Traditional recipes

Spring Superfoods You Should Be Eating Gallery

Spring Superfoods You Should Be Eating Gallery

Brighten your table with these colorful, healthy fruits and vegetables

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Spring Superfoods You Should Be Eating

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The drab and dreary winter season is finally behind us, and the beautiful bounty of spring produce is just about ready to be plucked from the earth.[related]

From mid-March to early June, some of the most vibrant, flavorful, and aromatic fruits and vegetables are at their peak of flavor and nutritional value.

The warmer weather likely has you craving fewer comfort foods and instead preparing lighter fare. While you might be apt to settle for frozen produce in the harsh winter when you’re drowning your vegetables in casseroles and stews, we doubt you’re keen on munching on soft, thawed broccoli in your spring salad.

Shopping local has its perks. Farmers markets and CSAs shake off the frost and provide shoppers with a greater variety of fresh, seasonal foods. These fruits and vegetables are not only tart, sweet, and delicious, but also rich in antioxidants and promote heart health. Even some unexpected superfoods, such as mustard greens — rarely the star of any shopping cart — are among the healthiest superfoods available, containing compounds that decelerate the development of age-related diseases. These are the 15 spring superfoods you need to be eating.

Michael Serrur and Holly Van Hare contributed to this story.

Apricots

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Apricot season is short, and usually peaks in late April to early May. These stone fruits are less appreciated than peaches and plums, but apricots offer a distinct flavor that pairs well with sweet and savory dishes. Apricots, like these other nutrient-dense foods, are especially effective at preserving eye health. Their high vitamin A content (one cup of sliced apricots provides over half the daily requirement) combined with their carotene and lutein helps delay the loss of peripheral vision, and is also a remedy for alleviating dry eye symptoms.

Artichokes

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A member of the sunflower (Compositae) family, artichokes are at their peak in March. Only the tips of the leaves and the heart of the artichoke are edible; the tough outer petals and fibrous “choke” will do to you as the latter’s names implies. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that, per cup, artichoke hearts have higher antioxidant content than cranberries, blueberries, orange juice, red peppers, or broccoli. Artichokes are also rich in fiber, and artichoke leaf extract is commonly used in Germany as a remedy for indigestion and upset stomach.

Asparagus

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April is the peak month of asparagus season, but the vegetable is widely available in stores from February to June. A serving of asparagus contains a modest amount of protein, a whopping 40 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin K, and 16 percent of the daily requirement of iron. Get your asparagus fix by making a delicate soup, or by adding it to scrambled eggs.

Avocado

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Blueberries

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Munching on a pint of fresh blueberries is one of spring’s greatest pleasures, and thankfully this snack is one of the healthiest the season offers. Blueberries are incredibly rich in antioxidants, specifically gallic acid. Over 6,500 peer-reviewed articles have labeled this compound as a strong antifungal/antiviral agent, and a neuroprotective agent that maintains brain health.

Broccoli

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It might be one of the country’s most popular vegetables now, but broccoli only became popular in the United States in the early twentieth century. It was introduced by immigrants from southern Italy. Today, broccoli, which grows well in the cool spring and fall weather, is a versatile ingredient that is delicious either steamed, roasted, or sautéed. Just one cup of chopped broccoli contains more than a day’s requirement of vitamin C, making it ideal for cold and flu season.

Collard Greens

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This staple of Southern cooking is actually a superfood in disguise. Collard greens, in peak season from January to April, are similar in taste and texture to kale and mustard greens. A serving of cooked collards provides a quarter of the daily requirement of calcium and a half a day’s worth of vitamin C. Collard greens are initially tough, but become tender after hours of slow cooking.

Fiddlehead Ferns

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Green Peas

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Mustard Greens

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The inconspicuous mustard green has a pungent, peppery flavor that makes the leaves an ideal addition to stir-fries and soups. Cruciferous vegetables like mustard greens are rich in isothiocyanates, sulfur-containing nutrients that have been found to support the detoxification process in cells. Also, because they contain the chemical sinigrin, consumption of mustard greens has also been linked to a reduction in oxidative stress and development of age-related diseases.

Parsley

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Parsley is an herb used mainly in American, European, and Middle Eastern cuisines. Curly-leaf parsley is mainly employed as a garnish or to add flavor to a recipe, while root parsley (rare in the United States) is often used in soups and stews in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Parsley of all kinds is a surprising source of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

Radishes

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Though radishes are often overlooked as an ingredient, they add a unique kick to many salads and side dishes. They vary in color, size, and even taste; some varieties, such as the daikon radish, are known for their stunning colors and patterns. Radishes provide a significant amount of vitamin C with smaller doses of other essential nutrients.

Ramps

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In the Allium family, which includes garlic and onions, ramps are like the elusive and mysterious cousin. They only show up once a year and chefs clamor to get their hands on them during their short season between from April and mid-June. Besides being an elegant alternative to scallions, ramps contain high amounts of vitamin A, C, and selenium. Ramps are incredibly versatile, and are delicious either grilled with lemon or pickled.

Watercress

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6 Anti-inflammatory Foods You Should Be Eating

You've probably heard that anti-inflammatory foods are good for you, but why? And how can they help you anyway?

First, it's important to understand what bodily inflammation is, and why it can be harmful. In fact, there are actually two types: acute and chronic. The former is nothing to get too worked up over. "Acute inflammation is part of healing and is a normal, healthy response to injury or infection," says registered dietitian Jean LaMantia in an email interview.

Basically, whenever your body recognizes something that is foreign – such as a microbe, pollen or a chemical, it goes to work to get rid of it. It does this by activating your immune system which triggers a process called inflammation. Inflammation helps to get rid of the offending organism.

But sometimes this inflammation continues even when there isn't a foreign invader. That's called chronic inflammation.

"Chronic inflammation starts out as acute, but then doesn't shut off. This creates a new environment at the area of injury, as the inflammatory messengers tell the body's cells to die off and replace themselves with new cells," says LaMantia. "With this rapid cell turnover, there is greater likelihood of a cell with a genetic defect to appear." Chronic inflammation is linked to a higher risk of cancer, diabetes, asthma, depression, metabolic syndrome and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), among other problems, she notes.

Chronic inflammation can also have a pretty big impact on the simplicities of daily life. "Excess internal inflammation plays a key role in a host of problems including joint pain, lethargy, weight gain, autoimmune disease, sleep problems, headaches and much more," emails Dr. Candice Seti, a licensed clinical psychologist, certified personal trainer and certified nutrition coach.

The typical diet that many Americans follow is loaded with foods that are processed and high in saturated fats, trans fats, sugars and tropical oils. These foods are not good for your heart and studies have associated eating a lot of these "pro-inflammatory" foods with an increased risk of cancer and death. Inflammation is an underlying mechanism for many diseases, including cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

On the other hand, some foods contain helpful components that are effective at reducing the amount of inflammation in the body. "The components in food that are anti-inflammatory are able to turn down the inflammatory messages that our body sends out," says LaMantia.

You may already know that foods like cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower), berries and dark, leafy greens are anti-inflammatory superstars. But we have a list of six other anti-inflammatory superfoods for you to incorporate into your diet, some of which may surprise you:

1. Yogurt and Other Fermented Foods

"Fermented foods are both anti-inflammatory and also beneficial for gut health. They restore a healthy balance of bacteria to the gut which helps to keep the body's inflammation in check," says nutritionist Lisa Richards in an email. Even if you're not a fan of more exotic fermented foods like sauerkraut or kimchi, it's easy enough to include the category into your daily diet, as yogurt and most aged cheeses qualify. "When selecting yogurt it is best to choose a low sugar version with live cultures," she advises.

