Top Anti-Inflammatory Foods

It’s common knowledge to most people that long-term inflammation is the primary cause of the majority of diseases we develop. We want to put an emphasis on “long-term.” Inflammation gets a bad rap. In fact, we need inflammation to keep us safe from opportunistic stomach bacteria. However, chronic inflammation is an issue. That’s why you need a diet in the top anti-inflammatory foods.

In a rapidly changing world, there is always one thing that is constant. Eating. Sure, we need to sleep and exercise for basic human functioning. However, the hours we must fulfill to meet these requirements can be quite fleeting. Yet, human beings always find time for food. Unfortunately, most of these foods aren’t doing our health any favors.

Let’s take a look at our connection between diet and inflammation. Then we’ll help you find the top anti-inflammatory foods you need for your healthy gut diet plan.

Why You Should Eat Top Anti-Inflammatory Foods

We live in a society dictated by a number on the scale or how many calories on a package. While these can be useful tools to analyze your health goals and decisions, they’re not the be-all, end-all.

Misconceptions About Nutrition

After all, muscle is more dense than fat. So, two different people can carry 300 pounds on their frame. However, one might look chiseled out of stone, while the other would be deemed by society as overweight.

Many fixate on counting calories rather than the quality of calories

Plus, it’s not the number of calories that matter as much as the content of those calories. For instance, you can eat 1,000 calories per day. Sounds like the perfect diet, right?

If those calories are just steak with no vegetables, over time, you will probably increase your chances of developing clogged arteries [1]. A diet that isn’t well-rounded may enhance problems in other areas of your life. So, you need to find foods that will even out that balance.

On the flip side, vegans need to make sure that those 1,000 calories have omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin B12. Otherwise, they can potentially develop serious nutritional deficiencies [2].

Then there’s the obvious. Say you just eat 1,000 calories of junk food. You’d probably end up with some gnarly gastrointestinal disease…and need to go on a sugar detox.

What Causes Inflammation

In the middle of the diehard carnivores, vegans, and junk food aficionados are the majority of the world. At least 60% of the population has a chronic inflammation condition [3].

That’s because even those of us who restrict our calories are filling it with things we perceive as healthy. Unfortunately, these foods don’t agree with everyone’s particular system.

Gluten and Lactose

pizza
We know. Pizza is life.

Many of us eat inflammatory foods rich in gluten and lactose. After all, who doesn’t love a sandwich with cheese? A deep-fried beef and cheese enchilada? How about pepperoni pizza? Yeah, gluten and lactose are our guiltiest pleasure, yet no one feels guilty.

Unfortunately, those who do feel guilty are also in the dark. We’re unaware of some of the foods and everyday items that are laden with these inflammatory fibers. You can find gluten in everything from licorice to medications to salad dressing!

Lectins

While gluten and lactose have been heavily vilified, there are other compounds out there that may cause people gastrointestinal distress. For instance, plenty are sensitive to lectins in legumes or the seeds in nightshades. So, for someone to eat the top anti-inflammatory foods, they need to stay away from these healthy options.

Top Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Eating the top anti-inflammatory foods may sound limited on the surface. However, as we unpeel the onion layers on this healthy gut diet plan, you will see there are many options. Here are some of the top anti-inflammatory foods you must incorporate into your diet for optimal gut health.

Turmeric

curcumin top anti-inflammatory foods
The root of anti-inflammatory health!

Turmeric is a root that is a favorite amongst Indian cuisine enthusiasts. However, it’s also a well-touted supplement for battling chronic inflammation. Research shows that turmeric is rich in a compound known as curcumin [4].

A meta-analysis on this curcuminoid found that it inhibited the growth of several inflammatory biomarkers, including:

  • Phospholipase
  • Lipooxygenase
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • Leukotrienes
  • Thromboxane
  • Prostaglandins
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Collagenase
  • Elastase
  • Hyaluronidase
  • Monocyte Chemoattractant Protein-1 (MCP-1)
  • Interferon-Inducible Protein
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF)
  • Interleukin-12 (IL-12)

While this all sounds too good to be true…for many it is. Curcumin is difficult for our bodies to absorb. Luckily, black pepper can help with the situation.

Curcumin and Black Pepper

Black pepper has an abundance of the molecule, Bioperine. This aromatic compound is what gives black pepper its zingy scent. That’s why many actually use it as an essential oil.

However, it also helps the body absorb nutrients, especially curcumin. In fact, it increases the absorption rate of curcumin by a whopping 2,000% [5].

Bone Broth

Chronic inflammation is never-ending like the water cycle. Sadly, inflammation ignites the cells along the gut barrier. Therefore, long-term inflammation causes people to develop Leaky Gut Syndrome.

Thryve Inside Bone Broth recipe
Making bone broth is easy and delicious

When you have a leaky gut, pathogenic bacteria from your small intestine can infest the gut biome. As a result, your immune system sparks inflammation. So, eating inflammatory foods is like insanity. It’s doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a new result.

Change the results by sealing the leak. The most effective way to accomplish this is with collagen and elastin. You can get an abundance of these proteins in bone broth.

When you make a bone broth, these essential minerals seep out from the bones and into the stock. You can up the gut health benefits by adding more turmeric and black pepper into the mix.

