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5 Foods to Fight Inflammation

Here is the thing with inflammation: we do actually need it!

As part of the body’s immune response, we can’t properly heal without it. Like anything in life, inflammation becomes problematic when there is too much of it. According to Dr. Mark Hyman, chronic inflammation has been linked to many conditions and diseases not limited to acne, allergies, autoimmune diseases, intestinal problems, and joint pain.

Completely eliminating inflammation triggers like sugar, saturated fats, stress, infections, and toxins is not realistic given the world we live in. However, consuming a diet abundant in foods that tackle inflammation-triggering free radicals and toxins, can create some balance.

Here are 5 powerhouse foods we suggest for keeping inflammation at bay!

Tart Cherries

Cherries give you a double dose of inflammation-busting compounds! Tart cherries boast higher amounts of anthocyanins 1 and 2, a type of phytonutrient. Phytonutrients are anti-inflammatory botanical compounds.

Salmon

Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which has been known to assist in reducing inflammation. You don’t need to make salmon the main course of every meal to reap the benefits. All you need to do is strive to minimize your ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. Ideally, a fifth of a teaspoon of fish oil to a teaspoon of omega-3 fatty acids a day is the amount you need.

Ginger

While researchers haven’t sourced it’s anti-inflammatory properties just yet, studies have linked the plant to a drop in joint pain caused by the chronic inflammatory conditions like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis as well as reduced post-exercise inflammation.

Kale

Kale is loaded with sulfur which prompts your liver to undergo two detox cycles rather than one. This second detox cycles stimulates your body to release more phase II enzymes, which break down toxins similar to how your digestive enzymes break down food. Phase II enzymes help with inflammation in that they cleanse your body by reducing the toxic load.

Walnuts

Walnuts are major powerhouses when it comes to reducing inflammation. They contain over 10 antioxidant phytonutrients, the highest levels of plant-based omega-3s and polyphenols that also assist in lowering inflammation.

References:

Chia, J. 10 Foods that Fight Inflammation. Retrieved from: http://www.prevention.com/food/food-remedies/10-foods-help-fight-inflammation?s=10

MacMillan, A. 14 Foods That Fight Inflammation. Retrieved from: http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20705881,00.html

 

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Orange Salmon with Asparagus

Nourish your brain with the powerful fats it needs with this fresh and zesty orange salmon dish by chef, author and television host Candice Kumai. Salmon is an ideal source of omega-3 fatty acids, which play a crucial role in brain function, and asparagus supplies folate, which works with vitamin B12 to help prevent cognitive impairment.

Orange salmonServes: 4

Ingredients
• Zest 1 orange
• 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
• 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
• 2 tsp grated ginger
• 4 6-oz boneless, skinless salmon fillets
• 16 asparagus spears, trimmed

Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. In a small bowl, whisk together orange zest, juice, soy sauce and ginger; set aside.

2. Cut 4 large pieces of parchment paper and place 1 salmon fillet onto each piece. Divide asparagus spears evenly among pieces of parchment, topping fillets. Pour orange-soy marinade over each fillet and, working with 1 piece of parchment at a time, wrap fillets in parchment paper. Bring top and bottom edges of parchment together. Pinch both parchment edges together at top and fold down in 1/2-inch sections, towards fillet. Fold each side of parchment in towards fillet in 1/2-inch sections.

3. Place parchment packets onto a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, or until salmon is solid and firm and asparagus is cooked through but al dente.

Nutrients per serving (6-oz orange salmon): Calories: 272, Total Fat: 10 g, Sat. Fat: 1 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4 g, Omega-3s: 295 g, Omega-6s: 780 mg, Carbs: 6 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugars: 3 g, Protein: 36 g, Sodium: 466 mg, Cholesterol: 94 mg

Recipe and photo courtesy of Clean Eating Magazine.