2. Pure Maple Syrup

That's right, Canada's pride and joy (no, not Celine Dion this time) is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties, according to a University of Rhode Island study. Um, how exactly? "Scientists have identified more than 67 different plant compounds, or polyphenols, nine of which are unique to pure maple syrup. One of these polyphenols, named Quebecol, naturally forms when the sap is boiled to produce maple syrup," says dietician Lauren Manaker in an email, noting that Quebecol has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body. Don't go too wild on the maple syrup, though, as it's still packed with calories. And make sure that you're consuming the pure stuff as opposed to imitation "maple syrup" or pancake syrup. These don't have any of the anti-inflammatory benefits.

3. Fatty Fish

Omega-3s have long been nutritional superstars, most commonly and plentifully found in fatty fish like tuna, sardines and salmon, as well as walnuts, chia seeds and flax seeds. "Omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fish and monounsaturated fats in nuts and seeds help to reduce precursors that cause inflammation," says Rima Kleiner, registered dietitian-nutritionist and blogger at DishOnFish.com via email. Despite the fact that the most recent dietary guidelines recommend seafood two to three times per week, Omega-3s are sadly lacking in the typical diet. Instead, many people favor their less beneficial, inflammation-causing cousin Omega-6 fatty acids, often found in vegetable oils, nuts and dairy products (it should be noted that people do need a certain amount of Omega-6s, however they tend to get too much and usually not from the best sources).

Doctors are learning that one of the best ways to quell inflammation is with the foods you eat: https://t.co/ES92OZhXsp#HarvardHealth#inflammation#Dietpic.twitter.com/za5GNFRDhf

&mdash Harvard Health (@HarvardHealth) September 27, 2018

4. Turmeric

A popular spice, most commonly found in Indian food, turmeric "contains a powerful anti-inflammatory compound called curcumin," emails United Kingdom-based dietician Hayley Cimring. "Eating black pepper with turmeric can significantly enhance the absorption of curcumin." However, you'd need to eat far more turmeric than is used in a typical dish to get the benefit. So, many people take curcumin supplements instead.

5. Extra-virgin Olive Oil

Not all oils are bad, after all! Indeed, EVOO should have a place at most tables. "Extra-virgin olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants to protect the cells in your body and reduce inflammation," says Cimring. "It's not always best for cooking but it's perfect for salad dressings and for vegetable side dishes."

6. Dark Chocolate

We saved the best for last on purpose. Indeed, dark chocolate is known for being packed with inflammation-reducing antioxidants. Cimring encourages buyers to choose dark chocolate that contains at least 70 percent cocoa. "A greater percentage is even better to reap these anti-inflammatory benefits," she says. Now, that's a sweet ending.

Correction: The article was updated to stress that the maple syrup referred to was pure maple syrup, rather than imitation. Also, Jean LaMantia's name was spelled incorrectly in one instance and was corrected.

Reduced inflammation is also linked to enjoying a diet high in fiber-rich foods like whole grains, nuts, veggies, fruits and beans, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Be sure to drink lots of water to ensure you reap the full benefits, as water helps fiber work better in the body.


6 Anti-inflammatory Foods You Should Be Eating

You've probably heard that anti-inflammatory foods are good for you, but why? And how can they help you anyway?

First, it's important to understand what bodily inflammation is, and why it can be harmful. In fact, there are actually two types: acute and chronic. The former is nothing to get too worked up over. "Acute inflammation is part of healing and is a normal, healthy response to injury or infection," says registered dietitian Jean LaMantia in an email interview.

Basically, whenever your body recognizes something that is foreign – such as a microbe, pollen or a chemical, it goes to work to get rid of it. It does this by activating your immune system which triggers a process called inflammation. Inflammation helps to get rid of the offending organism.

But sometimes this inflammation continues even when there isn't a foreign invader. That's called chronic inflammation.

"Chronic inflammation starts out as acute, but then doesn't shut off. This creates a new environment at the area of injury, as the inflammatory messengers tell the body's cells to die off and replace themselves with new cells," says LaMantia. "With this rapid cell turnover, there is greater likelihood of a cell with a genetic defect to appear." Chronic inflammation is linked to a higher risk of cancer, diabetes, asthma, depression, metabolic syndrome and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), among other problems, she notes.

Chronic inflammation can also have a pretty big impact on the simplicities of daily life. "Excess internal inflammation plays a key role in a host of problems including joint pain, lethargy, weight gain, autoimmune disease, sleep problems, headaches and much more," emails Dr. Candice Seti, a licensed clinical psychologist, certified personal trainer and certified nutrition coach.

The typical diet that many Americans follow is loaded with foods that are processed and high in saturated fats, trans fats, sugars and tropical oils. These foods are not good for your heart and studies have associated eating a lot of these "pro-inflammatory" foods with an increased risk of cancer and death. Inflammation is an underlying mechanism for many diseases, including cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

On the other hand, some foods contain helpful components that are effective at reducing the amount of inflammation in the body. "The components in food that are anti-inflammatory are able to turn down the inflammatory messages that our body sends out," says LaMantia.

You may already know that foods like cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower), berries and dark, leafy greens are anti-inflammatory superstars. But we have a list of six other anti-inflammatory superfoods for you to incorporate into your diet, some of which may surprise you:

1. Yogurt and Other Fermented Foods

"Fermented foods are both anti-inflammatory and also beneficial for gut health. They restore a healthy balance of bacteria to the gut which helps to keep the body's inflammation in check," says nutritionist Lisa Richards in an email. Even if you're not a fan of more exotic fermented foods like sauerkraut or kimchi, it's easy enough to include the category into your daily diet, as yogurt and most aged cheeses qualify. "When selecting yogurt it is best to choose a low sugar version with live cultures," she advises.

2. Pure Maple Syrup

That's right, Canada's pride and joy (no, not Celine Dion this time) is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties, according to a University of Rhode Island study. Um, how exactly? "Scientists have identified more than 67 different plant compounds, or polyphenols, nine of which are unique to pure maple syrup. One of these polyphenols, named Quebecol, naturally forms when the sap is boiled to produce maple syrup," says dietician Lauren Manaker in an email, noting that Quebecol has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body. Don't go too wild on the maple syrup, though, as it's still packed with calories. And make sure that you're consuming the pure stuff as opposed to imitation "maple syrup" or pancake syrup. These don't have any of the anti-inflammatory benefits.

3. Fatty Fish

Omega-3s have long been nutritional superstars, most commonly and plentifully found in fatty fish like tuna, sardines and salmon, as well as walnuts, chia seeds and flax seeds. "Omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fish and monounsaturated fats in nuts and seeds help to reduce precursors that cause inflammation," says Rima Kleiner, registered dietitian-nutritionist and blogger at DishOnFish.com via email. Despite the fact that the most recent dietary guidelines recommend seafood two to three times per week, Omega-3s are sadly lacking in the typical diet. Instead, many people favor their less beneficial, inflammation-causing cousin Omega-6 fatty acids, often found in vegetable oils, nuts and dairy products (it should be noted that people do need a certain amount of Omega-6s, however they tend to get too much and usually not from the best sources).

Doctors are learning that one of the best ways to quell inflammation is with the foods you eat: https://t.co/ES92OZhXsp#HarvardHealth#inflammation#Dietpic.twitter.com/za5GNFRDhf

&mdash Harvard Health (@HarvardHealth) September 27, 2018

4. Turmeric

A popular spice, most commonly found in Indian food, turmeric "contains a powerful anti-inflammatory compound called curcumin," emails United Kingdom-based dietician Hayley Cimring. "Eating black pepper with turmeric can significantly enhance the absorption of curcumin." However, you'd need to eat far more turmeric than is used in a typical dish to get the benefit. So, many people take curcumin supplements instead.

