If you’ve followed me with on my blog or have read my new book, Everyday Natural, they you know that I am completely committed to a real-food way of eating. For my family, that means eating food that is wholesome and nourishing. It means eating food that is pure and grown or raised in the most natural way.
We only invented the word organic because
we made things inorganic.
We only invented the word natural because
we made things unnatural. — Khang Kijarro Nguyen
In this blog post I want to tell you something else vitally important that the real-food way of eating can do for you—it can help you fight dangerous inflammation that may be robbing you of a healthy lifestyle. There are many anti-inflammatory foods that can lower your risk of developing inflammatory diseases, and that can lessen flare-ups and pain from autoinflammatory diseases that wreak havoc on your immune system health.
5 Anti-Inflammatory Foods
I want to take a look at five of these important anti-inflammatory foods. I think you just might be surprised at some of my favorites, including:
- Dark Chocolate (yup! that’s true)
- Ginger (this fall season is perfect for this one)
Berries are antioxidant powerhouses, and high in phytonutrients that give protection against many inflammation based diseases. All berries have these qualities, but blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, strawberries and raspberries are some of the best. However, only organic or wild berries that have never been sprayed with chemical pesticides need apply!
There are so many flavorful ways to incorporate these in your real food diet. You can do as my family does, and eat them freshly washed from the garden, or add some blueberries and strawberries to your breakfast oatmeal or to a lunch salad. Toss a freezer bag of blueberries in your freezer, and you will have them ready to pop in your mouth or to add to salads, desserts, smoothies, and homemade ice cream.
For a simple and easy dessert, try the “Paleo Lemon Blueberry Poke Cake” and enjoy this healthy inflammation fighter dessert.
Avocados are packed with potassium, magnesium, fiber and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. They also contain vitamin E and C, manganese, selenium, and zinc, which helps to protect against inflammation. You can sprinkle a half avocado with salt and pepper and eat it by itself, of add avocado to many salads and fish recipes.
One of my family’s favorite recipes for avocado is a recipe for Baked Acocado-Coco Fries that I adapted from online to make it gluten-free. You can find my special recipe here. Ummm, holy deliciousness!!! These are amazing.
Turmeric is called the “Queen of Spices,” and has been used as a healthy spice for thousands of years. One of main ingredients in turmeric is curcumin, which gives turmeric its yellow color. Curcumin has been proven to help prevent hardening of the arteries, help stop the loss of protein through the kidneys, and in laboratory studies has successfully killed cultures of cancer cells from the skin, bloodstream, and ovaries.
Be sure you search for a high-quality, 100 percent organic-based turmeric supplement. There are many uses for turmeric, including adding it to your natural, homemade lotions and rubs, and making some of my Soothing Elixir for Colds and Flu when you feel a cold coming on. It is a wonderful spice to add to soups and stews, and will give them a rich, warm flavor and a beautiful color. The next time you make Homemade Bone Broth, add a couple teaspoons of Turmeric.
4. Dark Chocolate
Did you know that research has proven that chocolate is good not only for the soul, but for your mind and body as well. You can combine dark chocolate with turmeric to have a great inflammation fighter, which will help to reduce the inflammatory processes underlying chronic, degenerative diseases. Try adding a half teaspoon of turmeric powder to this delicious Two-Minute Mug Brownie, for some great tasting and healthy benefits.
Be sure to choose dark chocolate that contains at least 70 percent cocoa (more is even better) in order to reap the anti-inflammatory benefits. Here’s a new inflammation adage to replace the old one about an apple a day: “One piece of dark chocolate a day will chase inflammation away!”
Ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties have made it a valuable tool in pain relief for centuries. In 2001, research showed that ginger extract helped reduce knee pain in people with osteoarthritis. (1) Ginger is wonderful for your gastrointestinal tract, as it is both carminative (preventing flatulence) and an intestinal spasmolytic (meaning it prevents spasms by soothing your intestinal tract). If you struggle with motion sickness or nausea (from pregnancy or chemotherapy, for example), ginger should be a staple in your diet.
If you’ve never used fresh ginger before you may find the gnarly brown root somewhat intimidating – but it’s incredibly easy to use. One of the simplest ways is to chop off a couple of inches of ginger root and let it steep in hot water for fresh ginger tea. You can also peel the root using a paring knife and then slice it thinly (or mince it) to add to tea or cooked dishes.
When left unpeeled, fresh ginger can be stored in your refrigerator for at least three weeks or in your freezer for six months or longer, making it incredibly easy to keep on hand. Try experimenting by adding fresh ginger and other warming spices, like cinnamon, to a cup of tea in the morning, evening or after a meal … and see if you notice any of the health benefits I’ve just described.
Just Get Started
There are many other anti-inflammatory foods that you can use to rid your family’s life of nasty inflammatory disease and viruses. If this blog post has given you some good starting ideas, dig deeper and discover those foods that work best for your family’s health and well-being. You might want to start by sampling this Fight Back Inflammation Smoothie recipe.