"Inflammation" and "anti-inflammatory" are huge buzzwords. What do they really mean though?
Inflammation is the process by which your immune system becomes activated in response to a foreign invader. An acute inflammatory response is crucial to our health and can save our lives in dire situations. Inflammation, however, sometimes persists and can become what we know as chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation, in recent years, has been linked to numerous life-threatening diseases including heart disease, diabetes, alzheimer's, and cancer.
Certain foods have actually been shown to prevent and fight inflammation, reducing your disease risk overall. Foods that are deemed anti-inflammatory are those deep in color and bursting with antioxidants and polyphenols. Some of these include:
Dark leafy greens and other bright/deep colored vegetables; berries; nuts and seeds; pasture raised eggs, meat and poultry; fatty omega-3 rich fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and anchovies; beta-carotene rich foods like sweet potatoes, butternut squash and carrots; healthy monounsaturated and saturated fats like avocado, coconut butter, coconut milk, olive oil, avocado oil, sesame oil, algae oil, and coconut oil; and spices, herbs and powders like cacao powder, cinnamon, cloves, turmeric, black pepper, oregano, parsley, basil, and cilantro to name a few.
Incorporating anti-inflammatory foods into your diet on a regular basis is a brilliant way to potentially protect yourself against disease, increase energy, lose weight, stabilize your blood sugar and get glowing, dewy skin.
One of my favorite ways to get a quick, anti-inflammatory dose is by adding turmeric into smoothies and dishes. Thanks to curcumin, the main active ingredient in turmeric, turmeric is very high in antioxidants. It's so powerful that growing evidence shows that curcumin in turmeric may block the progression of Alzheimers disease in mice.
For a simple, fun way to incorporate turmeric into your morning routine, try making this blood sugar stabilizing, fruit-free turmeric smoothie!
Inflammation Fighting Turmeric Smoothie
- 3/4 cup full fat coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- Pinch black pepper (for absorption of curcumin in turmeric)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
- 2 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon natural peanut or almond butter
- 1 cup pre-roasted butternut squash (or 3/4 cup canned)
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder like Vital Proteins Collagen Whey
If you need a touch of extra sweetness, 1/2 banana would be perfect here.
Add liquid first and ice last. Blend on high 2-3 minutes until perfectly smooth. Top with your favorite granola or nothing at all. <3