Wild Alaskan Salmon: Contains anti-inflammatory fats-omega-3 fatty acids. Make sure to look for wild caught, because farm-raised salmon has lower levels. Try seasoning it with some ginger, eat it as sashimi, or put it in your next salad.
Grass-fed beef: grass-fed beef contains omega-3’s as well, where as grain-fed beef (usually what is found in the grocery store) has virtually no omega-3, but instead is loaded down with omega-6 fatty acids, further skewing Americans ratio of fatty acids, in omega-6’s favor. Check out your local market or search eatwild.com, which as a state-by-state listing of pasture farms. Also you can check out my past special on the benefits of grass-fed beef, and local Indiana farmers.
Salads: Dark leafy greens, spinach, and tomatoes are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants; nutrients that dampen inflammation. Make yourself a big salad of spinach, kale, and any other leafy greens. Drizzle with olive oil, rather than store-bought dressings that tend to be higher in sugars and bad polyunsaturated fats (over-processed).
Cherries: study’s have shown that eating cherries daily can significantly reduce inflammation. Cherries are great as well, because they have one of lowest fruit glycemic loads, in addition to be low in calories. Although, they can be pricey, I recommend fully taking advantage of these little delights when they are in season.
Cruciferae Vegetables: Loaded with antioxidants; in addition to sulfur. The body uses sulfur to make its own high-powered antioxidants (like glutathione). Cruciferae vegetables include: broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, and cabbage.
Blueberries: chocked full of natural compounds that reduce inflammation. Also, loaded with antioxidants. Any kind of berry is beneficial, but blueberries are a true superfood. You can find them throughout the year, but especially take advantage of the summer months when they are in season. Check my past post on blueberries for all the benefits, and look at some of the past recipes (blueberry creams or blueberry pudding; maybe just add some to a salad for a nice refresher).
Turmeric: contain powerful, natural anti-inflammatory compound. Check out my past blog for more benefits of this spice. There are a variety of recipes, that you can add turmeric too; especially popular in Indian cooking (I love it in my curry).
Ginger: another spice that I’ve covered in the past. Ginger has anti-inflammatory benefits, in addition to helping control blood sugar. Add it to any savory dish as an added bonus.
Garlic: anti-inflammatory and glucose-regulating benefits. It may, also, help fight infections. Garlic is one of my favorite add-ons to any dish. You can use whole cloves or minced garlic or powdered garlic spices. There are a variety of ways to add it to any meal.
Kelp:contains fucoidan, a complex carb that is anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, and anti-oxidative. Check health food stores, and my past blog on sea vegetables (which are some of the most nutrient-dense foods, that there are).
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: I mentioned this in yesterday’s article, but olive oil is full of hydroxytyrosol. This inhibits the enzymes that produce pro-inflammatory eicosanoids. Also contains oleic acid, which is pro-inflammatory, as well. I like the Olio Beato because it has one of the highest concentrations of hydroxytyrosol. Make sure not to cook with it (for starters its expensive) because it will cook out the nutrients, drizzle on top of dishes.
Pharmaceutical fish oil: this is my big push. It provides great amounts of omega-3 fatty acids (most Americans ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 is so off-balance, that taking fish oil, along with diet change, can balance it out to a preferred 1:4 or 1:1 ratio). I like Zone fish oil; check out old post for more extensive information on pharmaceutical grade fish oil.
Green tea: natural anti-inflammatory foods. Once again, this a topic that I’ve already written about, so look it up!