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Nutrition for Inflammation

family laughing and eating dinnerInflammation plays a very important role in our bodies and can lead to a variety of chronic diseases. Some of these diseases include heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, among many others. Pain is also commonly associated with inflammation and can be incredibly uncomfortable. Diet plays a very crucial role in controlling and preventing inflammatory conditions and pain.

The following foods have shown to be anti-inflammatory and beneficial for health:

Vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, and tomatoes contain alpha-lipoic acid which has strong antioxidant properties. It helps to reduce inflammation in our bodies, and lower our blood sugar levels. Our bodies make alpha-lipoic acid in small amounts, but consuming it in our diets can be very beneficial. Some red meats also contain alpha-lipoic acid.

Turmeric is beneficial for reducing inflammation because it contains curcumin. Consuming turmeric with black pepper and a healthy fatty meal increases its effectiveness. Curcumin supplements can also be found in many health food stores.

Fish such as salmon and sardines contain high amounts of omega-3-fatty acids. These are known to reduce inflammation and improve cognitive health. Fish oil supplements are also beneficial. When purchasing a fish oil supplement, be sure to look for one that contains a 3:1 ratio of EPA:DHA.

Ginger has many health benefits. It contains an anti-inflammatory compound called gingerol. Gingerol can treat nausea, morning sickness, and sea sickness. It can also reduce muscle pain and soreness and reduce symptoms of osteoarthritis. Consuming ginger can also help to prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and chronic indigestion. Its antimicrobial properties also make it helpful for fighting infection and illness.

Green tea helps to fight inflammation and ultimately reduced damage that is caused to our cells. It contains a substance called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which has antiviral properties, so it is also good for our immune systems.

Berries and grapes both contain anthocyanins which reduce inflammation. They are also what give the fruit their dark colours. Additionally, grapes also contain resveratrol which is also anti-inflammatory.

While there are many foods we can add to our diets to prevent illness and reduced pain and inflammation, there are also many foods that we should be avoiding. Some inflammatory foods include fast food, refined carbohydrates such as white bread and pasta, fried foods, sugary foods and beverages, processed foods and trans fats. These can drive inflammation, so it is important to reduce the amounts of these foods in our diets. It would be helpful to replace them with whole foods, and unprocessed, anti-inflammatory options.

Speak with your naturopathic doctor to find out which anti-inflammatory foods are best for you.


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