Well, since we don’t want you to starve yourself waiting to find out what you should and shouldn’t be eating, we wanted to get right to some specifics, starting with those anti-inflammatory foods, which should make up the bulk of diet. While lists are cool, keep this in mind, and you’ll be in good shape: Eat REAL food, especially plant-based foods, most of the time.
- Eat plenty of fiber. Fibrous foods support a healthy balance of gut bacteria, and fiber is typically packaged in foods that are packaged with other anti-inflammatory compounds like antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds are the best sources of fiber.
- Load up on veggies and fruits. DUH. They are packed with antioxidants (especially unique anti-inflammatory phytonutrients), which are super-important for fighting off free radicals, which are a major contributor to inflammation. Aim for 5 servings each fruits and veggies, and shoot for a wide variety of colors.
- Eat fatty fish and seafood 3 times per week. These are the best sources of the anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats. The best sources, which are also lowest in heavy metals and most sustainable, include wild salmon, Pacific sardines, rainbow trout, Atlantic mackerel, oysters, anchovies, and herring.
- Focus on healthy fats. In addition to those omega-3s from fatty fish, foods like avocados, olives, and extra virgin olive oil contain anti-inflammatory healthy fats and antioxidants. Additionally, nuts and seeds also contain healthy fats, fiber, and key micronutrients (like magnesium), which are all considered to have anti-inflammatory properties.
- Eat fermented foods. Fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, pickles, and kimchi contain probiotics, which help support a healthy immune system and healthy levels of inflammation.
- Drink up. Beverages like coffee, green and black tea, and red wine are all associated with lower levels of inflammation, likely thanks to their phytonutrients, which have anti-inflammatory properties.
- Careful with carbs. You don’t necessarily need to jump on the low-carb bandwagon, but you do need to focus your carb intake on whole plant-based foods if you want to support healthy levels of inflammation. We’re talking about fruits, vegetables, tubers, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and legumes, which have a low glycemic load and are packed with anti-inflammatory nutrients (antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, minerals).
- Spice things up. Nearly all herbs and spices pack anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, such as flavonoids. Some of the most noteworthy anti-inflammatory herbs and spices are cocoa, garlic, ginger, oregano, pepper, rosemary, thyme, and turmeric.
Simply put, eating more of these foods will only make you feel better.
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