Guest Author: Nagina Abdullah, https://masalabody.com, Health Coach for Busy Women
I used to think I was too busy to follow a healthy lifestyle and that I didn’t have time to think about food. So, I just ate what was there — chips from the vending machine, hot dogs from a street cart, whatever!
But over time, neglecting my diet caught up with me. I was overweight, tired all the time, and my joints hurt. However, when I incorporated these 9 spices and foods that are anti-inflammatory, the inflammation in my body calmed and 40 pounds FELL off of me.
You might think it’s normal to feel bloated or have gas and other digestive problems. Maybe skin issues are popping up, like eczema. Or maybe losing weight is a lot harder than it used to be.
It’s easy to rationalize these symptoms as part of “getting older” or random bodily changes. But there could be another cause. It’s a cause that you can actually do something about. You might be inflamed.
“Inflammation” and “anti-inflammatory diet” are major buzzwords lately — for good reason. More and more scientific research is uncovering strong links between chronic inflammation and serious disease. (1) It also affects the quality of your life every day.
What is inflammation? How do you know if you’re inflamed? Why is an anti-inflammatory diet so important? In this post, I’ll answer these questions and give you links to 9 top anti-inflammatory foods, spices, and recipes (which personally helped me lose 40 pounds)
WHAT IS INFLAMMATION?
Inflammation in the body is a physiological response to viruses, pathogens, dust particles, or other “foreign organisms.” (2) When you catch the flu, you’re temporarily inflamed.
Feeling like your face is bloated or that you’re tired all the time might be normal to you now. These are signs of chronic inflammation. It’s more than just annoying, it’s damaging to your body.
Here are some common symptoms of widespread inflammation:
- Extra weight around your belly
- Extra weight that doesn’t go away “no matter what”
- Digestive problems like gas, constipation, bloating, diarrhea
- Feeling tired all day (even with enough sleep)
- Skin problems like red blotchy skin, eczema, or psoriasis
- Feeling puffy in the face, dark circles under the eyes
- Achy joints
- Brain fog, anxiety and depression (3)
WHAT CAUSES INFLAMMATION?
Inflammation is a physiological reaction to what’s happening in your body. In short, some foods calm inflammation while some trigger it. High, chronic inflammation in the body can cause extra weight, puffiness, tiredness, digestive, and skin problems and even anxiety and depression.
However, following an anti inflammatory diet can alleviate many of these symptoms.
Inflammation over a long time can also lead to disease and chronic conditions. Some of the diseases connected to inflammation are heart problems, diabetes, digestive issues and cancer. (1)
You don’t have to feel powerless! After I started to follow an anti-inflammatory diet I and lost 40 pounds! Before I lost the weight, I remember my back hurting so much that I didn’t even want to get off the couch.
Now I feel physically strong, mentally more alert and full of energy. I set a healthy example for my daughter and son, and I feel like the person I know I am inside.
The aches and pains that kept me slumped into my couch on weekends went away. Now I spend my free time playing with my kids on the beach, hiking, and feeling alive and confident.
You can get there, too! I’ve put together a list of the 9 best anti-inflammatory foods and their specific anti-inflammatory benefits. Let’s get you feeling and looking great again. Enjoy!
BEST ANTI INFLAMMATORY FOODS
1. Leafy Greens
Chard, kale, spinach and other leafy greens are high in antioxidants and Vitamins A, C, and K. (2) When consuming anti inflammatory vegetables such as these, the more the better. Here’s an easy vegetarian meal plan with lots of veggie-based meal recipes.
Here’s another veggie that’s high in antioxidants and vitamins, as well as important minerals for anti-inflammation, like magnesium and potassium. (2) It’s so easy to prepare. Just rinse, chop the crowns off and steam. It takes 15 minutes total!
Get my free Top 10 Surprising Fat-Burning Foods Cheat Sheet here! (ps. It includes lots of foods that are anti-inflammatory!)
I love adding blueberries to smoothies and yogurt. These naturally sweet low-sugar fruits also contain quercetin, a flavonoid that offers anti-inflammatory benefits as well as combating cancer development. (2) Out of all the anti-inflammatory foods, this is one of my favorites!
A recent study published in the medical journal Oncogene supported the fact that turmeric benefits weight loss. It found that curcumin (the main compound in turmeric) is a more powerful anti-inflammatory than aspirin and ibuprofen and (2) that it blocks and burns fats cells.
Ginger is one of my absolute favorite spices. It helps reduce overactive immune responses in the body. (2) It contains a strong antioxidant called 6-gingerol, which blocks the production of specific free radicals, acting as an anti-inflammatory. Ginger tea benefits the body through boosting digestion. (3)
Get a cute, printable Top 10 Fat-Burning Foods Cheat Sheet with 10 easy, tasty (and surprising!) fat-zapping foods.
Cayenne contains a range of antioxidants that scavenge for free radicals. This protects the body against cellular damage that can lead to inflammation and serious health problems. (3) Cayenne also torches fat cells and provides numerous anti-inflammatory benefits.
Cinnamaldehyde inhibits proteins that trigger pro-inflammatory genes, targets belly fat and improves insulin sensitivity (and the benefits of honey and cinnamon together are even better). It also prevents blood platelets from clumping and protects against heart disease, cancer, and other inflammation-related diseases. (3)
The snacks on this Top 10 Surprising Fat-Burning Foods cheat sheet will make you find someone to high-five
This health food favorite is high in Omega 3 fats, which are some of the most potent anti-inflammatory substances for the human body. Adding more Omega 3s to your diet with salmon will noticeably relieve inflammation and reduce the need for anti-inflammatory medication. (2)
Other highly anti-inflammatory fish are mackerel, sardines, sole, and trout. Though the last two aren’t as high in Omega 3s, they’re still an easily digested lean protein that induces anti-inflammatory responses. (4)
9. Chia Seeds and Flax Seeds
Another excellent source of Omega-3s, chia seeds are a tiny antioxidant that is pretty high on the anti-inflammatory food list. They contain alpha-linolenic and linoleic acid, vitamins A, B, E, and D, and also minerals such as iron, niacin, and thiamine and fiber (these nutrients also burn belly fat fast!). Flax seeds also have Omega 3s, as well as phytonutrients and lignans. All of which have antioxidant benefits for anti-aging, hormone balance, and cellular health. (2)
These are great to add to your morning smoothie for more fiber to keep you feel throughout the morning.
Chia and flax are also some of the most important foods for a flat belly.
These are the top anti-inflammatory foods and spices to help you heal, slim down, and furthermore, feel spectacular!
You don’t have to guess which foods and spices actively help you lose weight. Get my free Top 10 Surprising Fat-Burning Foods Cheat Sheet here! (ps. It includes lots of foods that are anti-inflammatory!)