Salmon

We need protein-rich with amino acids to build muscles and cells. Wild-caught salmon is one of the richest and leanest resources of these essential omegas.

Research on omega-3 fatty acids finds they are effective in preventing the development of many diseases caused by an influx of omega-6 fatty acids. These are found in fattier foods like beef and pork.

One analysis on omega-3s and inflammation stated,

“Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties and, therefore, might be useful in the management of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Coronary heart disease, major depression, aging and cancer are characterized by an increased level of interleukin 1 (IL-1), a proinflammatory cytokine. Similarly, arthritis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and lupus erythematosis are autoimmune diseases characterized by a high level of IL-1 and the proinflammatory leukotriene LTB(4) produced by omega-6 fatty acids [6]. 

J Am Coll Nutr. 

So, find more balance in your protein sources. Include more plant-based options such as nuts and seeds. For meals, make sure you are consuming wild-caught fish, free-range poultry, and eggs.

Spirulina

If you are a vegan in need of omega-3s, check out the superfood, spirulina. This cyanobacterium is also known as blue algae.

top anti-inflammatory foods spirulina
Pretty healthy!

While salmon are carnivores, they do inhale, drink, and live in water.

Molecules are known to leach into water.

So, if blue algae are in the water, its nutrients must penetrate the scales of a salmon. Plus, zooplankton that salmon eat feed on this algae. So, they absorb it through diet, too. That’s why many believe wild salmon have such a high level of essential omega fatty acids.

Furthermore, many farm salmon companies started adding spirulina to their feed. Once again, we recommend opting for wild-caught to avoid any hormones or inferior quality meat. However, this is a step towards improving the process.

Avocados

We need fat. It is essential for nutrient absorption and cell creation. These aspects are essential for repairing your gut lining. Avocados are one of the cleanest sources of healthy fats you are going to find.

top anti-inflammatory foods
Avocado, hold the toast!

These fruits are rich in long-chain fatty acids. These are energy sources stored in our adipose fat cells. We draw on it for energy throughout the day.

While medium-chain triglycerides are ideal, avocados have a litany of nutrients. So, we can stand to have that extra fat, because it will be offset or enriched by loads of minerals in this brunch fave.

Greens

Sorry, folks. Gotta eat your greens. If you have inflammation, you need to get rid of what’s causing it. That means you’re going to need fiber.

While many of us turn to grains for fiber, these sources can be cross-contaminated by manufacturers who also produce gluten items. So, your safest bet is leafy greens.

kale
Kale it!

Now, lettuce may be hydrating, but a package of iceberg isn’t going to suffice. You need greens that can feed your good stomach bacteria. However, they need the fiber necessary to flush the bad guys out.

Eat greens, such as:

  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Swiss or Rainbow Chard
  • Collards
  • Brussels Sprouts

Also, ditch the salad dressing. Use red wine or apple cider vinegar. These fermented dressings are excellent for gut health. Top it off with some extra virgin olive oil. Like avocados, plant-based oils are rich in fats that can improve your inflammation problems.

Berries

Can’t go wrong with nature’s dessert. Berries are abundant in antioxidants. Antioxidants fight off the growth of free radicals.

When we have free radicals in the system, they set off all sorts of bells and whistles. Therefore, the immune system works in overdrive to expel these invaders.

If a free radical wins in the fight, it can develop into something much worse. The way it does this is that it uses your immune system’s inflammatory as a shield. That way, it can leach onto other peptides and develop a debilitating condition.

How to Eat Top Anti-Inflammatory Foods

It’s one thing to pick out the top anti-inflammatory foods. It’s another to implement them into a healthy gut diet plan. Swiss chard sounds wonderful, but how on earth do you use it? Well, there are many ways…and we’d love to assist you! Join the Thryve Gut Health Program.

Thryve Gut Health Program
Personalized gut health

We test your stomach bacteria to see what might be causing inflammation.

Then, we work to formulate a personalized probiotic for your gut biome.

With that information, we can tailor a healthy gut diet plan featuring the top anti-inflammatory foods. Our program has easy-to-follow recipes that you are sure to love. Give us a try today!

Thryve Probiotics Gut Health

Resources

[1] Kerley C. P. (2018). A Review of Plant-based Diets to Prevent and Treat Heart Failure. Cardiac failure review4(1), 54–61. doi:10.15420/cfr.2018:1:1

[2] “Vegans May Lack Essential Nutrient Intake, Study Reports.” ScienceDaily, Mayo Clinic, 16 Mar. 2016, www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/03/160316194551.htm.

[3] Pahwa R, Jialal I. Chronic Inflammation. [Updated 2019 Jun 4]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2019 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK493173/

[4] Chainani-Wu, Nita. “Safety and Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Curcumin: a Component of Tumeric (Curcuma Longa).” Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (New York, N.Y.), U.S. National Library of Medicine, Feb. 2003, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12676044.

[5] Shoba, G, et al. “Influence of Piperine on the Pharmacokinetics of Curcumin in Animals and Human Volunteers.” Planta Medica, U.S. National Library of Medicine, May 1998, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9619120.

[6] Simopoulos, Artemis P. “Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Inflammation and Autoimmune Diseases.” Journal of the American College of Nutrition, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Dec. 2002, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12480795.