Inflammation is tied to a long list of serious chronic conditions such as arthritis, heart disease and stroke, and many cancers.
Inflammation has become the hot topic for health-minded people on social media, as they share ideas derived from online articles they’ve perused. This is both good and bad. People are thinking about their own health and talking about it, but nutritional facts should be checked carefully before they are adopted.
Antioxidants play a big factor in the fight against inflammation. They have long been known to be a healthy addition to your diet that can actually slow the aging process. Antioxidants, which are found naturally in fruits and vegetables, protect your body’s cells from harmful molecules, often referred to as ‘free radicals.” As a result, they help the body prevent or fight inflammation.
(Video: The Baptist Health South Florida News team hears from Natalie Castro, chief wellness dietitian for Corporate Wellness at Baptist Health, about inflammation fighting foods. Video by Dylan Kyle.)
More people are talking about inflammation fighting foods. Food producers are taking note of this trend and marketing their products as smarter nutritional options for the family. However, processed foods are not the best choices for reducing inflammation, dietitians say.
Some of the top foods that help fight inflammation are:
- Dark leafy green vegetables
- Colorful vegetables
- Nuts and seeds
- Olive oil
- Fatty fish
There are many ways to boost the nutritional value of what you put on your plate, according to Natalie Castro, chief wellness dietitian for Corporate Wellness at Baptist Health South Florida.
“You can add plant based foods into the foods that you are already eating to make them healthier choices,” Ms. Castro said. “One example is Spaghetti and tomato sauce, which is very high in antioxidants. If you sprinkle on some oregano and add a cup of broccoli, it becomes an even healthier choice. Turmeric and Ginger can be used in their root form, but you can also use them in the powdered form and add it to your seasonings.”
Castro emphasizes that the best source of nutrients is whole foods – not supplements in the forms of capsules, pills or powders.
“It’s best to get your nutrients from the natural source, food, rather than supplements,” she says. “The reason is that supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA, so their potency levels can’t really be trusted.”