Our high-added sugar diets are throwing our gut microbiomes out of whack, with chronic inflammation on the rise. Luckily, there are a few foods that have the opposite effects – if you’re keen to learn how to quit sugar and eat for your gut, here are 5 anti-inflammatory foods to prioritise.
Inflammation is a natural response by your body to protect you from pathogens, but unfortunately with a high-sugar diet, things start to go a little haywire in this department. The result? Chronic inflammation. And this is certainly not protecting you from harm – quite the opposite; this condition can lead to diseases like autoimmune conditions, heart disease and cancer. But, with a few simple lifestyle changes, you can drastically reduce your risk of developing these conditions and keep chronic inflammation away. Here are 5 of our favourite foods to fight inflammation.
Berries like strawberries, raspberries and blueberries are packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. Berries should be your first port of call when you’re looking for an anti-inflammatory kick. Whether you go for strawberries, raspberries, blueberries or blackberries, you’re guaranteed a healthy dose of antioxidants – these nutrients slash your risk for inflammatory diseases. Part of the reason for this is the effect they have on natural killer cells, these are the cells help your immune system ward off pathogens, and a study proved those who consumed blueberry powder on the daily had significantly greater amounts of these anti-inflammatory cells. Plus, another study found that those who regularly ate strawberries had reduced inflammatory markers – the kinds that are associated with heart disease – than those who skipped out on the berries.
Leafy greens like spinach, kale and bok choy are rich in vitamins and minerals, as well as anti-inflammatory compounds like chlorophyll. Research shows chlorophyll has impressive anti-viral, antibacterial properties that reduce inflammation throughout the body. They're also high in fibre, making them beneficial for digestion and gut health, which in turn reduces the risk of inflammation.
Green tea is loaded with anti-inflammatory polyphenols, which are health-boosting compounds which are known to reduce free radicals in the body, with one in particular, epigallocatchin-3-gallate, found to relieve the symptoms of inflammatory bowel diseases. Green tea can also reduce the risks of developing conditions fuelled by inflammation like Alzheimer’s, cancer and heart disease. Leaky gut, also known as gut permeability, involves a compromised gut lining where toxins may escape into the blood stream, increasing the risk for heart disease and diabetes. Green tea was shown to drastically reduce our chances of developing leaky gut, making it something of an anti-added sugar!
Cinnamon boasts impressive anti-inflammatory properties, making it an ideal dietary addition for those dealing with chronic inflammation. While a bit of inflammation is important in helping our bodies fight infections, things start to turn pear-shaped when our body begins targeting itself. The results can stem from anything from gut issues to poor mood and immunity – that’s why it’s worth stocking up on a few dietary supplements, and cinnamon is one of the more impressive, research-backed options on the market. Research has found that the antioxidants in cinnamon are the source of these anti-inflammatory properties, including polyphenols – berries and green tea are also known for their polyphenol content, and it happens to be the reason for their anti-inflammatory reputations too. Cinnamon has been associated with a significant reduction of triglyceride and cholesterol levels, thereby slashing your chances of winding up with heart disease. One study found that just three quarters of a teaspoon of cinnamon has the power to reduce bad cholesterol, also known as LDL cholesterol, along with balancing blood sugar levels. So, more than a few reasons to add a bit of cinnamon to your morning smoothie!
Need a little help getting your health goals started? We’re here to help. Join us for the 8-Week Program. We’ll help you change the way you look at food – and that doesn’t mean you have to follow restrictive diets or miss out on your favourite foods; we believe you can still enjoy delicious food without jeopardising your health. With celebrity chef Sarah Glover on our panel of experts, you’ll have an array of fun recipes at your fingertips, along with our own exclusive armoury of simple, tasty and healthy recipes for everything from daily meals to impressive entertaining. We know it can be hard to stick to your health goals – especially when you’re trying to manage it alone. When you sign up with us, you’ll have access to clear-cut meal plans, community support and exclusive access to our sugar-free content. Here’s what’s on offer:
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