While getting regular exercise and reducing the amount of stress in your life are key components to reducing the inflammation in your body, we can also add certain anti-inflammatory foods to our diet, (all the while cutting out sugar and processed food), to optimize our health.
The following seven foods are anti-inflammatory superheroes and you should eat them frequently, or at least three-four times per week:
Cold water fish. Cold water fish like wild salmon, cod, sardines, haddock, and sole are all high in fats that have great anti-inflammatory properties. Keyword: WILD (skip the farm-raised)
Vegetables. Surprise! Vegetables are good for you. 🙂 However, most North Americans aren’t getting enough plants into their diets. You should be eating at least 8 or 9 servings of veggies every day. That means you should have vegetables with each meal. Make them bright and colorful, and leafy and green!
Seeds and nuts. Walnuts, sesame seeds, and almonds all contain omega-3 fats that reduce inflammation.
Fruit and berries. Blueberries, pineapple, raspberries, cherries, strawberries, and apples are all examples of fruits that may help reduce inflammation within the body.
Turmeric and other herbs and spices. Turmeric, ginger, garlic, basil, oregano—take your pick because all of those herbs and spices are very very high in nutrients and fight inflammation. Try chopping a bunch of herbs and combining them with garlic and olive oil for an anti-inflammatory meat marinade!
Chocolate. Every once in a while some good chocolate is a great thing to eat. I’m talking about chocolate that’s at least 70% pure cocoa and no more than one ounce at a time. Make sure it’s organic!
Green Tea. Whether it’s hot or cold, green tea sort of acts like a liquid vegetable, putting up an inflammatory fight within your body. And please make sure that the tea is organic.
Now that you know what foods you should eat to reduce that inflammation, here’s what you should avoid!
The top foods to avoid in order to reduce inflammation:
• Margarine and other trans fats
• White flour
• Deep-fried foods
• Excessive alcohol
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8-9 servings of veggies a day!?!? Every time I hear/read this I literally LOL. I can’t eat 8-9 servings of anything a day, let alone veggies with each meal then 4-5 more servings of veggies! Who in the world eats this way? I’m convinced real world circumstances – I’m very active at work all day, then I exercise 4xs a week, and manage to get three meals and a snack in every day – never enter into these prescriptions. I can’t carry a sack of food around with me all day and feed from it like a work mule. I’m also convinced that less than 20% of the people adhering to any dietary regimen actually stick to it more than 45% of the time. At least not in these crazy recommendations.
Of course the term “serving” is NEVER defined. One carrot eight times a day? Two four times a day? Eight cup fulls of cooked kale a day? (I really love kale, but if I had to eat it everyday, ugh!)
Then of course there’s the costs. I simply can NOT afford wild salmon, and organics outside of lettuces and a few random greens is also prohibitive. As is the sizes of an organic “bunch” of say brocc-rabe versus non-organic. One gives me one meal, the other two to three. Guess which is which?
I want to meet the people who actually adhere to these recommendations in full and over 90% of the time. They probably all fit into my van, at the same time.
Well if a person cooks a dinner of fish with onion, garlic, and kale and then throws on a handfull of chopped fresh coriander and squeezes half lemon, thats a quick delicious 5 servings right there. Add a small handful of berries with breakfast or smoothie, have a green tea, add a carrot or salad with lunch and an apple with afternoon snack….. thats 9 servings easily. And can easily throw a teaspoon of wheat grass or spirulina powder into served food or smoothies for an additional serving when on the run. Thats how I do it 🙂
One whole onion and all the bits in half a lemon. 4 cloves of garlic.
Plus most canned salmon is wild caught… just read the labels. Weigh up the pros and cons of an occassional ‘can”.
It really depends on what priority a person has for their health and wellbeing. I place a high priority on my health so around 15 years ago I swapped wheat pasta and potatoes for more nutritious vegetables, so I pile the veggies in to fill me up. Just starts with small steps and how hard you make it depends on your attitude to it.
I adhere to a primal eating lifestyle 90% of the time. The most important things to eat organic are dairy, and certain heavily sprayed veggies (details on the net). And freerange grass raised meat, and wild low mercury fish (on the net)
ya…..i was just asking about the vegetable servings. i doubt i would ever use a whole onion and 4 cloves of garlic for one persons worth of fish. as far as the freerange, grassfed, etc lesson? thanks but i know all that. i eat grass fed, organic, freerange, etc whenever possible. i really wasnt asking for a whole diet plan.
sorry dont mean to sound rude but i really just asked about what you are considering a vegetable serving. i might use a whole onion and a that much garlic and lemon for 4 peoples worth of fish, but i like to taste the fish and not smother it. and dividing those veggies into 4 portions isnt going to give you a lot of veggies. i eat “sort of ” paleo but still use rice, potatoes and occasionally pasta. i cant usually eat enough veggies to get filled up on them, and they hurt my stomach sometimes. my constitution actually needs more carbs than most people on the paleo. im sure i am still eating less carbs than the standard american (sad) diet. and we make sure our carbs are healthy carbs for the most part. no gluten problems here so….and i am SO thankful for that.
Here are a couple of solutions for your concerns:
8-9 servings of veggies-Green smoothies, dips for snacking, soups and casseroles made out of roasted and pureed vegetables.
Cost- look into the “Dirty Dozen/ Clean Fifteen” ( do what you can, it’s better than nothing). Sardines have a similar nutritional profile as other wild caught fish for a FRACTION of the price ( use in salads).
