As adults, we’re used to taking care of ourselves (for the most part!). We make sure we’re clean and showered, our dental health is looked after, our eyes are regularly tested and our bodies are in decent shape.
It’s easy to figure out and attend to external issues. Bumped your head? Put an ice pack on it. Scratched your knee? Pop a plaster on. It’s tangible. We can find and fix a problem on the outside of our bodies without much thought.
But what about taking care of yourself on the inside? Just how much consideration do you give to what’s happening under your skin? And to how it may be making you feel?
It’s often the case than our inner body health is reflected on our outer body, but instead of giving proper thought to what’s happening and why, we deal with the symptom rather than the cause.
Needless to say, food plays a massive part in our wellbeing. Both in terms of providing energy, and because what we eat gives our bodies the materials it needs to function. If we get the balance wrong, we can end up feeling tired, gaining weight, and falling ill.
But we can take charge.
Every time we prepare a meal, we have the option to choose foods which can hurt or boost our overall wellness. These can be categorised as inflammatory foods (sugar, red meat, refined carbs, industrial oils, processed food) and anti-inflammatory (single, unprocessed, and unadulterated ingredients).
It’s no surprise that filling your plate with latter, is going to be far better for your body than the former.
But what are the types of anti-inflammatory foods your body will thank you for?
Fresh, leafy greens – Kale, spinach, Swiss chard, arugula, mustard greens, and other leafy greens are rich in antioxidants and alkalising to the body. Packed with vitamins A, C, E and K along with folate and fibre, leafy greens nourish our bodies at a cellular level – helping to keep our gut microbial community in good shape.
Berries – Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, or blackberries are high in antioxidants (known as anthocyanins), making them powerful at fighting existing inflammation (while training our cells to respond better to any future inflammation), cancer and cardiovascular disease. Great in a morning smoothie, sprinkled over a salad or acai bowl!
Avocado – Healthy fats, like those found in avocados, are a powerhouse at soothing inflammation of the joints and help to reduce cholesterol. Avos are also high in vitamin K, C, E, selenium, manganese, and zinc. Plus, did you know avocados have more potassium than bananas?
Garlic & ginger – Both used for centuries for their healing properties, garlic and ginger are a must-have in any kitchen and dish. While garlic is naturally anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-fungal (great at fighting disease), ginger contains substances known as gingerols which help to reduce inflammation, improve digestion, and boost the immune system.
If you’re looking for a holistic approach to feeling your best, it could be time to embrace a whole foods diet, packed with these four anti-inflammatory foods your body will thank you for.