A traditional Western diet is high in inflammation-causing foods. Think refined grains, processed foods, sugar, saturated and trans fats, gluten, and alcohol. And inflammation is often at the root of many chronic diseases that plague millions and millions of Americans, such as arthritis, heart disease, hypertension, and autoimmune diseases.
While medication may be needed to treat the symptoms in certain instances, the best approach is to proactively reduce inflammation in the body. So, here are some of our favorite foods that have been shown to reduce inflammation.
Herbs and Spices
Certain herbs and spices have been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. These include turmeric, chili peppers, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, rosemary, and thyme.
For instance, the main active ingredient in turmeric and curry powder, has been shown to offer some protection against certain cancers and inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis, Alzheimer’s, and inflammatory bowel disease.
We recommend making yourself a golden milk latte with turmeric, ginger, cinnamon and cloves. You can find our recipe here.
Chile peppers have also been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect. The most important active ingredient in chile peppers is capsaicin, which not only gives the pepper its spicy flavor but may also intercept inflammatory pathways.
Best of all, you can find both curcumin and capsacin in our Coconut Curry sauce!
Beans and Lentils
Beans and lentils, also referred to as “pulses,” are rich in fiber and phytonutrients, both of which have been shown to help lower C-reactive protein (“CRP”), an inflammatory marker found in the blood. Plus, they’re high in magnesium, which has also been linked to reducing inflammation.
Try one of our many bean-based salads, or satisfy your sweet tooth in a guilt-free way with our bean-based cookie dough and brownie batter.
All vegetables are rich in fiber and phytonutrients and therefore recommended for an anti-inflammatory diet. But there are some that are extra special for reducing inflammation.
Vegetables belonging to the allium family (i.e., garlic, onion, scallions, shallots, leeks, chives) are particularly good at fighting inflammation in the body. For instance, onions contain a significant amount of quercetin, a flavonoid with anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidizing properties that combat heart disease and cancer. And garlic contains organosulfur compounds that may inhibit the production of substances that promote inflammation in the blood. To maximize garlic’s potency (both flavor- and nutrition-wise), eat it raw, or let crushed garlic stand for 10 minutes before cooking.
Dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and collard greens are one of the healthiest foods on the planet for a variety of reasons. For one, they are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and polyphenols that have been found to reduce chronic inflammation. Additionally, many leafy greens contain alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fat with anti-inflammatory benefits.
Looking to up your intake of leafy greens? Try out Kalebeet Blend!
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts are also anti-inflammatory powerhouses.
Both cruciferous vegetables and dark leafy greens are rich in Vitamin K, which has been linked to a reduction in inflammatory markers and a decrease in risk for heart disease and osteoporosis. Similarly, both types of vegetables are high in calcium, iron and disease-fighting flavonoids, all of which have been shown to combat inflammation.
Lucky for you, we have a wide variety of cruciferous vegetables from you to try, from Shaved Brussels to Cauliflower Rice to a Superblend Salad.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are rich in a variety of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fiber and heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that can help ward off inflammation. For instance, walnuts, chia seeds, and flax seeds contain high amounts of alpha-linolenic acid, a type of omega-3 fat, that is linked to lower levels of inflammation. Almonds, sunflower seeds, and hazelnuts are rich in Vitamin E, which has been shown to protect the body from inflammation-causing free radicals.
For a healthy dose of walnuts and flax seeds, try our Crunchy Walnut Date Muesli. Or just eat our Cashew Cheddar by the spoon.