There are many people who follow this type of protocol and have for many years. Commit to this for a month, 100%, and you’ll see and feel a HUGE difference!
i agree with you 100 percent. i eat pretty healthy, especially when compared to most americans who eat processed crapola every single day. i actually READ the ingredients, and dont buy much from the center of the store where all the boxed and canned processed crap is. but ya, if we are talking FULL SERVINGS of vegetables, 8-9 servings really isnt practical for most people. whether it be the price of organics, actually getting that many vegetables into each meal, or just the persons internal constitution. some garlic cooked with some meat isnt a serving of vegetables, unless we are talking about a crap load of garlic. i mean these would have to be some pretty small “servings”. my son is a vegetarian for gods sake and even HE was laughing at that. if i ate 9 full servings of vegetables i would never get off of the toilet and would have a perpetual stomach ache.
i think striving to eat 5-6 servings of veggies is a pretty good and realistic goal. plus, when you just say “vegetables” across the board….some veggies are more nutritious than others. and eating veggies and fruits in a salad or a smoothie (raw) is going to give you more nutrition than eating them cooked. so there is a lot of play in the term “servings” too. obviously everyone who is commenting on this is interested in eating “real” food, and becoming healthier through their diet. so im not knocking whatever works for all of you. but between the price of organics and individual diet needs….i can see where 8-9 servings of veggies might not be a realistic thing for everyone. eating this way…free range, wild caught, organic, etc…..it really is pricey. and saying something like “well, its cheaper than healthcare”…..well thats not really how people look at life in the here and now. ya, living in a better neighborhood would probably decrease a persons risk of being the victim of a crime. but if you cant AFFORD TO MOVE to a better neighborhood, well those are just the facts…..u know what im saying?
You are very mistaken in your negative response. There are many of us who thought it impossible to eat this way but we work on it for the sake of our health issues (MS, Parkinson’s, Lupus, etc.) and have accomplished it with great success in our health improvement. It is expensive but worth every penny especially if you’ve gone from being house bound to being out and enjoying a better quality life. Everyone has seen change. Big change for some and small for others BUT no matter how small it’s improvement. This is not a temporary diet. It is how we live for the rest of our lives. There are many ways around the financial cost too. It’s a personal choice and everyone has a different currency. Clearly by your judgmental comment it’s not for you and that is ok. It is your choice. I hope you don’t come to a place in your personal health where you will need to make drastic changes like many of us did. A LOT would be different for many of us had we made better food choices in our lives years ago. Please don’t belittle us or assume we are insincere by our claims. We all are doing the best we can and are happy and honestly surprised at the improvements.
Best wishes to you.
judgmental comment? who belittled you? geez, calm down…
Nina, I feel you are right on target with the information in your reply. I have had to make lifestyle changes and dietary changes due to health issues. I am doing 9 cups of veggies a day. I eat a small amount of meat/animal protein with 2 of my meals daily. I sometimes add some complex carbs (sweet potato, winter squashes, etc) But primarily the rest of my intake is vegetables. One needs variety in terms of types of vegetables, spices and cooking methods (steamed, roasted, soups) which makes it entirely doable.
My servings are cups.
My servings are researched per veggie type. Hmm, I’ve not seen a svg of kale listed as 4 cups anywhere I have researched.
I feel this article has a lot of value. Amy Myers is an holistic M.D. and Functional Medical practitioner and has appeared many times on the Dr. Oz show. Her new patients often present with intestinal/IBS symptoms. She recommends 50 grams of Fiber per day, not in grain form but through vegetable sources. That would be mostly vegetable meals, and she showed examples. Many health issues are aided by increasing veggies.
If you have no issues, you are blessed. And in terms of veggies, I’d say consume what you can afford, and what you enjoy
Legend, depends what is important to you. Figure how much it costs to be sick and the price of organic food is miniscule. Funny how everything that is important to you, you will find the money for. And like it has been mentioned, getting 9 servings (4.5 cups total, before cooking) is so simple. A bowl of soup could have more than 1/2. I load veggies into spaghetti sauce or chilli and even my young grandchildren eat it.Yo
u never even have to have a salad! The 9 cups includes fruit as well…yummm…it makes me happy just thinking how beautiful those meals look as well as taste! You don’t know what you are missing.
Sorry I wasn’t being negative, trying to be little humorous…guess it failed.
Yummy, the prescriptions clearly separated veggies from fruits. As they usually do, as they are two distinct food groups with usually two distinct biologic reactions in our bodies. I think the issue is what is a true serving? Maybe I’m math poor, but how is 4.5 cups precooked = 8-9 servings? 4 cups precooked kale is approx 1 serving cooked for me. Here’s a dinner meal for me, two chicken thighs, that much kale and a plaintain. Full and done.
As for the costs, I run a very lean budgetary ship here…every dollar is usually spent long before it hits my bank accounts. I’m fiscally conservative by choice and circumstances. So that 6 dollar bunch of organic broccoli rabe, is hard to justify when I can buy two $3 bunches.
Also, I’ve always eaten well from childhood on, and then in my early 20’s, thirty years ago, became even a cleaner eater. Ive always been the odd ball when everyone else thought they could eat whatever they wanted from the US industrial food complex and not suffer for it. So I guess my perspective has always been ahead of the curve on this stuff. I ate organics before such things were known, and/or trendy, and the prices were not thru the roof. (Lets face the fact that the prices of organics are part of the trend/fad, ive had this conversation with many mom/pop grocers and they concure) Ive pretty much sourced my foods for most of my life. It just just made sense.
That said, I still think these recommendations are – in a manner of speaking – slightly insane. I’ve been an athlete all my life, and been a personal trainer for two plus decades (part time with select clients), and my POV is that but a small minority of compulsives actually stick to, and can stick to these regimines all the time over the long haul.
Yes it’s lifestyle choice – but I’ve never had any other lifestyle, nor the health issues so many others have dealt with due to their previous choices to not take care of their health. So I guess I’m coming from a wholly different POV.
Sorry if I offended anyone, just wanted to see what sort of dialogue would follow. No judgments, just my POV.