By default, the body's inflammatory response is not a bad thing. Inflammation is the body’s natural healing response to anything that disrupts its delicate equilibrium.
...But left untreated, inflammation can totally wreak havoc on your body from the inside out. Among endless other negative consequences, chronic inflammation can have a major impact on the body’s ability to regulate appetite and metabolism. As a result, losing weight becomes way more challenging than it should be.
What makes inflammation spiral out of control?
Chronic inflammation results when the internal conditions of your body are thrown too far off balance. Key factors that sabotage the healthy homeostatic balance of your body include a nutrient-deficient and/or overly acidic diet, excessive alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking, and toxic chemicals (like the ones found in unnatural beauty products, for example).
It’s common to just pop an Advil to cope with the everyday aches and pains that are caused by excess inflammation in the body. However, because of their synthetic ingredients, over-the-counter pills merely mask the symptoms of inflammation while actually making it worse.
Keep in mind: the inflammatory response doesn’t merely cause physical discomfort. In fact, often it doesn’t cause any discomfort at all!
From skin issues like acne and eczema, to everyday aches like joint pain and arthritis, to digestive problems like uncomfortable bloating and IBS, you can blame an excess of inflammation for your complaints (not to mention difficulty paying attention, migraines, depression, and more life-threatening conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer when left untreated).
The best way to cope is to take preventative measures and fill your diet with an assortment of inflammation-fighting foods!
All fresh, raw foods will help fight inflammation, but some are more potent than others. Certain raw foods are especially rich in antioxidants, minerals, and essential fatty acids- exactly what your inflammatory system needs to function the way it’s supposed to.
Ready to defend your body against weight gain, disease, and degeneration?
5 Anti-Inflammatory Superfoods You Should Be Eating:
1. Leafy Greens
Leafy green vegetables meet the body’s nutrient needs better than any other food which is key to keeping the body’s inflammatory response at bay.
In order to prevent your inflammatory system from being compromised by toxic free radicals, your diet needs to include an ample amount of antioxidants. Leafy greens like kale, spinach, and collard greens provide powerful concentrations of antioxidants like vitamin C, beta-carotene, and lutein that restore healthy cellular function. Among other benefits, this antioxidant surge helps give your skin a radiant glow.
Leafy greens are also highly alkalizing. When your body is alkaline, it is impossible for chronic inflammation to thrive. As a result, you don't have to worry about your weight- it melts off and stays off.
The best way to maximize nutrient absorption is to drink your greens! A daily serving of green juice will considerably diminish your cravings for junk food. Why does that help reduce inflammation? Sweets and salty junk foods are some of the most offensive dietary culprits that load up your body with toxicity. This toxic build-up triggers and worsens inflammation.
Turmeric is THE most effective anti-inflammatory food. With amazing medicinal properties and antioxidant effects, turmeric has long been a part of Indian cuisine. Interestingly enough, despite higher rates of carcinogenic pollution, India has substantially lower rates of cancer and other illnesses rooted in chronic inflammation.
The primary compound in turmeric, an antioxidant phytochemical called curcumin, has a stronger efficacy when it comes to relieving painful symptoms of inflammation than common over-the-counter medicines like ibuprofen and aspirin which actually make inflammation worse because of their synthetic ingredients.
Some other anti-inflammatory benefits of turmeric:
- Faster wound healing
- Fights acne, eczema, and psoriasis
- Blood purification
- Improves digestion
- Prevents wrinkles
- Cures coughs & colds
- Relieves asthma symptoms
Pairing turmeric with black pepper enables your body to more readily absorb curcumin into the bloodstream (it increases absorption by a whopping 2,000 percent!). Turmeric will also have a stronger effect in the body if you pair it with coconut oil as well as foods that contain the antioxidant plant pigment quercetin such as berries, dark leafy greens, and apples
Try blending turmeric root with your favorite plant-based milk for a convenient, concentrated dose of this amazing superfood!
3. Nuts & Seeds
Raw nuts and seeds provide inflammation-fighting essential fatty acids including omega 3’s and monounsaturated fats. These beneficial fats are necessary for healthy cell growth, nutrient absorption, and regular hormone production (all factors which help keep inflammation at bay). Eat them regularly and see an improvement in the appearance of your hair, skin, and nails. Some of the most optimal choices are:
- Hemp seeds
- Flax seeds
- Chia seeds
All fresh fruits will help fight inflammation. However, berries have exceptionally potent anti-inflammatory properties because of their anthocyanins- antioxidant pigments that give them their vibrant red, blue, or purple color.
Blueberries, in particular, are an especially rich source of quercetin, a powerful antioxidant pigment. This incredible antioxidant pigment causes fat cells to self-destruct and stops new fat cells from forming!
Quercetin also protects your body’s cells from membrane damage and death. This helps to defend against aging and a variety of other health issues like cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. By inhibiting the inflammatory molecules that cause neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson’s, and strokes, quercetin prevents AND reverses cognitive decline. As a result, blueberries have been demonstrated to improve memory and motor function.
5. Matcha Green Tea
Matcha green tea contains 137 times more antioxidants than regular green tea! Unlike coffee, energizing matcha tea is a natural caffeine source that is highly alkalizing. Alkaline-forming foods/beverages help to balance the body’s pH level. The better your pH (you want to be neutral to slightly alkaline), the less inflammation is able to thrive in your body. Alkaline pH = clearer skin, more energy, and faster weight loss!
This ancient Eastern ceremonial tea doses you with catechin polyphenols like metabolism-boosting, cell-repairing EGCG. Catechin polyphenols are powerful antioxidant compounds that protect the body's tissues from oxidative stress and inflammation, offering an awesome defense against disease and signs of aging.