Updated: Feb 11, 2019
1. Choose your anti-inflammatory fats
There are multiple kinds of fats, some that are pro-inflammatory and some that are anti-inflammatory.
You may have heard of 'good fats' or anti-inflammatory fats before including the essential fatty acids (EFAs) like those found in olive oil, oily fish, avocado, flax, chia, hemp, and evening primrose oil (EPO). EFAs are grouped into categories based on their structure. The most commonly described EFAs are omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids.
2. Choose your leafy greens and vegetables
Including fresh, leafy greens is important for adding anti-oxidants, minerals, fibre and vitality to the meal. Rocket, spinach, chard, parsley, and basil are a few of many great leafy greens that provide a healthy dose of nutrients including the anti-oxidants and bioflavonoids to reduce inflammation in the body.
Add anti-oxidant value to your meal by choosing fresh produce such as:
- tomatoes (when cooked is a good source of lycopene, a potent anti-oxidant associated with reduced risk of certain cancers).
- red onion
3. Choose your lean protein
A source of lean protein such as free-range, organic eggs, oily fish such as sardines, herring, wild caught salmon, or whole sardines, a palm-size and thickness amount of free-range chicken, or plant-based sources of protein such as organic tofu or tempeh, or well-cooked legumes is important in most main meals. Protein is a source of amino acids for the body necessary for nervous system function and healthy mood, structural integrity or muscles, organs, and connective tissue like bones, hairy, skin, and nails, as well as effective detoxification. Including protein in a meal will also increase your sense of fullness and maintain healthy blood sugar levels for longer.
4. Add spices
These spices have anti-inflammatory actions as well as adding flavour and fragrance to a meal - always important for food enjoyment! Ginger, turmeric, garlic, and rosemary all possess potent anti-inflammatory actions and increase circulation. Stimulating the flow of blood to areas of the body such as peripheries (hands and feet) and other intricate joint structures delivers oxygen and nutrients, in turn reducing inflammation.
5. Turn down the heat
Cook on low heat with moisture to avoid burning and creating AGES. What are advanced glycation end products aka AGES? Implicated in diabetes and age-related diseases, AGES form when sugars such as glucose and protein or lipids react such as through cooking - especially at high heat.
AGES are known to induce inflammation and raise inflammatory markers in the body.