One of the easiest and best ways that we can put our health first and prevent inflammation, which causes disease, is to fill our plates with anti-inflammatory foods daily. Below are a few of the easiest anti-inflammatory foods to access in any grocery store and their benefits. Most of them can be enjoyed on their own or added to dishes you already make each week, but you can also combine each of these ingredients to make an amazing, delicious, and highly anti-inflammatory smoothie that is the perfect snack pre or post-yoga!
Turmeric is a root, quite similar in shape and size as ginger, but with a deep red-orange coloring. The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, which can also be found in pill form at most health food stores. Curcumin has potent anti-inflammatory properties and is also high in antioxidants, making it a wonderful addition to your daily diet to maintain and improve health. The spice and its active ingredient have been shown to reduce inflammation related to arthritis and diabetes in particular. Turmeric has a strong flavor and it typically found in Indian dishes, such as curries or soups, but the spice can also be added to teas and smoothies.
Most of us know about ginger and the benefits of this spicy knobby root as it refers to aiding digestion and easing any stomach pain, but ginger is also a powerful anti-inflammatory food. The active ingredient, gingerol, can ease swelling and reduce inflammation in joints. Fresh ginger can be added to juices, soups, stir-fries, or simply cut into pieces and added to hot water to make fresh ginger tea.
Many athletes use beets and beet juice as a supplement after long training sessions due to the high inflammation-fighting properties found in the bright red root vegetable. Beets can be consumed raw, juiced, or they can be steamed or roasted if you prefer them to be cooked. There are also supplemental powders available in most health food stores that have high concentrates of the active ingredient in beets which help to reduce inflammation within the body and speed up recovery.
Pineapple is one of the lesser-known anti-inflammatory foods, but this sweet juicy tropical fruit is full of bromelain which helps to reduce inflammation and promote healing within the body. Enjoy pineapple on its own or add it to any recipe that you would add sweet fruit to.
Dark Leafy Greens
We all know that we should eat our dark leafy greens and add them to every meal, but knowing how anti-inflammatory they are and how much they help to prevent disease may make it a bit easier for some to start to fill their plate with more greens. Spinach is the mildest of the dark leafy greens and can be eaten raw or cooked. Kale, collard greens, beet greens, and chard are also all great varieties to try. If eating lots of greens is hard for you, try adding greens to your morning smoothie or add greens to curries or soups with rich flavors that cover up any of the flavors of the greens.