5. Extra-virgin Olive Oil

Not all oils are bad, after all! Indeed, EVOO should have a place at most tables. "Extra-virgin olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants to protect the cells in your body and reduce inflammation," says Cimring. "It's not always best for cooking but it's perfect for salad dressings and for vegetable side dishes."

6. Dark Chocolate

We saved the best for last on purpose. Indeed, dark chocolate is known for being packed with inflammation-reducing antioxidants. Cimring encourages buyers to choose dark chocolate that contains at least 70 percent cocoa. "A greater percentage is even better to reap these anti-inflammatory benefits," she says. Now, that's a sweet ending.

Correction: The article was updated to stress that the maple syrup referred to was pure maple syrup, rather than imitation. Also, Jean LaMantia's name was spelled incorrectly in one instance and was corrected.

Reduced inflammation is also linked to enjoying a diet high in fiber-rich foods like whole grains, nuts, veggies, fruits and beans, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Be sure to drink lots of water to ensure you reap the full benefits, as water helps fiber work better in the body.


6 Anti-inflammatory Foods You Should Be Eating

You've probably heard that anti-inflammatory foods are good for you, but why? And how can they help you anyway?

First, it's important to understand what bodily inflammation is, and why it can be harmful. In fact, there are actually two types: acute and chronic. The former is nothing to get too worked up over. "Acute inflammation is part of healing and is a normal, healthy response to injury or infection," says registered dietitian Jean LaMantia in an email interview.

Basically, whenever your body recognizes something that is foreign – such as a microbe, pollen or a chemical, it goes to work to get rid of it. It does this by activating your immune system which triggers a process called inflammation. Inflammation helps to get rid of the offending organism.

But sometimes this inflammation continues even when there isn't a foreign invader. That's called chronic inflammation.

"Chronic inflammation starts out as acute, but then doesn't shut off. This creates a new environment at the area of injury, as the inflammatory messengers tell the body's cells to die off and replace themselves with new cells," says LaMantia. "With this rapid cell turnover, there is greater likelihood of a cell with a genetic defect to appear." Chronic inflammation is linked to a higher risk of cancer, diabetes, asthma, depression, metabolic syndrome and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), among other problems, she notes.

Chronic inflammation can also have a pretty big impact on the simplicities of daily life. "Excess internal inflammation plays a key role in a host of problems including joint pain, lethargy, weight gain, autoimmune disease, sleep problems, headaches and much more," emails Dr. Candice Seti, a licensed clinical psychologist, certified personal trainer and certified nutrition coach.

The typical diet that many Americans follow is loaded with foods that are processed and high in saturated fats, trans fats, sugars and tropical oils. These foods are not good for your heart and studies have associated eating a lot of these "pro-inflammatory" foods with an increased risk of cancer and death. Inflammation is an underlying mechanism for many diseases, including cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

On the other hand, some foods contain helpful components that are effective at reducing the amount of inflammation in the body. "The components in food that are anti-inflammatory are able to turn down the inflammatory messages that our body sends out," says LaMantia.

You may already know that foods like cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower), berries and dark, leafy greens are anti-inflammatory superstars. But we have a list of six other anti-inflammatory superfoods for you to incorporate into your diet, some of which may surprise you:

1. Yogurt and Other Fermented Foods

"Fermented foods are both anti-inflammatory and also beneficial for gut health. They restore a healthy balance of bacteria to the gut which helps to keep the body's inflammation in check," says nutritionist Lisa Richards in an email. Even if you're not a fan of more exotic fermented foods like sauerkraut or kimchi, it's easy enough to include the category into your daily diet, as yogurt and most aged cheeses qualify. "When selecting yogurt it is best to choose a low sugar version with live cultures," she advises.

2. Pure Maple Syrup

That's right, Canada's pride and joy (no, not Celine Dion this time) is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties, according to a University of Rhode Island study. Um, how exactly? "Scientists have identified more than 67 different plant compounds, or polyphenols, nine of which are unique to pure maple syrup. One of these polyphenols, named Quebecol, naturally forms when the sap is boiled to produce maple syrup," says dietician Lauren Manaker in an email, noting that Quebecol has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body. Don't go too wild on the maple syrup, though, as it's still packed with calories. And make sure that you're consuming the pure stuff as opposed to imitation "maple syrup" or pancake syrup. These don't have any of the anti-inflammatory benefits.

3. Fatty Fish

Omega-3s have long been nutritional superstars, most commonly and plentifully found in fatty fish like tuna, sardines and salmon, as well as walnuts, chia seeds and flax seeds. "Omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fish and monounsaturated fats in nuts and seeds help to reduce precursors that cause inflammation," says Rima Kleiner, registered dietitian-nutritionist and blogger at DishOnFish.com via email. Despite the fact that the most recent dietary guidelines recommend seafood two to three times per week, Omega-3s are sadly lacking in the typical diet. Instead, many people favor their less beneficial, inflammation-causing cousin Omega-6 fatty acids, often found in vegetable oils, nuts and dairy products (it should be noted that people do need a certain amount of Omega-6s, however they tend to get too much and usually not from the best sources).

Doctors are learning that one of the best ways to quell inflammation is with the foods you eat: https://t.co/ES92OZhXsp#HarvardHealth#inflammation#Dietpic.twitter.com/za5GNFRDhf

&mdash Harvard Health (@HarvardHealth) September 27, 2018

4. Turmeric

A popular spice, most commonly found in Indian food, turmeric "contains a powerful anti-inflammatory compound called curcumin," emails United Kingdom-based dietician Hayley Cimring. "Eating black pepper with turmeric can significantly enhance the absorption of curcumin." However, you'd need to eat far more turmeric than is used in a typical dish to get the benefit. So, many people take curcumin supplements instead.

5. Extra-virgin Olive Oil

Not all oils are bad, after all! Indeed, EVOO should have a place at most tables. "Extra-virgin olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants to protect the cells in your body and reduce inflammation," says Cimring. "It's not always best for cooking but it's perfect for salad dressings and for vegetable side dishes."

6. Dark Chocolate

We saved the best for last on purpose. Indeed, dark chocolate is known for being packed with inflammation-reducing antioxidants. Cimring encourages buyers to choose dark chocolate that contains at least 70 percent cocoa. "A greater percentage is even better to reap these anti-inflammatory benefits," she says. Now, that's a sweet ending.

Correction: The article was updated to stress that the maple syrup referred to was pure maple syrup, rather than imitation. Also, Jean LaMantia's name was spelled incorrectly in one instance and was corrected.

Reduced inflammation is also linked to enjoying a diet high in fiber-rich foods like whole grains, nuts, veggies, fruits and beans, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Be sure to drink lots of water to ensure you reap the full benefits, as water helps fiber work better in the body.


6 Anti-inflammatory Foods You Should Be Eating

You've probably heard that anti-inflammatory foods are good for you, but why? And how can they help you anyway?

First, it's important to understand what bodily inflammation is, and why it can be harmful. In fact, there are actually two types: acute and chronic. The former is nothing to get too worked up over. "Acute inflammation is part of healing and is a normal, healthy response to injury or infection," says registered dietitian Jean LaMantia in an email interview.

Basically, whenever your body recognizes something that is foreign – such as a microbe, pollen or a chemical, it goes to work to get rid of it. It does this by activating your immune system which triggers a process called inflammation. Inflammation helps to get rid of the offending organism.

But sometimes this inflammation continues even when there isn't a foreign invader. That's called chronic inflammation.

"Chronic inflammation starts out as acute, but then doesn't shut off. This creates a new environment at the area of injury, as the inflammatory messengers tell the body's cells to die off and replace themselves with new cells," says LaMantia. "With this rapid cell turnover, there is greater likelihood of a cell with a genetic defect to appear." Chronic inflammation is linked to a higher risk of cancer, diabetes, asthma, depression, metabolic syndrome and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), among other problems, she notes.

