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Foods that Fight Inflammation

Sporty & Rich Wellness - Foods that Fight Inflammation

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By: @gooodmoodfoood

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Inflammation has become a huge topic in the last few years. Whether it is chronic or acute, many people are experiencing symptoms. Symptoms range from pain, swelling, stiffness, and fatigue among others. Inflammation can have many causes ranging from alcohol intake to stress, high-intensity exercises and so many more! The good news is the foods that we eat can have a positive impact on both preventing and reducing the symptoms of inflammation. Our bodies respond to how we eat. When we eat foods high in chemicals or unknown substances, our bodies try to fight these intruders and protect us through inflammation. The issue is, sometimes this inflammation persists or occurs too often and can become chronic. Many processed and refined foods such as ultra-processed foods, sodas, and refined carbohydrates can lead to inflammation.

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Your diet is a powerful tool to decrease your risk of inflammation and help reduce it once present. In the next section, I will describe foods that have been shown to decrease inflammation and how we can include these nutrient-dense options in our diet. Diets such as the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet have been shown to potentially decrease not only our risk of inflammation, but other chronic diseases as well. Some of the foods that I did not go into detail below but may help inflammation are green leafy vegetables, high-fat fish, avocados, cinnamon, dark chocolate, and tomatoes!

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Turmeric: There is a lot of research on the anti-inflammatory benefits of turmeric. Since this food is also high in antioxidants, it helps to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress throughout the body. This spice can be used in soups, juices, chicken, roasted vegetables, curry, and many other recipes.

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Extra Virgin Olive Oil: The Mediterranean diet has shown us just how powerful EVOO can be for our health. This oil is loaded with monounsaturated fats that may help reduce our risk of chronic disease and inflammatory markers. The best part is that olive oil can be used in a variety of ways. We can use this healthy oil to cook veggies or meat, as salad dressing, on pizza, or to create a delicious dip for some fresh sourdough bread.

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Nuts: Many nuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids which help fight inflammation. Almonds and walnuts are some of the nuts that have been well researched in this respect and contain additional beneficial nutrients such as magnesium and fibre. Nuts are amazing in a trail mix, on a yogurt or oatmeal bowl, on a salad, or as a part of a fun charcuterie board.

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Berries: Like many foods on this list, berries are especially high in antioxidants. Specifically anthocyanins could help reduce the risk of inflammation and help our immune system function properly. Some examples of how berries can be used are in yogurt parfaits, smoothies, baked goods, or eaten on their own.

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It is important to note that if you feel like you have been experiencing high levels of inflammation or are having trouble performing everyday tasks, you can talk to your doctor about testing your individual inflammatory markers!

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References:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/foods-that-fight-inflammation https://health.clevelandclinic.org/anti-inflammatory-diet/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8572027/ https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/13-anti-inflammatory-foods#TOC_TITLE_HDR_2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4997300/

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