Inflammation is your immune system’s reaction to irritation, injury, or infection. It’s a normal response and actually a good thing and it’s a natural part of healing. But, it’s possible that chronic inflammation could have a negative impact on your body and your health. Following an anti-inflammatory diet is one way to counter some of the chronic inflammation that comes from leading a not-so-healthy lifestyle. These 5 foods are all nutritious and fit perfectly into an anti-inflammatory diet.
Almonds are an excellent source of monounsaturated fats (similar to olive oil), vitamin E and manganese. They’re also a good source of magnesium and plant protein. In research studies, eating almonds has been associated with having a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, probably by improving the fatty acids profile of your blood. Almonds are also very satiating, so even though they’re a little higher in calories than many other anti-inflammatory foods, eating a handful of almonds may help you stick with a healthy weight loss program.
Avocados are rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, plus they’re an excellent source of magnesium, fiber and potassium, while being low in sodium. Eating half an avocado will also add nicely to your daily intake of vitamins C, A, E, and B complex vitamins. The combination of these nutrients and the polyphenols that work as antioxidants make avocados a must-have for any anti-inflammatory diet.
Broccoli is a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables that are high in phytochemicals called glucosinolates. These phytchemicals are powerful antioxidants. Broccoli is also an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, calcium and vitamin A, all while being low in calories. Epidemiological studies show that eating a diet high in cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli, is associated with having a lower risk of certain types of cancer.
Blueberries contain large amounts of polyphenols that trigger antioxidant activity and may help to prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease. These phytochemicals, including flavonoids, anthocyanidins, phenolic acids, and tannins, prevent and repair cellular damage done by free radicals. Laboratory studies show the chemicals in blueberries may also prevent cancer by slowing down the growth of cells, and reducing inflammation. They’re also low in calories and add vitamin C, vitamin E and fiber to your daily diet. And don’t forget they’re also absolutely delicious.
Spinach is one of the best known of all the anti-inflammatory superfoods. It contains lutein, which is related to vitamin A and beta carotene. Research shows that people who eat green leafy vegetables, like spinach, may have a decreased risk of macular degeneration. Spinach also gives you iron, vitamin K and folate, and it is very low in calories, so it’s perfect for weight loss diets.