Chronic inflammation can also have a pretty big impact on the simplicities of daily life. "Excess internal inflammation plays a key role in a host of problems including joint pain, lethargy, weight gain, autoimmune disease, sleep problems, headaches and much more," emails Dr. Candice Seti, a licensed clinical psychologist, certified personal trainer and certified nutrition coach.

The typical diet that many Americans follow is loaded with foods that are processed and high in saturated fats, trans fats, sugars and tropical oils. These foods are not good for your heart and studies have associated eating a lot of these "pro-inflammatory" foods with an increased risk of cancer and death. Inflammation is an underlying mechanism for many diseases, including cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

On the other hand, some foods contain helpful components that are effective at reducing the amount of inflammation in the body. "The components in food that are anti-inflammatory are able to turn down the inflammatory messages that our body sends out," says LaMantia.

You may already know that foods like cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower), berries and dark, leafy greens are anti-inflammatory superstars. But we have a list of six other anti-inflammatory superfoods for you to incorporate into your diet, some of which may surprise you:

1. Yogurt and Other Fermented Foods

"Fermented foods are both anti-inflammatory and also beneficial for gut health. They restore a healthy balance of bacteria to the gut which helps to keep the body's inflammation in check," says nutritionist Lisa Richards in an email. Even if you're not a fan of more exotic fermented foods like sauerkraut or kimchi, it's easy enough to include the category into your daily diet, as yogurt and most aged cheeses qualify. "When selecting yogurt it is best to choose a low sugar version with live cultures," she advises.

2. Pure Maple Syrup

That's right, Canada's pride and joy (no, not Celine Dion this time) is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties, according to a University of Rhode Island study. Um, how exactly? "Scientists have identified more than 67 different plant compounds, or polyphenols, nine of which are unique to pure maple syrup. One of these polyphenols, named Quebecol, naturally forms when the sap is boiled to produce maple syrup," says dietician Lauren Manaker in an email, noting that Quebecol has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body. Don't go too wild on the maple syrup, though, as it's still packed with calories. And make sure that you're consuming the pure stuff as opposed to imitation "maple syrup" or pancake syrup. These don't have any of the anti-inflammatory benefits.

3. Fatty Fish

Omega-3s have long been nutritional superstars, most commonly and plentifully found in fatty fish like tuna, sardines and salmon, as well as walnuts, chia seeds and flax seeds. "Omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fish and monounsaturated fats in nuts and seeds help to reduce precursors that cause inflammation," says Rima Kleiner, registered dietitian-nutritionist and blogger at DishOnFish.com via email. Despite the fact that the most recent dietary guidelines recommend seafood two to three times per week, Omega-3s are sadly lacking in the typical diet. Instead, many people favor their less beneficial, inflammation-causing cousin Omega-6 fatty acids, often found in vegetable oils, nuts and dairy products (it should be noted that people do need a certain amount of Omega-6s, however they tend to get too much and usually not from the best sources).

Doctors are learning that one of the best ways to quell inflammation is with the foods you eat: https://t.co/ES92OZhXsp#HarvardHealth#inflammation#Dietpic.twitter.com/za5GNFRDhf

&mdash Harvard Health (@HarvardHealth) September 27, 2018

4. Turmeric

A popular spice, most commonly found in Indian food, turmeric "contains a powerful anti-inflammatory compound called curcumin," emails United Kingdom-based dietician Hayley Cimring. "Eating black pepper with turmeric can significantly enhance the absorption of curcumin." However, you'd need to eat far more turmeric than is used in a typical dish to get the benefit. So, many people take curcumin supplements instead.

5. Extra-virgin Olive Oil

Not all oils are bad, after all! Indeed, EVOO should have a place at most tables. "Extra-virgin olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants to protect the cells in your body and reduce inflammation," says Cimring. "It's not always best for cooking but it's perfect for salad dressings and for vegetable side dishes."

6. Dark Chocolate

We saved the best for last on purpose. Indeed, dark chocolate is known for being packed with inflammation-reducing antioxidants. Cimring encourages buyers to choose dark chocolate that contains at least 70 percent cocoa. "A greater percentage is even better to reap these anti-inflammatory benefits," she says. Now, that's a sweet ending.

Correction: The article was updated to stress that the maple syrup referred to was pure maple syrup, rather than imitation. Also, Jean LaMantia's name was spelled incorrectly in one instance and was corrected.

Reduced inflammation is also linked to enjoying a diet high in fiber-rich foods like whole grains, nuts, veggies, fruits and beans, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Be sure to drink lots of water to ensure you reap the full benefits, as water helps fiber work better in the body.


6 Anti-inflammatory Foods You Should Be Eating

You've probably heard that anti-inflammatory foods are good for you, but why? And how can they help you anyway?

First, it's important to understand what bodily inflammation is, and why it can be harmful. In fact, there are actually two types: acute and chronic. The former is nothing to get too worked up over. "Acute inflammation is part of healing and is a normal, healthy response to injury or infection," says registered dietitian Jean LaMantia in an email interview.

Basically, whenever your body recognizes something that is foreign – such as a microbe, pollen or a chemical, it goes to work to get rid of it. It does this by activating your immune system which triggers a process called inflammation. Inflammation helps to get rid of the offending organism.

But sometimes this inflammation continues even when there isn't a foreign invader. That's called chronic inflammation.

"Chronic inflammation starts out as acute, but then doesn't shut off. This creates a new environment at the area of injury, as the inflammatory messengers tell the body's cells to die off and replace themselves with new cells," says LaMantia. "With this rapid cell turnover, there is greater likelihood of a cell with a genetic defect to appear." Chronic inflammation is linked to a higher risk of cancer, diabetes, asthma, depression, metabolic syndrome and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), among other problems, she notes.

Chronic inflammation can also have a pretty big impact on the simplicities of daily life. "Excess internal inflammation plays a key role in a host of problems including joint pain, lethargy, weight gain, autoimmune disease, sleep problems, headaches and much more," emails Dr. Candice Seti, a licensed clinical psychologist, certified personal trainer and certified nutrition coach.

The typical diet that many Americans follow is loaded with foods that are processed and high in saturated fats, trans fats, sugars and tropical oils. These foods are not good for your heart and studies have associated eating a lot of these "pro-inflammatory" foods with an increased risk of cancer and death. Inflammation is an underlying mechanism for many diseases, including cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

On the other hand, some foods contain helpful components that are effective at reducing the amount of inflammation in the body. "The components in food that are anti-inflammatory are able to turn down the inflammatory messages that our body sends out," says LaMantia.

You may already know that foods like cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower), berries and dark, leafy greens are anti-inflammatory superstars. But we have a list of six other anti-inflammatory superfoods for you to incorporate into your diet, some of which may surprise you:

1. Yogurt and Other Fermented Foods

"Fermented foods are both anti-inflammatory and also beneficial for gut health. They restore a healthy balance of bacteria to the gut which helps to keep the body's inflammation in check," says nutritionist Lisa Richards in an email. Even if you're not a fan of more exotic fermented foods like sauerkraut or kimchi, it's easy enough to include the category into your daily diet, as yogurt and most aged cheeses qualify. "When selecting yogurt it is best to choose a low sugar version with live cultures," she advises.

2. Pure Maple Syrup

That's right, Canada's pride and joy (no, not Celine Dion this time) is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties, according to a University of Rhode Island study. Um, how exactly? "Scientists have identified more than 67 different plant compounds, or polyphenols, nine of which are unique to pure maple syrup. One of these polyphenols, named Quebecol, naturally forms when the sap is boiled to produce maple syrup," says dietician Lauren Manaker in an email, noting that Quebecol has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body. Don't go too wild on the maple syrup, though, as it's still packed with calories. And make sure that you're consuming the pure stuff as opposed to imitation "maple syrup" or pancake syrup. These don't have any of the anti-inflammatory benefits.

