My last two blogs highlighted the importance of increasing omega-3 fatty acid intake, and reducing omega-6 fatty acid intake to reduce inflammation. If you read these blogs, then you’re aware that inflammation is bad news for our health and performance. If you missed these two blogs then I’d recommend that you go back and read them first by clicking here and here. To finish this series off, I’m going to highlight 5 inflammation fighting foods that we should all be eating more of.
Flavonoids are a large group of polyphenolic compounds found in plant based foods. Examples of foods rich in flavonoids include cocoa, berries, cherries, apple, red grapes, green tea, and red wine. Flavonoids are both anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant. Intake of flavonoids is associated with a lower risk of stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and some cancers. Yes, I’m giving you a good excuse to have a glass of red wine with dinner tonight or a piece of dark chocolate for dessert.
Magnesium is a mineral that is important for bone health, as well as keeping muscles and nerves healthy. Magnesium also helps to reduce inflammation. As dietary intake of magnesium increases, inflammation decreases. Note that this correlation is found with dietary magnesium intake, not a magnesium supplement. Rich food sources of magnesium include pumpkin or squash seeds, Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, flaxseed and soybeans.
High fibre intake is also associated with reduced inflammation. Spoiler alert- this means getting over the carb fear and including complex carbohydrates in your diet. Good fibre rich foods include whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, potatoes, and corn; fruits; vegetables; legumes; nuts and seeds.
Olive oil not only has anti-inflammatory properties, but also helps to reduce omega-6 fatty acid consumption that we know can be pro-inflammation. Include more olive oil while reducing omega-6 fatty acid intake by making your own salad dressing with olive oil or roasting your veggies in olive oil.
I have written a lot about vitamin D in past blogs. Vitamin D reduces inflammation and is also important for injury prevention in athletes. Click here to find out how to meet your vitamin D requirements. If you’re over 50 years of age or it is winter, then you probably need to be taking a vitamin D supplement. Again, read my past blog on this topic.
What we eat or don’t eat has a profound impact on our health. Fuelling your body with the right foods is critical for optimal performance and health. Want to learn more? I’d love to work with you to provide personalized nutrition advice to help you reach your goals. To learn more or to book an appointment click here. If you would like to receive free nutrition tips, recipes and the latest updates right to your inbox, please sign up here.