Whoever said too much of a good thing is bad wasn’t kidding. Take inflammation. It’s our immune system’s way of protecting the body from bacteria or viruses and it helps in healing injuries like a broken ankle. But when inflammation persists longer than necessary or if it gets too severe, our health can suffer horribly. In fact, many serious illnesses like heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease have been linked to chronic inflammation.
The good news is you can protect your body from the negative effects of inflammation. One way to do this is by making important changes particularly to the food you eat. Foodies, don’t freak out just yet! You can still enjoy your favorite culinary fare by replacing some key ingredients with powerful anti-inflammatory substitutes.
Start incorporating these small but significant tweaks into your eating habits and turn your body into a well-functioning, inflammation-fighting machine!
Always Use Grass-Fed Organic Meats
Meat lovers beware! Many of today’s commercially available meats are factory farmed for mass production. What does this mean? These animals get injected with hormones, antibiotics and chemicals. And guess what these animals feed on? An unhealthy menu of animal by-products and waste materials. It is every bit as yucky as it sounds.
We cannot expect meat to be healthy if it was fed unhealthy food which is why grass-fed meat is better than the meat of feedlot animals. Grass-fed meat is more nutritious plus it contains less Omega-6 fatty acids that can contribute to inflammation and more anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fatty acids.
Replace Dairy With Coconut Milk
Studies have shown that dairy is highly inflammatory for most people. This may sound like bad news for those of us who have a sweet tooth and love dairy-based desserts. Don’t worry though, coconut milk is here to save the day! The medium chain triglycerides (MCT) found in coconut milk can do wonders to your health. Aside from its anti-inflammatory properties, MCTs can help you unlock your weight loss goals because it is very filling and promotes fat-burning.
Coconut milk also improves digestive health and can help manage blood sugar levels. As a good source of lauric acid, coconut milk also improves cholesterol levels and cardiovascular health.
Add Turmeric To Everything You Can
In India turmeric is used not just as a spice but as a medicinal herb and now we have scientific research to support the health-boosting powers of what has been a thousands-old tradition in the region. Turmeric contains curcuminoids which are compounds with medicinal properties and the star of the show is curcumin. As the main active ingredient, curcumin is powerful in fighting inflammation and free radicals (the highly reactive molecules responsible for aging and many diseases).
Are you lovin’ turmeric yet? Well then it’s time to upgrade your favorite food and drinks with it. Get creative! Add a pinch of this spice to your scrambled eggs, roasted vegetables or blend it into your favourite smoothie.
Use Blackberries and Blueberries Instead of High-Sugar Fruits
With blackberries and blueberries you can turn your favorite smoothie or morning snack into a delicious treat packed with inflammation-fighting powers. These fruits may be small but they are powerhouses in terms of fiber, vitamins and minerals. Berries also have anthocyanins which are not just responsible for giving berries their distinctive purple, red and blue colours but are antioxidants known for having anti-inflammatory properties.
There’s more! Berries also have the lowest sugar content among fruits. This is great news if you are monitoring the sugar you consume in your diet. So what better way to kickstart your day than with the awesome goodness of berries mixed into your breakfast?