3. Fatty Fish

Omega-3s have long been nutritional superstars, most commonly and plentifully found in fatty fish like tuna, sardines and salmon, as well as walnuts, chia seeds and flax seeds. "Omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fish and monounsaturated fats in nuts and seeds help to reduce precursors that cause inflammation," says Rima Kleiner, registered dietitian-nutritionist and blogger at DishOnFish.com via email. Despite the fact that the most recent dietary guidelines recommend seafood two to three times per week, Omega-3s are sadly lacking in the typical diet. Instead, many people favor their less beneficial, inflammation-causing cousin Omega-6 fatty acids, often found in vegetable oils, nuts and dairy products (it should be noted that people do need a certain amount of Omega-6s, however they tend to get too much and usually not from the best sources).

Doctors are learning that one of the best ways to quell inflammation is with the foods you eat: https://t.co/ES92OZhXsp#HarvardHealth#inflammation#Dietpic.twitter.com/za5GNFRDhf

&mdash Harvard Health (@HarvardHealth) September 27, 2018

4. Turmeric

A popular spice, most commonly found in Indian food, turmeric "contains a powerful anti-inflammatory compound called curcumin," emails United Kingdom-based dietician Hayley Cimring. "Eating black pepper with turmeric can significantly enhance the absorption of curcumin." However, you'd need to eat far more turmeric than is used in a typical dish to get the benefit. So, many people take curcumin supplements instead.

5. Extra-virgin Olive Oil

Not all oils are bad, after all! Indeed, EVOO should have a place at most tables. "Extra-virgin olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants to protect the cells in your body and reduce inflammation," says Cimring. "It's not always best for cooking but it's perfect for salad dressings and for vegetable side dishes."

6. Dark Chocolate

We saved the best for last on purpose. Indeed, dark chocolate is known for being packed with inflammation-reducing antioxidants. Cimring encourages buyers to choose dark chocolate that contains at least 70 percent cocoa. "A greater percentage is even better to reap these anti-inflammatory benefits," she says. Now, that's a sweet ending.

Correction: The article was updated to stress that the maple syrup referred to was pure maple syrup, rather than imitation. Also, Jean LaMantia's name was spelled incorrectly in one instance and was corrected.

Reduced inflammation is also linked to enjoying a diet high in fiber-rich foods like whole grains, nuts, veggies, fruits and beans, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Be sure to drink lots of water to ensure you reap the full benefits, as water helps fiber work better in the body.


6 Anti-inflammatory Foods You Should Be Eating

You've probably heard that anti-inflammatory foods are good for you, but why? And how can they help you anyway?

First, it's important to understand what bodily inflammation is, and why it can be harmful. In fact, there are actually two types: acute and chronic. The former is nothing to get too worked up over. "Acute inflammation is part of healing and is a normal, healthy response to injury or infection," says registered dietitian Jean LaMantia in an email interview.

Basically, whenever your body recognizes something that is foreign – such as a microbe, pollen or a chemical, it goes to work to get rid of it. It does this by activating your immune system which triggers a process called inflammation. Inflammation helps to get rid of the offending organism.

But sometimes this inflammation continues even when there isn't a foreign invader. That's called chronic inflammation.

"Chronic inflammation starts out as acute, but then doesn't shut off. This creates a new environment at the area of injury, as the inflammatory messengers tell the body's cells to die off and replace themselves with new cells," says LaMantia. "With this rapid cell turnover, there is greater likelihood of a cell with a genetic defect to appear." Chronic inflammation is linked to a higher risk of cancer, diabetes, asthma, depression, metabolic syndrome and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), among other problems, she notes.

Chronic inflammation can also have a pretty big impact on the simplicities of daily life. "Excess internal inflammation plays a key role in a host of problems including joint pain, lethargy, weight gain, autoimmune disease, sleep problems, headaches and much more," emails Dr. Candice Seti, a licensed clinical psychologist, certified personal trainer and certified nutrition coach.

The typical diet that many Americans follow is loaded with foods that are processed and high in saturated fats, trans fats, sugars and tropical oils. These foods are not good for your heart and studies have associated eating a lot of these "pro-inflammatory" foods with an increased risk of cancer and death. Inflammation is an underlying mechanism for many diseases, including cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

On the other hand, some foods contain helpful components that are effective at reducing the amount of inflammation in the body. "The components in food that are anti-inflammatory are able to turn down the inflammatory messages that our body sends out," says LaMantia.

You may already know that foods like cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower), berries and dark, leafy greens are anti-inflammatory superstars. But we have a list of six other anti-inflammatory superfoods for you to incorporate into your diet, some of which may surprise you:

1. Yogurt and Other Fermented Foods

"Fermented foods are both anti-inflammatory and also beneficial for gut health. They restore a healthy balance of bacteria to the gut which helps to keep the body's inflammation in check," says nutritionist Lisa Richards in an email. Even if you're not a fan of more exotic fermented foods like sauerkraut or kimchi, it's easy enough to include the category into your daily diet, as yogurt and most aged cheeses qualify. "When selecting yogurt it is best to choose a low sugar version with live cultures," she advises.

2. Pure Maple Syrup

That's right, Canada's pride and joy (no, not Celine Dion this time) is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties, according to a University of Rhode Island study. Um, how exactly? "Scientists have identified more than 67 different plant compounds, or polyphenols, nine of which are unique to pure maple syrup. One of these polyphenols, named Quebecol, naturally forms when the sap is boiled to produce maple syrup," says dietician Lauren Manaker in an email, noting that Quebecol has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body. Don't go too wild on the maple syrup, though, as it's still packed with calories. And make sure that you're consuming the pure stuff as opposed to imitation "maple syrup" or pancake syrup. These don't have any of the anti-inflammatory benefits.

3. Fatty Fish

Omega-3s have long been nutritional superstars, most commonly and plentifully found in fatty fish like tuna, sardines and salmon, as well as walnuts, chia seeds and flax seeds. "Omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fish and monounsaturated fats in nuts and seeds help to reduce precursors that cause inflammation," says Rima Kleiner, registered dietitian-nutritionist and blogger at DishOnFish.com via email. Despite the fact that the most recent dietary guidelines recommend seafood two to three times per week, Omega-3s are sadly lacking in the typical diet. Instead, many people favor their less beneficial, inflammation-causing cousin Omega-6 fatty acids, often found in vegetable oils, nuts and dairy products (it should be noted that people do need a certain amount of Omega-6s, however they tend to get too much and usually not from the best sources).

Doctors are learning that one of the best ways to quell inflammation is with the foods you eat: https://t.co/ES92OZhXsp#HarvardHealth#inflammation#Dietpic.twitter.com/za5GNFRDhf

&mdash Harvard Health (@HarvardHealth) September 27, 2018

4. Turmeric

A popular spice, most commonly found in Indian food, turmeric "contains a powerful anti-inflammatory compound called curcumin," emails United Kingdom-based dietician Hayley Cimring. "Eating black pepper with turmeric can significantly enhance the absorption of curcumin." However, you'd need to eat far more turmeric than is used in a typical dish to get the benefit. So, many people take curcumin supplements instead.

5. Extra-virgin Olive Oil

Not all oils are bad, after all! Indeed, EVOO should have a place at most tables. "Extra-virgin olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants to protect the cells in your body and reduce inflammation," says Cimring. "It's not always best for cooking but it's perfect for salad dressings and for vegetable side dishes."

6. Dark Chocolate

We saved the best for last on purpose. Indeed, dark chocolate is known for being packed with inflammation-reducing antioxidants. Cimring encourages buyers to choose dark chocolate that contains at least 70 percent cocoa. "A greater percentage is even better to reap these anti-inflammatory benefits," she says. Now, that's a sweet ending.

