Inflammation is part of the body’s natural method of defense. Just like when you hurt your foot or ankle, and it becomes red and swollen, the same thing happens on the inside when your cells become hurt or damaged. This internal inflammation and injured cells that are at the root of it, is caused by a variety of things, but one of them is the foods we eat: certain foods will lead to more on an inflammation response within the body than others, and overtime, this continuous inflammation can have negative health effects.
John Matsen, the author of Eating Alive: Prevention Thru Good Nutrition, explains that toxins that accumulate in our body will start to cause deterioration wherever we have our “weakest link.” The first step of this deterioration is inflammation, as it is essentially a warning sign of a problem. As athletes for example, toxins in the body may attack our weakened muscles, leading to inflammation, which can then be exasperated by inflammatory foods and then without proper recovery, the addition of inflammation fighting foods, or the integration of anti-inflammatory foods, can ultimately lead to injury.
One of the best anti-inflammatory foods is Turmeric. It contains curcumin, a yellow pigment which contains enzymes needed to inhibit inflammation processes in the body. Furthermore, turmeric encourages the production of prostaglandin 2. Prostaglandins are hormone like substances that come from our dat and have different effects and roles within our body. When we consume turmeric, it causes prostaglandin 2 to be produced, which is the good prostaglandins that leads to decreases in inflammation (as opposed to prostaglandin 1, which can cause inflammation when produced in large amounts). Other anti-inflammatory foods include green leafy vegetables, pineapple, blueberries, beets Flax oil and hemp oil. By avoiding inflammatory foods like refined carbohydrates, dairy products and meat, and increasing your consumption of anti-inflammatory foods, you can improve your health and limit your exposure to disease. Check out this healthy, anti-inflammatory smoothie recipe to get you started:
Turmeric Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie
Creamy, smooth and the perfect shade of sunshine yellow, this smoothie is healthy and loaded with delicious ingredients, including those which help in fighting inflammation within the body.
- 1/4 avocado
- 1/4 cup coconut water
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup frozen mango
- 1 banana, frozen
- 1/4 cup mashed squash/sweet potato
- 2 small yellow beets, cooked
- 1 thumb sized knob of ginger
- 1 wedge of lemon, peeled
- 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp bee pollen
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp baobab powder
Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. The smoothie is quite thick, so feel free to add extra coconut water or coconut milk if you prefer it to be a little more of a runnier consistency.
Boost your wellness with these other anti-inflammatory foods: