With inflammation being the leading cause of death today, it’s essential to include anti-inflammatory foods into your diet in order to decrease the likelihood of disease, and increase longevity. In a recent article published in the psychoneuroimmunology journal, Dr. George Slavich discloses that inflammation is involved in 8 out of 10 leading causes of death seen in the United States today!
Without a lifestyle change, inflammation will continue to wreak havoc for millions of people. However, the good news is that there are things we can do to avoid becoming a disease statistic.
Why inflammation may be the new silent killer
With processed foods, environmental toxins, and stress levels running high it’s no wonder our bodies are under an incredible amount of stress, and inflammation is spiraling out of control. If you’re not in tune with your symptoms, you may not piece the puzzle together.
It’s very easy to confuse inflammatory symptoms with something else, which is why inflammation can be considered a ‘silent killer.’ Did you know that even a common cold is tied back to inflammation?
According to the Arizona Center for Medicine, every chronic disease is an inflammatory disease. What does this mean for you? This means that getting ahold of your overall state of inflammation will greatly improve your health, reverse and prevent disease, and even slow the aging process. The number one step is taking a good hard look at the foods you’re eating in order to take the step necessary to avoid inflammatory-related disease.
Don’t ever forget: the foods consumed within the standard American diet are our body’s worst enemies. These foods are processed, toxic, and a major cause of inflammation. With inflammatory foods on the rise it’s no surprise that conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, asthma, autoimmune conditions, and heart disease continue to rise as well. If we don’t change our food habits, these conditions will continue to grow.
How do we change all of this? Let’s take a closer look
These foods will help you reduce inflammation and avoid health problems
#1: Beets: Are you surprised that beets make it onto the top of the list? Just look at their vibrant color bursting with antioxidants ready to cool inflammation in your body! In case you were wondering, the antioxidant betalain is what’s responsible for the beets vibrant color. Not only are beets a beautiful addition to any plate, they work wonders at help to repair cell damage caused by systemic inflammation.
#2: Blueberries: Blueberries are super delicious, and extremely high in antioxidants to help fight off free radicals in the body. Blueberries have been known to help slow down cognitive decline, and improve memory function by protecting the body from inflammation and combatting oxidative damage, and stress. One more reason to load up on blueberries!
#3: Walnuts: There’s a reason why walnuts resemble the human brain. Walnuts are actually excellent for brain health, and rich in omega 3 fatty-acids. For those who don’t get enough omega 3’s from fatty fish, walnuts are an excellent option. Walnuts are also very high in their own unique antioxidant compounds, and their ‘special’ antioxidants – only found in a few commonly eaten foods – place walnuts at the top of the list of anti-inflammatory foods.
#4: Leafy Greens: Here’s just one more reason to fill your plate up with dark leafy green vegetables. Leafy greens are packed full of powerful minerals to nourish your body while also being high in antioxidants and flavonoids to help fight free radicals in the body, and reduce overall inflammation. If you struggle to get leafy greens into your diet try adding a handful of fresh spinach to a smoothie, or making a delicious green juice with cucumber, celery, kale, and lemon.
#5: Pineapple: Yes, even this tropical sweet treat contains powerful anti-inflammatory powers! Pineapple is high in bromelain which not only packs in a nice dose of anti-inflammatory benefits but it helps assist with digestion as well. Pineapple is also high in vitamin C, which can help the body fight against germs, and illness. Try adding some pineapple to a morning green smoothie, or chop it up for a mid-day snack.
The bottom line is that the majority of Americans suffer with an inflammatory condition that is completely preventable and reversible. By removing pro-inflammatory foods such as unhealthy (trans) fats, refined sugars and processed meats; while at the same time adding in anti-inflammatory foods high in antioxidants – the body can begin to heal.
To get a jump start toward healthier eating – try this delicious anti-inflammatory smoothie. (below)
Cocoa Berry Smoothie (serves 1)
- 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
- ½ frozen banana
- 1 Tbsp. cocoa powder
- 1 Tbsp. chopped walnuts
- 1 cup of frozen blueberries
- 1 handful of fresh spinach
Place all ingredients into a high speed blender, and blend until smooth. Enjoy!