Correction: The article was updated to stress that the maple syrup referred to was pure maple syrup, rather than imitation. Also, Jean LaMantia's name was spelled incorrectly in one instance and was corrected.

Reduced inflammation is also linked to enjoying a diet high in fiber-rich foods like whole grains, nuts, veggies, fruits and beans, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Be sure to drink lots of water to ensure you reap the full benefits, as water helps fiber work better in the body.


6 Anti-inflammatory Foods You Should Be Eating

You've probably heard that anti-inflammatory foods are good for you, but why? And how can they help you anyway?

First, it's important to understand what bodily inflammation is, and why it can be harmful. In fact, there are actually two types: acute and chronic. The former is nothing to get too worked up over. "Acute inflammation is part of healing and is a normal, healthy response to injury or infection," says registered dietitian Jean LaMantia in an email interview.

Basically, whenever your body recognizes something that is foreign – such as a microbe, pollen or a chemical, it goes to work to get rid of it. It does this by activating your immune system which triggers a process called inflammation. Inflammation helps to get rid of the offending organism.

But sometimes this inflammation continues even when there isn't a foreign invader. That's called chronic inflammation.

"Chronic inflammation starts out as acute, but then doesn't shut off. This creates a new environment at the area of injury, as the inflammatory messengers tell the body's cells to die off and replace themselves with new cells," says LaMantia. "With this rapid cell turnover, there is greater likelihood of a cell with a genetic defect to appear." Chronic inflammation is linked to a higher risk of cancer, diabetes, asthma, depression, metabolic syndrome and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), among other problems, she notes.

Chronic inflammation can also have a pretty big impact on the simplicities of daily life. "Excess internal inflammation plays a key role in a host of problems including joint pain, lethargy, weight gain, autoimmune disease, sleep problems, headaches and much more," emails Dr. Candice Seti, a licensed clinical psychologist, certified personal trainer and certified nutrition coach.

The typical diet that many Americans follow is loaded with foods that are processed and high in saturated fats, trans fats, sugars and tropical oils. These foods are not good for your heart and studies have associated eating a lot of these "pro-inflammatory" foods with an increased risk of cancer and death. Inflammation is an underlying mechanism for many diseases, including cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

On the other hand, some foods contain helpful components that are effective at reducing the amount of inflammation in the body. "The components in food that are anti-inflammatory are able to turn down the inflammatory messages that our body sends out," says LaMantia.

You may already know that foods like cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower), berries and dark, leafy greens are anti-inflammatory superstars. But we have a list of six other anti-inflammatory superfoods for you to incorporate into your diet, some of which may surprise you:

1. Yogurt and Other Fermented Foods

"Fermented foods are both anti-inflammatory and also beneficial for gut health. They restore a healthy balance of bacteria to the gut which helps to keep the body's inflammation in check," says nutritionist Lisa Richards in an email. Even if you're not a fan of more exotic fermented foods like sauerkraut or kimchi, it's easy enough to include the category into your daily diet, as yogurt and most aged cheeses qualify. "When selecting yogurt it is best to choose a low sugar version with live cultures," she advises.

2. Pure Maple Syrup

That's right, Canada's pride and joy (no, not Celine Dion this time) is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties, according to a University of Rhode Island study. Um, how exactly? "Scientists have identified more than 67 different plant compounds, or polyphenols, nine of which are unique to pure maple syrup. One of these polyphenols, named Quebecol, naturally forms when the sap is boiled to produce maple syrup," says dietician Lauren Manaker in an email, noting that Quebecol has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body. Don't go too wild on the maple syrup, though, as it's still packed with calories. And make sure that you're consuming the pure stuff as opposed to imitation "maple syrup" or pancake syrup. These don't have any of the anti-inflammatory benefits.

3. Fatty Fish

Omega-3s have long been nutritional superstars, most commonly and plentifully found in fatty fish like tuna, sardines and salmon, as well as walnuts, chia seeds and flax seeds. "Omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fish and monounsaturated fats in nuts and seeds help to reduce precursors that cause inflammation," says Rima Kleiner, registered dietitian-nutritionist and blogger at DishOnFish.com via email. Despite the fact that the most recent dietary guidelines recommend seafood two to three times per week, Omega-3s are sadly lacking in the typical diet. Instead, many people favor their less beneficial, inflammation-causing cousin Omega-6 fatty acids, often found in vegetable oils, nuts and dairy products (it should be noted that people do need a certain amount of Omega-6s, however they tend to get too much and usually not from the best sources).

Doctors are learning that one of the best ways to quell inflammation is with the foods you eat: https://t.co/ES92OZhXsp#HarvardHealth#inflammation#Dietpic.twitter.com/za5GNFRDhf

&mdash Harvard Health (@HarvardHealth) September 27, 2018

4. Turmeric

A popular spice, most commonly found in Indian food, turmeric "contains a powerful anti-inflammatory compound called curcumin," emails United Kingdom-based dietician Hayley Cimring. "Eating black pepper with turmeric can significantly enhance the absorption of curcumin." However, you'd need to eat far more turmeric than is used in a typical dish to get the benefit. So, many people take curcumin supplements instead.

5. Extra-virgin Olive Oil

Not all oils are bad, after all! Indeed, EVOO should have a place at most tables. "Extra-virgin olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants to protect the cells in your body and reduce inflammation," says Cimring. "It's not always best for cooking but it's perfect for salad dressings and for vegetable side dishes."

6. Dark Chocolate

We saved the best for last on purpose. Indeed, dark chocolate is known for being packed with inflammation-reducing antioxidants. Cimring encourages buyers to choose dark chocolate that contains at least 70 percent cocoa. "A greater percentage is even better to reap these anti-inflammatory benefits," she says. Now, that's a sweet ending.

Correction: The article was updated to stress that the maple syrup referred to was pure maple syrup, rather than imitation. Also, Jean LaMantia's name was spelled incorrectly in one instance and was corrected.

Reduced inflammation is also linked to enjoying a diet high in fiber-rich foods like whole grains, nuts, veggies, fruits and beans, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Be sure to drink lots of water to ensure you reap the full benefits, as water helps fiber work better in the body.


6 Anti-inflammatory Foods You Should Be Eating

You've probably heard that anti-inflammatory foods are good for you, but why? And how can they help you anyway?

First, it's important to understand what bodily inflammation is, and why it can be harmful. In fact, there are actually two types: acute and chronic. The former is nothing to get too worked up over. "Acute inflammation is part of healing and is a normal, healthy response to injury or infection," says registered dietitian Jean LaMantia in an email interview.

Basically, whenever your body recognizes something that is foreign – such as a microbe, pollen or a chemical, it goes to work to get rid of it. It does this by activating your immune system which triggers a process called inflammation. Inflammation helps to get rid of the offending organism.

But sometimes this inflammation continues even when there isn't a foreign invader. That's called chronic inflammation.

"Chronic inflammation starts out as acute, but then doesn't shut off. This creates a new environment at the area of injury, as the inflammatory messengers tell the body's cells to die off and replace themselves with new cells," says LaMantia. "With this rapid cell turnover, there is greater likelihood of a cell with a genetic defect to appear." Chronic inflammation is linked to a higher risk of cancer, diabetes, asthma, depression, metabolic syndrome and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), among other problems, she notes.

Chronic inflammation can also have a pretty big impact on the simplicities of daily life. "Excess internal inflammation plays a key role in a host of problems including joint pain, lethargy, weight gain, autoimmune disease, sleep problems, headaches and much more," emails Dr. Candice Seti, a licensed clinical psychologist, certified personal trainer and certified nutrition coach.

