If you want better health, or you’re an athlete looking for more energy and faster recovery, then avoiding inflammatory foods is key. Inflammation is the root cause of a range of diseases and conditions, so add these 10 best anti-inflammatory foods to your shopping list
Why is inflammation bad?
Elevated inflammation markers are the root cause of – or at the very least linked with – a range of conditions and diseases including:
- Auto-immune disorders
- Heart attack
- Cancers, including colon
- Mental health issues
There’s a mountain of research which can be accessed with a quick Google to support the link between inflammation and ill-health.
In the same way inflammatory foods are easy to identify (they’re man-made and unnatural), anti-inflammatory foods are simple to spot. Go real food with real ingredients and you’ll be on the right track. Just like our Ultimate Daily Greens, loaded with 100% natural goodness to bolster your immune function
Inflammation and food
It’s an often overlooked part of the health continuum. Many exercise frequently and eat a broad range of foods, but with little or no attention paid to those which actively reduce inflammation.
Interestingly, there are some foods which both cause inflammation and have anti-inflammation properties. An orange, for example, contains antioxidants to fight inflammation but the sugars within the fruit have an albeit mild inflammation impact.
What are inflammatory foods?
Before we list the top anti-inflammatory foods, here’s a little run-down of those which cause inflammation:
- Sugary drinks – canned drinks and most sports drinks
- Refined carbohydrates – breads, pasta, white rice, biscuits
- Processed meats – bacon, jerky, salami, hot dogs
- Trans fats – margarine, hydrogenated vegetable oil
- Fried foods – doughnuts, chips, fried chicken
You get the picture. Basically, everything you know really isn’t good for you!
It doesn’t take a genius to work out that your body will rebel against this… (I think it’s a deep fried sausage!)
Best anti-inflammatory foods
Rich in proteolytic enzyme called bromelain which combats pain and inflammation. This is why it's a key ingredient in Better Fuel Energy Blend.
Just one gram per day has been shown to reduce post-exercise muscle soreness and improves glycaemic control in Type 2 Diabetics.
High in phenols and antioxidants to contribute to a reduction in inflammation, they’re also high in selenium, copper and B vitamins.
4. Dark chocolate or raw cacao
Not only is dark chocolate downright tasty, it’s also packed with flavanol antioxidants that reduce inflammation.
Oh yes! This treat is not only a delight for the taste buds but will reduce inflammation too. Win win
One study fed flavanol-rich cacao to smokers and concluded it “contributed to beneficial vascular health effects”. Another examining the anti-aging effect of cacao found that after just four to six days of cacao consumption significantly improved cardiovascular function.
Berries contain an antioxidant called anthocyanins which have an anti-inflammatory effect. Best berries include:
One study conclude that “daily blueberry consumption for 6 weeks increases NK [natural killer] cell counts, and acute ingestion reduces oxidative stress and increases anti-inflammatory cytokines”
6. Cruciferous vegetables
- Brussel sprouts
Ah the good ol’ avo. Superb at any time of day and packed with anti-inflammatories
Magnesium, fibre, monounsaturated fatty acids are just a few of the anti-inflammatory property’s avocados enjoy. Plus, they’re super-tasty and versatile.
8. Fatty fish
Here you want to be going for:
They’re all high in omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA which have been shown to reduce inflammation in numerous studies.
Its strong earthy flavour makes turmeric a great spice for many dishes but it’s the curcumin content of turmeric which is intricately linked to lowered inflammation. Indeed, just one gram daily has been shown to result in a “significant decrease” in metabolic syndrome.
Curcumin found in turmeric was also shown to “…significantly improve oxidative and inflammatory status in patients with MetS [Metabolic Syndrome].”
Turmeric contains curcumin which has been shown to reduce metabolic syndrome
High in vitamin C and potassium, tomatoes are nutritious and versatile. But it’s their antioxidant lycopene content which is particularly impressive. Lycopene was found to “inhibit tumour growth in the liver, lung, prostate, breast, and colon”.
That’s quite remarkable.
Best anti-inflammatory foods - conclusion
A diet which includes plenty of anti-inflammatory food is quite easy to maintain. It’s no a fad diet that needs to be ‘attacked’. Simply keep these foods in mind on your next food shop and eat a range of them to get all the goodness. It might even increase your life expectancy by 4.6 years!
Sports nutrition shouldn’t be inflammatory (though much of it is). It should contain ingredients which do the opposite and combat inflammation. Our all natural Amore energy bars do just that so you can rest assured you’re eating for both performance AND health
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