Can foods help you fight inflammation?

Posted by Kim Lenga on

But why is inflammation bad for us, anyway? And what does food have to do with it?
 
Inflammation is a part of your body's normal response to infection or injury. It's when your damaged tissue releases chemicals that tell white blood cells to start repairing. But sometimes, inflammation is low-grade, spread throughout the body, and chronic.
 
This chronic inflammation can do damage to your body. It can play a role in the buildup of plaque in your arteries that can up your risk of heart disease and stroke. It's also associated with a higher risk of cancer, diabetes and other chronic conditions.
 
The choices you make at the grocery store can have an impact on the inflammation in your body. While oily fish are excellent sources of omega 3, taking omega supplements is also a great option. 

If taking supplements, to obtain the desired intake, be sure to read labels and check serving size of the omega-3 portion of the total fish oil. You may need to take more than one capsule of most supplements in order to obtain the recommended 2,000 mg of omega-3 fatty acids. Look for grams of omega-3 fats. Specifically, EPA and DHA have the greatest benefit (not grams of "fish oil").

To determine your risk of inflammation, consider taking a HIPAA compliant DNA test which comes with a $100 instant credit for personalized vitamins. 

Below is a list of plant-based Omega 3 options that I incorporate into my diet daily - in addition to taking an omega 3 supplement.

 

  1. Flaxseed.  Find flaxseed whole or ground or as an oil and mix them into yogurt, or baked goods.
  2. Hemp Seeds.  Incorporate hemp seeds into granola, smoothies, oatmeal, and salads.
  3. Walnuts.  Walnuts have more omega 3 than any other tree nut. Incorporate walnuts into meals and snacks as a simple, tasty, and convenient way to add satisfying nutrients to your diet such as fiber, proteins, and good fats.
  4. Chia seeds.  Loaded with 5 g of omega-3’s in just 2 tablespoons, these tiny seeds are a nutritional powerhouse that also deliver fiber, protein, and calcium. Add versatile Chia seeds to smoothies, salads, or salad dressings, baked goods, oatmeal, and yogurt.
  5. Edamame. If you haven’t already, give edamame a try! 1/2 cup serving offers 20% of your daily omega threes, plus protein, fiber, and other essential nutrients. Enjoy as a snack or add to dishes like stir-fries or salads.
  • Whole plant foods have the anti-inflammatory nutrients that your body needs. So, eating a rainbow of fruits, veggies, whole grains and legumes is the best place to start.
  • Eat less red meat. Red meat can be pro-inflammatory. Try substituting your lunchtime beef with fish, nuts or soy-based protein a few times a week.
  • Cut the processed stuff. Sugary cereals and drinks, deep-fried food, and pastries are all pro-inflammatory offenders. They can contain plenty of unhealthy fats that are linked to inflammation.

 


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