The typical diet that many Americans follow is loaded with foods that are processed and high in saturated fats, trans fats, sugars and tropical oils. These foods are not good for your heart and studies have associated eating a lot of these "pro-inflammatory" foods with an increased risk of cancer and death. Inflammation is an underlying mechanism for many diseases, including cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

On the other hand, some foods contain helpful components that are effective at reducing the amount of inflammation in the body. "The components in food that are anti-inflammatory are able to turn down the inflammatory messages that our body sends out," says LaMantia.

You may already know that foods like cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower), berries and dark, leafy greens are anti-inflammatory superstars. But we have a list of six other anti-inflammatory superfoods for you to incorporate into your diet, some of which may surprise you:

1. Yogurt and Other Fermented Foods

"Fermented foods are both anti-inflammatory and also beneficial for gut health. They restore a healthy balance of bacteria to the gut which helps to keep the body's inflammation in check," says nutritionist Lisa Richards in an email. Even if you're not a fan of more exotic fermented foods like sauerkraut or kimchi, it's easy enough to include the category into your daily diet, as yogurt and most aged cheeses qualify. "When selecting yogurt it is best to choose a low sugar version with live cultures," she advises.

2. Pure Maple Syrup

That's right, Canada's pride and joy (no, not Celine Dion this time) is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties, according to a University of Rhode Island study. Um, how exactly? "Scientists have identified more than 67 different plant compounds, or polyphenols, nine of which are unique to pure maple syrup. One of these polyphenols, named Quebecol, naturally forms when the sap is boiled to produce maple syrup," says dietician Lauren Manaker in an email, noting that Quebecol has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body. Don't go too wild on the maple syrup, though, as it's still packed with calories. And make sure that you're consuming the pure stuff as opposed to imitation "maple syrup" or pancake syrup. These don't have any of the anti-inflammatory benefits.

3. Fatty Fish

Omega-3s have long been nutritional superstars, most commonly and plentifully found in fatty fish like tuna, sardines and salmon, as well as walnuts, chia seeds and flax seeds. "Omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fish and monounsaturated fats in nuts and seeds help to reduce precursors that cause inflammation," says Rima Kleiner, registered dietitian-nutritionist and blogger at DishOnFish.com via email. Despite the fact that the most recent dietary guidelines recommend seafood two to three times per week, Omega-3s are sadly lacking in the typical diet. Instead, many people favor their less beneficial, inflammation-causing cousin Omega-6 fatty acids, often found in vegetable oils, nuts and dairy products (it should be noted that people do need a certain amount of Omega-6s, however they tend to get too much and usually not from the best sources).

Doctors are learning that one of the best ways to quell inflammation is with the foods you eat: https://t.co/ES92OZhXsp#HarvardHealth#inflammation#Dietpic.twitter.com/za5GNFRDhf

&mdash Harvard Health (@HarvardHealth) September 27, 2018

4. Turmeric

A popular spice, most commonly found in Indian food, turmeric "contains a powerful anti-inflammatory compound called curcumin," emails United Kingdom-based dietician Hayley Cimring. "Eating black pepper with turmeric can significantly enhance the absorption of curcumin." However, you'd need to eat far more turmeric than is used in a typical dish to get the benefit. So, many people take curcumin supplements instead.

5. Extra-virgin Olive Oil

Not all oils are bad, after all! Indeed, EVOO should have a place at most tables. "Extra-virgin olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants to protect the cells in your body and reduce inflammation," says Cimring. "It's not always best for cooking but it's perfect for salad dressings and for vegetable side dishes."

6. Dark Chocolate

We saved the best for last on purpose. Indeed, dark chocolate is known for being packed with inflammation-reducing antioxidants. Cimring encourages buyers to choose dark chocolate that contains at least 70 percent cocoa. "A greater percentage is even better to reap these anti-inflammatory benefits," she says. Now, that's a sweet ending.

Correction: The article was updated to stress that the maple syrup referred to was pure maple syrup, rather than imitation. Also, Jean LaMantia's name was spelled incorrectly in one instance and was corrected.

Reduced inflammation is also linked to enjoying a diet high in fiber-rich foods like whole grains, nuts, veggies, fruits and beans, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Be sure to drink lots of water to ensure you reap the full benefits, as water helps fiber work better in the body.


6 Anti-inflammatory Foods You Should Be Eating

You've probably heard that anti-inflammatory foods are good for you, but why? And how can they help you anyway?

First, it's important to understand what bodily inflammation is, and why it can be harmful. In fact, there are actually two types: acute and chronic. The former is nothing to get too worked up over. "Acute inflammation is part of healing and is a normal, healthy response to injury or infection," says registered dietitian Jean LaMantia in an email interview.

Basically, whenever your body recognizes something that is foreign – such as a microbe, pollen or a chemical, it goes to work to get rid of it. It does this by activating your immune system which triggers a process called inflammation. Inflammation helps to get rid of the offending organism.

But sometimes this inflammation continues even when there isn't a foreign invader. That's called chronic inflammation.

"Chronic inflammation starts out as acute, but then doesn't shut off. This creates a new environment at the area of injury, as the inflammatory messengers tell the body's cells to die off and replace themselves with new cells," says LaMantia. "With this rapid cell turnover, there is greater likelihood of a cell with a genetic defect to appear." Chronic inflammation is linked to a higher risk of cancer, diabetes, asthma, depression, metabolic syndrome and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), among other problems, she notes.

Chronic inflammation can also have a pretty big impact on the simplicities of daily life. "Excess internal inflammation plays a key role in a host of problems including joint pain, lethargy, weight gain, autoimmune disease, sleep problems, headaches and much more," emails Dr. Candice Seti, a licensed clinical psychologist, certified personal trainer and certified nutrition coach.

The typical diet that many Americans follow is loaded with foods that are processed and high in saturated fats, trans fats, sugars and tropical oils. These foods are not good for your heart and studies have associated eating a lot of these "pro-inflammatory" foods with an increased risk of cancer and death. Inflammation is an underlying mechanism for many diseases, including cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

On the other hand, some foods contain helpful components that are effective at reducing the amount of inflammation in the body. "The components in food that are anti-inflammatory are able to turn down the inflammatory messages that our body sends out," says LaMantia.

You may already know that foods like cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower), berries and dark, leafy greens are anti-inflammatory superstars. But we have a list of six other anti-inflammatory superfoods for you to incorporate into your diet, some of which may surprise you:

1. Yogurt and Other Fermented Foods

"Fermented foods are both anti-inflammatory and also beneficial for gut health. They restore a healthy balance of bacteria to the gut which helps to keep the body's inflammation in check," says nutritionist Lisa Richards in an email. Even if you're not a fan of more exotic fermented foods like sauerkraut or kimchi, it's easy enough to include the category into your daily diet, as yogurt and most aged cheeses qualify. "When selecting yogurt it is best to choose a low sugar version with live cultures," she advises.

2. Pure Maple Syrup

That's right, Canada's pride and joy (no, not Celine Dion this time) is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties, according to a University of Rhode Island study. Um, how exactly? "Scientists have identified more than 67 different plant compounds, or polyphenols, nine of which are unique to pure maple syrup. One of these polyphenols, named Quebecol, naturally forms when the sap is boiled to produce maple syrup," says dietician Lauren Manaker in an email, noting that Quebecol has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body. Don't go too wild on the maple syrup, though, as it's still packed with calories. And make sure that you're consuming the pure stuff as opposed to imitation "maple syrup" or pancake syrup. These don't have any of the anti-inflammatory benefits.

