Food for Thought
Certain foods—such as berries—deserve the spotlight when it comes to lowering inflammation. But more important than individual foods is an overall eating pattern that is rich in colorful plant-based foods, balanced with quality protein and healthy fats. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans give this same advice. The good news is that you can easily find inflammation-fighting foods in your local food market.
- Start by shopping the perimeter of the store and selecting fruits and vegetables from every color of the rainbow, particularly leafy greens, blueberries, strawberries and grapes. The freezer section will offer the same benefits out of season.
- Make legumes such as soybeans, lentils, pintos and peanuts a part of your daily diet. You can find these canned and bagged for quick meals and snacks.
- Include omega-3 fatty acids from fish such as salmon and cod and from plant sources such as flaxseeds and walnuts.
- Spice up dishes with garlic, ginger and turmeric.
- Sip tea more often instead of sweetened beverages.
- Finally, if you drink alcohol, keep in mind that a glass of red wine has anti-inflammatory properties and pairs nicely with a small piece of flavonoid-rich 70% cocoa dark chocolate when you need to satisfy your sweet tooth. Inflammation is at the root of many chronic diseases, and educated food choices can help. CEC approved