Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Jul 26, 2023Tori Sajovec, RD, LD

What is inflammation?

Inflammation simply is when a physical ailment in the body elicits an immune response. Research links the inflammation “process” to possibilities of developing a disease. It makes sense to eat foods that help limit inflammation to help prevent disease.

Anti-Inflammatory Foods to Include In Your Diet

Include the following foods in your meal plan to help control inflammation in your body:

  1. Omega-3 fatty acids: Omega 3s are healthy fats proven to play a part in helping the immune system and decreasing inflammation.
    • Salmon is an excellent animal source of omega-3 fatty acids. Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice Seafood Program ensures that you’re getting sustainably caught high-quality seafood year-round. Both wild-captured and responsibly farmed fish are essential for keeping the oceans’ ecosystem alive and well and ensuring that there is enough seafood for our country and the world for years to come.
    • Walnuts are a go-to source for plant-based omega-3 fatty acids known to help decrease inflammation. Walnuts contain a plant-based omega-3 alpha linoleic acid, or ALA, (2.5 grams/ounce) and are the only nut that contains a significant amount of this essential nutrient.
  2. Fruits and vegetables: The recommendation for daily consumption of fruits and vegetables is 5 servings per day but you can really take it up a notch. Increasing to 5-11 servings per day can help fight the inflammation that you may be feeling.
    • Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, broccolini, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and kale) contain certain plan nutrients that help decrease inflammation by contributing to the environment of the intestinal cell walls.
    • Leafy Greens (chard, collards, lettuce, mustard greens, spinach)
    • Legumes (black beans, chickpeas, kidney, navy, peas, pinto, soy beans)
    • Citrus Fruits (grapefruit, oranges, lemon, lime)
    • Berries (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries)
    • Beta-carotene foods (apricots, cantaloupe, carrots, mango, pumpkin, sweet potato)
  3. Spices:
    • Turmeric, the yellow spice in curry powder, has been used for many ailments. Some research indicates that curcumin (phytochemical) may reduce inflammation in the body.
    • Additional spices that may decrease inflammation: ginger, clove, cinnamon, black pepper and cayenne

The Maple Walnut Salmon recipe below gives you a double dose of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats with a combination of salmon and walnuts. Serve this entrée with a side of broccoli florets and you are set for a nutritious meal.

Maple Walnut Salmon

Serves 4

All you need:

½ cup finely chopped Hy-Vee walnuts
1 tsp Simply Organic smoked paprika
½ tsp Simply Organic chipotle powder
½ tsp Simply Organic onion powder
½ tsp Simply Organic course black pepper
3 tbsp Hy-Vee 100% pure maple syrup
1 tbsp Hy-Vee apple cider vinegar
4 (5-oz. each) Mt. Cook salmon fillets
Fresh arugula, for serving
Fresh grapefruit, zested, and cut into wedges, for serving

All you do:

  1. Combine walnuts, paprika, chipotle powder, onion powder, black pepper, maple syrup, and apple cider vinegar in a small bowl.
  2. Spoon mixture on salmon fillets. Refrigerate 2 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  4. Place salmon on a baking sheet. Bake 5 to 8 minutes or just until fish flakes easily with a fork (145 degrees).
  5. Serve salmon over fresh arugula and grapefruit wedges. If desired, garnish with grapefruit zest.

Did you know that we have a program called Healthy Habits? It’s complete with weekly menu plans designed by our Hy-Vee Dietitians to help you develop healthy habits and where we also focus on foods that can natural help with inflammation. You also get weekly check-ins with your dietitian, recipes and shopping lists. The easiest piece? You can do this from the comfort of your own home or office, wherever you are! Visit our Hy-Vee Dietitian website to sign up or check out our other services that we offer.

*The blog articles, recipes and recommendations found on this site are not intended as medical advice and should not replace consulting with your medical provider. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

About the Registered Dietitian      

Tori Sajovec RD, LD, received her Bachelor of Science degree in dietetics with a minor in English from Iowa State University. From there, her passions took her to New Orleans, Louisiana, where she completed her 10-month dietetic internship program through Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. As her knowledge of food and nutrition grew, so did her desire to educate customers and clients on their overall well-being. Her goal as a dietitian is to make health and wellness an insightful and enjoyable lifestyle for all.

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