With an anti-inflammatory approach, we move towards incorporating whole foods, and is rich in vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, fish, whole grains, and olive oil. It focuses on the incorporation of prebiotics, fibre, antioxidants, and omega 3 fatty acids. We want to move away from processed and packaged foods, trans fats, fried foods, and additives. Try adding some of the following foods daily:
Oily fish, such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines are all really high in omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon is considered one of the best sources of omega 3 fatty acids. Studies have shown these omega 3 fatty acids to help in lowering inflammation levels. If you can include wild caught oily fish 3 x weekly, your body will benefit.
For those people who are not a huge fan of fish such as salmon, you can try a omega 3 supplement instead, but be very careful to choose a clean, quality supplement, and check with your naturopath if you are unsure.
Bone broth is full of minerals and amino acids that are easily assimilated, but also includes collagen and glucosamine that have been shown to reduce inflammation and heal the gut lining.
Turmeric is highly anti-inflammatory, as well as a powerful antioxidant, which makes it a great addition to your kitchen.
Studies have shown that the compound curcumin in turmeric actively reduces inflammation and is a great spice to add to cooking for a preventative and protective effects. To use curcumin for treatment of inflammatory disorders, you will likely require therapeutic doses in order to have the best anti-inflammatory results.
Broccoli is high in anti-inflammatory compounds, as well as high in key nutrients such as potassium, vitamin K, iron, magnesium, and vitamin C.
Greens are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory flavonoids. They are packed full of nutrients and protect us from cellular damage. Greens help to alkalise the blood, and it’s best if we can consume greens every day. Try any green, leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, rocket, lettuce, collards, swiss chard, bok choy, celery and celery greens, beet greens.
Like any vegetable deep in colour, beetroot is full of antioxidants, making it a high anti-inflammatory food. Betalain gives beetroot its colour, and its high level of antioxidants helps to protect and repair cells, bringing down inflammation levels.
Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, helping to manage inflammation. Walnuts and flaxseeds are extremely high in omega 3 fatty acids, and both are packed with antioxidants. Lignans in flaxseeds are high fibre polyphenols that provide benefits for inflammation and cellular health and help to cleanse the system.
Quercetin is a really strong anti-inflammatory compound found in dark coloured berries. Phytonutrient anthocyanins found in red, purple, or blue berries are very high antioxidant foods that should be incorporated daily. Berries are a really good fruit to intake regularly because they are also low in sugar. These coloured berries have a protective effect on the body and thereby reduce inflammation.
Pineapple is a high anti-inflammatory food due to the compound bromelain, which is also found to have the ability to modulate the immune response, making it a great choice for those with autoimmune conditions as well.
Citrus fruits such as oranges, mandarins, limes, grapefruit, and lemons are an excellent source of vitamin C as well as other nutrients such as B vitamins, potassium, phosphorous, and magnesium. They are rich in flavonoids and carotenoids which gives them high level anti-inflammatory action.
Olive oil is another key ingredient of the Mediterranean diet. Add it whenever you can, but best not to heat it in order to keep all anti-inflammatory compounds active.
Consume a small amount of protein with each meal, combined with vegetables including greens.
Decrease animal protein except for fish, which you can consume 3 x weekly. Minimise intake of red meat and remove processed meats altogether. Try to consume red meat less than 3 x per week. Incorporate more fish, chicken, vegetable proteins.
For omega-3 fatty acids, eat salmon (preferably wild caught), sardines, tuna, herring, cod, oysters, anchovies, hemp seeds, flaxseeds (add to smoothies), and consider taking a clean sourced fish oil supplement including EPA and DHA.
Eat more vegetable protein, especially from beans and legumes (lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans) in general.
Crowd out white based products and replace with minimal brown or wholemeal grains such as quinoa, steel-cut oats, brown rice.
Include avocados, nuts, such as walnuts, pecans, almonds, and nut butters made from these nuts.
Eat the rainbow at each meal, incorporating fruits and vegetables of all colours, particularly berries, tomatoes, orange and yellow fruits, and dark leafy greens.
Increase vegetable intake to 5-7 serves daily, including a variety of dark leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, kale.
Use both fresh and dried herbs and spices when cooking as much as possible, including turmeric, fenugreek, ginger, cinnamon, garlic, basil, oregano, parsley, thyme, rosemary.
Consume small amounts of red wine in cooking, and up to 5 glasses of red wine per week.
Consume dark chocolate with a minimum of 80% cacao, with minimal/no sugar added.
Minimise intake of red meat and remove processed meats altogether.
Exchange margarines and unhealthy vegetable oils for healthier fats from unheated olive oil, nuts, seeds, and small amounts of coconut oil.
Yvette is a qualified Melbourne-based Naturopath and Nutritionist, MINDD Practitioner, member of the Naturopaths and Herbalists Association of Australia, and Complementary Medicine Association. Yvette specialises in the treatment of conditions commonly affecting women and children, with a key interest in children’s digestive and neurological conditions, as well as women’s hormonal concerns, digestive issues, fatigue, anxiety, and skin concerns. Yvette consults in South Yarra, Melbourne, as well as Australia-wide via skype/zoom/phone.
The Naturopathic Co. Melbourne Naturopath 2020