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Six Foods to Help Fight Inflammation (with recipes!)

Chronic inflammation is an incredibly common issue among Americans, and can affect every part of our bodies. On top of unsavory symptoms, chronic inflammation also underlies many health issues, like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, many different forms of cancers, digestive issues, and arthritis. Although it can be caused by a multitude of things, one of the most common is an unhealthy eating pattern. But have no fear! There are also many types of foods that can help reduce inflammation, as well as work as antioxidants to protect your cells against damage.

These 6 foods (and 6 accompanying recipes), when eaten and enjoyed as part of a balanced anti-inflammatory diet, can help reduce inflammation in the body!

1. Raspberries

Raspberries are an excellent source of fiber, Vitamin C, Calcium, and Magnesium. They are also an excellent source of antioxidants called anthocyanins, which have been shown to decrease disease risk(x)
Here’s a delicious, fresh, salad featuring raspberries: Walnut Raspberry Salad

2. Garbanzo Beans

Garbanzo beans or ‘chickpeas’ are an excellent source of protein, fiber, folate, iron, phosphorus, and unsaturated fats! They are a versatile option to add to many different types of dishes. They are a great addition to an anti-inflammatory diet, in addition to being beneficial for gut health, heart disease management, and diabetes management.
Here’s one of my favorite chickpea recipes: Vegan Sticky Sesame Chickpeas

3. Oats

One of my favorite whole grains, oats are an excellent source of fiber, phosphorus, Magnesium, and Zinc. As a versatile grain, they can be used in a wide variety of recipes, adding wonderful health benefits and great texture!
Here’s one of my favorite flavors: Chocolate Peanut Butter Overnight Oats

4. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are loaded with antioxidants, as well as Vitamins A, B, E, and D, and many minerals. They are also a great source of Omega 3 and 6! They can be added to many different recipes, like the overnight oats above.
Another breakfast staple of mine is chia seed pudding! Here’s a great recipe: Blueberry Chia Seed Pudding

5. Spinach

Spinach is an excellent source of Calcium, iron, Magnesium, potassium, Vitamin A, and Folate. It has many health benefits when eaten regularly, including diabetes management, cancer prevention, blood pressure management, and bone health. A versatile leafy-green, it can be added easily to many types of recipes.
Here’s one of my favorite ways to use spinach: Baby Spinach Omelet

6. Cardamom

Cardamom is a pod spice that is in the ginger family, it is very commonly used in Indian Cuisine. It has been shown to aid in digestion, aid in blood sugar management, aid GI discomfort, as well as provide anti-inflammatory benefits!
Here’s a korma recipe that features cardamom: Paneer Korma

On top of including these anti-inflammatory foods, do your best to practice moderation with inflammatory foods. These include things like highly processed items (chips, bagged items), fast food, refined grains (white bread, certain crackers and biscuits), refined sweets (candy, added sugars), and sugar sweetened beverages (soda, sports drinks). Make an appointment with our dietitians to learn more about a healthy eating pattern to optimize inflammation among many other things!

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