3. Fatty Fish

Omega-3s have long been nutritional superstars, most commonly and plentifully found in fatty fish like tuna, sardines and salmon, as well as walnuts, chia seeds and flax seeds. "Omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fish and monounsaturated fats in nuts and seeds help to reduce precursors that cause inflammation," says Rima Kleiner, registered dietitian-nutritionist and blogger at DishOnFish.com via email. Despite the fact that the most recent dietary guidelines recommend seafood two to three times per week, Omega-3s are sadly lacking in the typical diet. Instead, many people favor their less beneficial, inflammation-causing cousin Omega-6 fatty acids, often found in vegetable oils, nuts and dairy products (it should be noted that people do need a certain amount of Omega-6s, however they tend to get too much and usually not from the best sources).

Doctors are learning that one of the best ways to quell inflammation is with the foods you eat: https://t.co/ES92OZhXsp#HarvardHealth#inflammation#Dietpic.twitter.com/za5GNFRDhf

&mdash Harvard Health (@HarvardHealth) September 27, 2018

4. Turmeric

A popular spice, most commonly found in Indian food, turmeric "contains a powerful anti-inflammatory compound called curcumin," emails United Kingdom-based dietician Hayley Cimring. "Eating black pepper with turmeric can significantly enhance the absorption of curcumin." However, you'd need to eat far more turmeric than is used in a typical dish to get the benefit. So, many people take curcumin supplements instead.

5. Extra-virgin Olive Oil

Not all oils are bad, after all! Indeed, EVOO should have a place at most tables. "Extra-virgin olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants to protect the cells in your body and reduce inflammation," says Cimring. "It's not always best for cooking but it's perfect for salad dressings and for vegetable side dishes."

6. Dark Chocolate

We saved the best for last on purpose. Indeed, dark chocolate is known for being packed with inflammation-reducing antioxidants. Cimring encourages buyers to choose dark chocolate that contains at least 70 percent cocoa. "A greater percentage is even better to reap these anti-inflammatory benefits," she says. Now, that's a sweet ending.

Correction: The article was updated to stress that the maple syrup referred to was pure maple syrup, rather than imitation. Also, Jean LaMantia's name was spelled incorrectly in one instance and was corrected.

Reduced inflammation is also linked to enjoying a diet high in fiber-rich foods like whole grains, nuts, veggies, fruits and beans, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Be sure to drink lots of water to ensure you reap the full benefits, as water helps fiber work better in the body.


6 Anti-inflammatory Foods You Should Be Eating

You've probably heard that anti-inflammatory foods are good for you, but why? And how can they help you anyway?

First, it's important to understand what bodily inflammation is, and why it can be harmful. In fact, there are actually two types: acute and chronic. The former is nothing to get too worked up over. "Acute inflammation is part of healing and is a normal, healthy response to injury or infection," says registered dietitian Jean LaMantia in an email interview.

Basically, whenever your body recognizes something that is foreign – such as a microbe, pollen or a chemical, it goes to work to get rid of it. It does this by activating your immune system which triggers a process called inflammation. Inflammation helps to get rid of the offending organism.

But sometimes this inflammation continues even when there isn't a foreign invader. That's called chronic inflammation.

"Chronic inflammation starts out as acute, but then doesn't shut off. This creates a new environment at the area of injury, as the inflammatory messengers tell the body's cells to die off and replace themselves with new cells," says LaMantia. "With this rapid cell turnover, there is greater likelihood of a cell with a genetic defect to appear." Chronic inflammation is linked to a higher risk of cancer, diabetes, asthma, depression, metabolic syndrome and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), among other problems, she notes.

Chronic inflammation can also have a pretty big impact on the simplicities of daily life. "Excess internal inflammation plays a key role in a host of problems including joint pain, lethargy, weight gain, autoimmune disease, sleep problems, headaches and much more," emails Dr. Candice Seti, a licensed clinical psychologist, certified personal trainer and certified nutrition coach.

The typical diet that many Americans follow is loaded with foods that are processed and high in saturated fats, trans fats, sugars and tropical oils. These foods are not good for your heart and studies have associated eating a lot of these "pro-inflammatory" foods with an increased risk of cancer and death. Inflammation is an underlying mechanism for many diseases, including cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

On the other hand, some foods contain helpful components that are effective at reducing the amount of inflammation in the body. "The components in food that are anti-inflammatory are able to turn down the inflammatory messages that our body sends out," says LaMantia.

You may already know that foods like cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower), berries and dark, leafy greens are anti-inflammatory superstars. But we have a list of six other anti-inflammatory superfoods for you to incorporate into your diet, some of which may surprise you:

1. Yogurt and Other Fermented Foods

"Fermented foods are both anti-inflammatory and also beneficial for gut health. They restore a healthy balance of bacteria to the gut which helps to keep the body's inflammation in check," says nutritionist Lisa Richards in an email. Even if you're not a fan of more exotic fermented foods like sauerkraut or kimchi, it's easy enough to include the category into your daily diet, as yogurt and most aged cheeses qualify. "When selecting yogurt it is best to choose a low sugar version with live cultures," she advises.

2. Pure Maple Syrup

That's right, Canada's pride and joy (no, not Celine Dion this time) is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties, according to a University of Rhode Island study. Um, how exactly? "Scientists have identified more than 67 different plant compounds, or polyphenols, nine of which are unique to pure maple syrup. One of these polyphenols, named Quebecol, naturally forms when the sap is boiled to produce maple syrup," says dietician Lauren Manaker in an email, noting that Quebecol has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body. Don't go too wild on the maple syrup, though, as it's still packed with calories. And make sure that you're consuming the pure stuff as opposed to imitation "maple syrup" or pancake syrup. These don't have any of the anti-inflammatory benefits.

3. Fatty Fish

Omega-3s have long been nutritional superstars, most commonly and plentifully found in fatty fish like tuna, sardines and salmon, as well as walnuts, chia seeds and flax seeds. "Omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fish and monounsaturated fats in nuts and seeds help to reduce precursors that cause inflammation," says Rima Kleiner, registered dietitian-nutritionist and blogger at DishOnFish.com via email. Despite the fact that the most recent dietary guidelines recommend seafood two to three times per week, Omega-3s are sadly lacking in the typical diet. Instead, many people favor their less beneficial, inflammation-causing cousin Omega-6 fatty acids, often found in vegetable oils, nuts and dairy products (it should be noted that people do need a certain amount of Omega-6s, however they tend to get too much and usually not from the best sources).

Doctors are learning that one of the best ways to quell inflammation is with the foods you eat: https://t.co/ES92OZhXsp#HarvardHealth#inflammation#Dietpic.twitter.com/za5GNFRDhf

&mdash Harvard Health (@HarvardHealth) September 27, 2018

4. Turmeric

A popular spice, most commonly found in Indian food, turmeric "contains a powerful anti-inflammatory compound called curcumin," emails United Kingdom-based dietician Hayley Cimring. "Eating black pepper with turmeric can significantly enhance the absorption of curcumin." However, you'd need to eat far more turmeric than is used in a typical dish to get the benefit. So, many people take curcumin supplements instead.

5. Extra-virgin Olive Oil

Not all oils are bad, after all! Indeed, EVOO should have a place at most tables. "Extra-virgin olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants to protect the cells in your body and reduce inflammation," says Cimring. "It's not always best for cooking but it's perfect for salad dressings and for vegetable side dishes."

6. Dark Chocolate

We saved the best for last on purpose. Indeed, dark chocolate is known for being packed with inflammation-reducing antioxidants. Cimring encourages buyers to choose dark chocolate that contains at least 70 percent cocoa. "A greater percentage is even better to reap these anti-inflammatory benefits," she says. Now, that's a sweet ending.

Correction: The article was updated to stress that the maple syrup referred to was pure maple syrup, rather than imitation. Also, Jean LaMantia's name was spelled incorrectly in one instance and was corrected.

Reduced inflammation is also linked to enjoying a diet high in fiber-rich foods like whole grains, nuts, veggies, fruits and beans, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Be sure to drink lots of water to ensure you reap the full benefits, as water helps fiber work better in the body.