Inflammation is a part of the body’s immune response; without it, we cannot heal. Unfortunately, inflammation can run out of control– as with rheumatoid arthritis– and can damage the body.
As we have discussed before, foods high in sugar and refined flour can spur inflammation. The good news is that other foods may curb inflammation.
Below is a list of anti-inflammation foods and a immune boosting, inflammation reducing recipe to add to your repertoire.
1. Tart Cherries– In a 2012 presentation, Oregon Health and Science University researchers suggested that tart cherries have the “highest anti-inflammatory content of any food.” It has been shown to help athletes improve their performance and reduce their use of pain meds. The proper amount to ingest daily is 1.5 cups of tart cherries or 1 cup of tart cherry juice. Sadly, sweet cherries are not a substitute. They just don’t have the same effects.
2. Fatty Fish– Oily fish, like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines, are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to help reduce inflammation. To get the benefits, however, you need to eat fish several times a week, and it should be baked, boiled or grilled. If you are not a fish fan, consider a fish-oil supplement but be sure that the one you choose is NOT shelf stable as those are not healthy.
3. Whole Grains– Instead of reaching for refined grains in cereals, white bread, white rice or pasta, consume whole grains such as wild rice, steel cut oats, or quinoa. Whole grains are important because they have more fiber which has been shown to reduce levels of C-level protein, a marker of inflammation in the blood, and they usually have less added sugar. Be aware that not all products labeled “whole grain” is healthier than their refined counterparts. Make sure that whole grains are the first ingredient and there are no added sugars.
4. Olive Oil– “Anything that fits into a heart healthy diet is probably also good for inflammation” says Dr. Zashin, author of Natural Arthritis Treatment. Extra Virgin olive oil may in fact be the key ingredient that makes the Mediterranean diet’s so healthy. The compound oleocanthal, which gives olive oil its taste, has been shown to have a similar effect as NSAID painkillers in the body.
These commonly found foods can be a first step in eating healthier and possibly decreasing inflammation in your body.
If you are not aware of how to work with these items, I have developed a recipe that incorporates all 4 into one tasty, healthy dish.
Grilled Salmon over Wild Rice with a Tart Cherry Sauce
- 6 6-8 oz servings of wild caught salmon
- extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 2 cups frozen tart cherries (pitted)
- 2 T grassfed ghee or butter
- 1 shallot chopped fine
- 2 T local raw honey (or more to taste)
- 6 servings wild rice, prepared according to the directions on the package
- Drizzle the salmon with olive oil coating each piece lightly.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste
- Bake salmon at 450 degrees F (232 degrees C) for 4-6 minutes for every ½ inch of thickness of the fish. Here is a great video to learn how to bake salmon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GudNv6KqT4c
- Make the sauce by melting the butter or ghee in a pan over medium-high heat.
- Fry the chopped shallot until well caramelized.
- Add the tart cherries and reduce the heat to medium.
- Once the cherries are heated through, add the honey (more to taste if needed)
- Allow the sauce to simmer until slightly syrupy.
- Serve: Place salmon on a bed of wild rice and cover with sauce.
I hope you enjoy!
Elwin is also the Founder of Complete Detox Academy, Taoist Health Academy, the Health Coaching Institute and High Energy Academy, as well as the author of 'the Easy Exhaustion Cure' and 'the 4 Step Safe and Effective Detox Action Plan'.
Elwin is highly Enthusiastic about empowering people to feel Energized, Joyful and Alive, Naturally and Sustainably, and has worked over 5 years with over 1000 clients towards this goal. Elwin is particularly passionate about working with clients who are highly committed to reaching high levels of Health, Energy and Wellbeing, by natural and sustainable means.
Elwin has always been interested in Health since childhood. With a mother who had cancer 4 times, and a father with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Elwin is determined to get to the Root Causes of what really creates Disease, and what it really takes to have Outstanding Health and Wellbeing. After suffering from Health Challenges all his life, Elwin became determined, in 2007, to 'Get his Energy back or Die Trying', and, with this level of Resolve, made rapid progress, after a few false starts, which led him naturally, organically, after many requests, to dedicate himself full time to helping others get the kind of Results that he had achieved.