As the holiday season is here, many of us will be gathering around and enjoying comfort foods. It is certainly times like these when inflammation can be at it’s worst. Not only are typical holiday foods rich in sugar and fat, but once you start eating those forbidden foods, it can be a slippery slope.
It is not uncommon at this time of the year to struggle with joint pain, fatigue and gastro-intestinal discomfort. The following foods can help you reduce inflammation and feel better during this time of the year.
- Reducing white refined breads, pastas, and cereals can reduce inflammation. Replace with whole grain alternatives that pack more fiber thereby enhancing digestion. Experiment with gluten-free grains that are fiber-rich such as: quinoa, millet, or amaranth.
- High in anthocyanins, raspberries, blueberries, and cherries are all great choices.
- Research has found that tart cherries, including cherry juice can reduce inflammation in lab rat’s blood vessels by up to 50%. This applies to tart not sweet cherries.
- This oil gets it’s unique flavor from oleocanthal. This compound has a similar effect in the body as NSAID painkillers.
- Rich in lycopene, raw tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato juice are all great choices.
- Garlic has been shown to work similarly to NSAID pain medications shutting off pathways that lead to infection. Onions contain the phytonutrient quercetin and the compound allicin, which fight free radicals.
- High fat fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines are high in omega-3s. For beneficial effects, consume these foods at least two times per week.
Dark Leafy Greens
- Rich in cytokines, dark leafy greens such as: spinach, kale, broccoli, and collard greens can all reduce the inflammatory process.
- Packed with omega-3s and antioxidants, nuts are a great snack option.
- Isoflavones, estrogen-like compounds found in soy can help lower inflammation especially in women. Avoid heavily processed soy and opt for choices such as: soy milk, tofu, and edamame.