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Fight Inflammation With Healthy Foods

By Sandy Schroeder

Anti-inflammation menus for our table may come from the same no-nonsense health advice that our grandmothers gave us, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Fighting inflammation in the body to avoid chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, arthritis, depression and Alzheimer's is the goal, and eating healthy may be the best answer.

Our diets are important because our digestive bacteria releases chemicals that can lower inflammation or stimulate it. 

Guide to Eating Better

Here are some ways to head in the right direction with the foods that you eat every day

Vegetables and fruits - Brightly colored vegetables and most fruits provide antioxidants and polyphenols to fight inflammation. Choose your family favorites and serve them at every meal. Top hot bowls of oats with raspberries, blueberries or cherries. Serve leafy green salads filled with tomatoes, red peppers, green onions, olives, and green beans for lunch along with a hearty black bean or broccoli and cheese soup. For dinner add Brussels sprouts, spinach or fresh corn to a plate of fresh fish or lean poultry, and finish with an apricot tart.

Nuts and seeds - Researchers say your favorite nuts or seeds can reduce inflammation and reduce the risk for diabetes or heart disease. Start with walnuts, almonds and peanuts and add others to your salads and snacks. Mix your favorite seeds into baked loaves and snacks. 

Fatty fish - Enjoy salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel a couple times a week for lunch or dinner.

Olive oil - Prepare fresh vinegar and olive oil dressings for salads and saute fish and vegetables in olive oil.

Beverages - Coffee has polyphenols and cocoa has flavonols to combat inflammation. Green tea also provides polyphenols and antioxidants.   

Avoid These Inflammatory Foods

  • Soda and other sugar-sweetened drinks
  • French fries and other fried foods
  • Red meat such as steaks and burgers
  • Processed meats like hot dogs, sausages and lunch meats
  • Margarine, shortening or lard

Overall, an anti-inflammatory diet such as the Mediterranean diet with its nuts, grains, fruits, vegetables, fish and olive oils can also benefit the mind the body as it improves mood, helps maintain a healthy weight, and strengthens the body.

Start looking for some new recipes now that incorporate all of the healthy foods and emphasize your family's favorites.  

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Upland, Calif.

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