out of pain naturally and for many of our patients helping them find resources at home through their diet is essential. Today we discuss our top 10 anti-inflammatory foods and spices that we have seen amazing results with!

To start, numerous spices and herbs contain a wide variety of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins, and help maximize the nutrient density of your meals. Every time you flavor your meals with herbs or spices you are literally “upgrading” your food without adding a single calorie. Many studies have also shown that most herbs and some spices tend to have unique medicinal qualities.

Three Spices That Pack a Powerful Anti-Inflammatory Punch

  1. Cloves
  2. Ginger
  3. Turmeric

While among the most potent, ounce for ounce, herbs and spices are certainly not the only anti-inflammatory ingredients available. A number of foods are well-known for their anti-inflammatory properties, and making sure you’re eating a wide variety of them on a regular basis can go a long way toward preventing chronic illness.

Top Seven Anti-Inflammatory Foods

The following foods and nutrients deserve special mention for their ability to quell inflammatory responses in your body:

1. Animal-based omega-3 fat Animal-based omega-3 fats—found in fatty fish like wild Alaskan salmon and fish- or krill oil—help fight inflammation throughout your body. It’s particularly important for brain health. Research published in the Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology4 in 2012 confirmed that dietary supplementation with krill oil effectively reduced inflammation and oxidative stress.
2.  Leafy greens Dark leafy greens such as kale, spinach, collard greens and Swiss chard contain powerful antioxidants, flavonoids, carotenoids, and vitamin C—all of which help protect against cellular damage. Ideally, opt for organic locally grown veggies that are in season, and consider eating a fair amount of them raw. Juicing is an excellent way to get more greens into your diet.
3.  Blueberries Blueberries rate very high in antioxidant capacity compared to other fruits and vegetables. They are also lower in sugar than many other fruits.
4.  Tea Matcha tea is the most nutrient-rich green tea and comes in the form of a stone-ground unfermented powder. The best Matcha comes from Japan and has up to 17 times the antioxidants of wild blueberries, and seven times more than dark chocolate.
5.  Fermented vegetables and traditionally cultured foods Optimizing your gut flora is important for a well-functioning immune system, and helps ward off chronic inflammation. In fact, the majority of inflammatory diseases start in your gut, as the result of an imbalanced microbiome. Fermented foods such as kefir, natto, kimchee, miso, tempeh, pickles, sauerkraut, olives, and other fermented vegetables, will help ‘reseed’ your gut with beneficial bacteria.
6.  Shiitake mushrooms Shiitake mushrooms contain strong compounds with the natural ability to discourage inflammation, such as Ergothioneine, which inhibits oxidative stress.
7.  Garlic Garlic has been treasured for its medicinal properties for centuries. It’s also one of the most heavily researched plant foods around. Over 170 studies5 show it benefitting more than 150 different conditions. Garlic exerts its benefits on multiple levels, offering anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, and antioxidant properties.

The running thread linking a wide variety of common health problems—from obesity and diabetes to heart disease and cancer—is chronic inflammation. The key to reducing chronic inflammation in your body starts with your diet, and being liberal in your use of high-quality herbs and spices is one simple way to boost the quality of your food. They’re an inexpensive “secret weapon” that just about everyone can take advantage of. Spicing up your meals is not enough, however, if processed foods comprise the bulk of your diet.

It’s important to realize that dietary components can either prevent or trigger inflammation from taking root in your body, and processed foods do the latter, courtesy of pro-inflammatory ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, soy, processed vegetable oils (trans fats), and other chemical additives.

To learn more about how our dedicated team of medical providers can help you call West End Chiropractic and Wellness today at (952) 500-8477 or visit us online to learn more at St. Louis Park Health and Wellness! 

West End Chiropractic and Wellness

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