EATING TO REDUCE INFLAMMATION
Nutritionist Natalie Brady says a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods can be a key piece of the puzzle when it comes to managing the symptoms of autoimmune illness. Here’s what to look out for:
1 Bright coloured foods – Highly coloured fruits and vegetables are packed with antioxidants, which have anti-inflammatory benefits, help to protect against free radical damage, and ‘mop up’ oxidative stress in the body. Darkly pigmented foods, such as berries and beetroot, are particularly high on the antioxidant scale.
2 Walnuts – Nuts are a great addition to any diet, but walnuts pack the biggest health punch when it comes to reducing inflammation.
3 Leafy green vegetables – As well as being loaded with nutrients, leafy greens help to support our liver detoxifying pathways, which is an important step for reducing inflammation. Broccoli is particularly helpful as it contains sulforaphane, an antioxidant that boosts liver detoxifying enzymes.
4 Turmeric – The main active ingredient is curcumin, which has proven detoxifying effects. Turmeric is best eaten in fresh root form – grate it into stir-fries, curries, soups and smoothies.
5 Quality supplements – While a wholefoods approach is the best place to start, certain types of probiotics and fish oil supplements can have great health benefits. As the quality of supplements varies hugely, it pays to get some expert advice to point you in the right direction.
6 Oily fish – Omega 3 fatty acids found in oily fish not only boost heart, brain and joint health, they also act as a powerful antiinflammatory. The highest levels of omega 3 are found in salmon, mackerel and sardines.
7 Fermented foods – Due to the high levels of good bacteria, fermented fare like sauerkraut and kimchi have well-known gut health benefits.
The bacterial strain Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG is especially helpful for reducing gut and intestinal permeability, an issue that can go hand-in-hand with autoimmune illness.