What Everyone Should Know About Eating To Fight Inflammation

Photo: Stocksy

Inflammation is not inherently bad. After all, we need inflammation to fight off infection and heal. We would all be goners without healthy inflammation levels. But as with everything in the body (and the world, really), it's all about balance.

When inflammation runs wild without stopping, it becomes associated with many modern diseases, including heart disease and diabetes.

The good news is that there continues to be some exciting research into how to inhibit inflammation to help prevent or manage the multitude of inflammatory-related diseases we are facing.

And do you know what's cool? Food is one of your inflammation fighters. In fact, the foods you eat will either help feed inflammation or extinguish it. You get that noble responsibility and opportunity with each and every meal!

So when patients ask me how they can help tame inflammation through foods and supplements, here's what I tell them:

Anti-inflammatory foods

These are some of the whole foods that have strong anti-inflammatory properties, according to research:

Article continues below

Supplements and natural medicines

While getting your nutrition from a whole foods diet is the best route, there are some supplements that research suggests could have anti-inflammatory properties:

These are available in capsule form at your local health food store or online. Make sure you're getting them from reputable sources with no added fillers—and talk to your doctor before taking any supplements or natural medicines.

You can also consider getting them in powder form and picking a few from the list to add to an inflammation-fighting smoothie. My favorite recipe:

Ingredients

  • Full-fat coconut milk as a base
  • Curcumin
  • Ashwagandha
  • Astragalus
  • Blueberries
  • A little cacao powder

Blend it up with some ice and voilà.

Article continues below

Nutrients

At the same time, it's important to focus on an overall nutritious diet that includes many vitamins and minerals, such as:

  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin D-3
  • Vitamin B-12
  • Pantothenic acid
  • Vitamin B-6
  • Folate
  • Vitamin C
  • Lycopene
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • EPA
  • DHA

The best way to obtain them is to start implementing a whole-foods diet that contains these phytoactive compounds. That includes foods like:

  • Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, watercress, kale, collard greens, and Swiss chard
  • Grass-fed beef
  • Grass-fed liver
  • Wild-caught fish
  • Berries
  • Citrus fruits

Remember: Your meals are medicine. Food is information. It dynamically and intricately instructs your biochemistry and genetics and in turn, your health.

To learn more, check out my mindbodygreen course on the elimination diet, where I use many of these anti-inflammatory foods. I'll also be sharing some of my favorite anti-inflammatory recipes on my Facebook page.

William Cole, D.C.

Functional Medicine Practitioner
Dr. Will Cole, leading functional medicine expert, graduated from Southern California University of Health Sciences as a doctor of chiropractic. His extensive postdoctorate education and training is in functional medicine and clinical nutrition. Dr. Cole consults people around the world via webcam and locally in Pittsburgh. He specializes in clinically investigating underlying factors and customizing health programs for thyroid issues, autoimmune conditions, hormonal dysfunctions, digestive disorders and brain problems. Visit www.drwillcole.com for free e-books, recipes, and webcam evaluation.
View the class
William Cole, D.C.

Related Posts

Create your daily practice.
Learn from world-class experts.

Find A Class Loading next article...

Your article and new folder have been saved!