The following foods and nutrients deserve special mention for their ability to quell inflammatory responses in your body:
1) Chia Seeds
Chia seeds! These potent little seeds are chock full of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help lower your level of LDL (bad) cholesterol. Gram for gram, they contain more omega-3 than salmon!
2) Dark Leafy Greens
Dark leafy greens such as kale, spinach, collard greens and Swiss chard contain powerful antioxidants, flavonoids, carotenoids, and vitamin C –all of which help protect against cellular damage. Ideally, opt for organic locally grown veggies that are in season, and consider eating a fair amount of them raw. Juicing is an excellent way to get more green into your diet.
Blueberries rate very high in antioxidant capacity compared to other fruits and vegetables. They are also lower in sugar than many other fruits.
4) Green Tea
Matcha green tea is the most nutrient-rich green tea and comes in the form of a stone-ground unfermented powder. The best Matcha comes from Japan and has up to 17 times the antioxidants of wild blueberries, and seven times more than dark chocolate! Tulsi is another tea loaded with anti-inflammatory antioxidants and other micro-nutrients that support immune function and heart health.
5) Fermented Vegetables and Traditional Cultured Food
Optimizing your gut flora is important for a well-functioning immune system, and helps ward off chronic inflammation. In fact, the majority of inflammatory diseases start in your gut, as the result of an imbalanced microbiome. Fermented foods such as kefir, natto, kimchee, miso, tempeh, pickles, sauerkraut, olives, and other fermented vegetables will help ‘reseed’ your gut with beneficial bacteria.
Fermented foods can also help your body rid itself of harmful toxins such as heavy metals and pesticides that promote inflammation.
6) Shiitake Mushrooms
Shiitake mushrooms contain strong compounds with the natural ability to discourage inflammation, such as Ergothioneine, which inhibits oxidative stress. They also contain a number of unique nutrients that many do not get enough of in their diet. One is copper, which is one of the few metallic elements accompanied by amino and fatty acids that are essential to human health. Since your body can’t synthesize copper, your diet must supply it regularly. Copper deficiency can be a factor in the development of coronary heart disease.
Garlic has been treasured for its medicinal properties for centuries. It’s also one of the most heavily researched plant foods around. Over 170 studies show it benefiting more than 150 different countries. Garlic exerts its benefits on multiple levels, offering anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, and antioxidant properties.