As the harshness of winter gives way to spring, daffodils appear along the sidewalk, cherry blossoms open, and the start of a new season reveals itself. While sunshine and warmer weather uplifts the spirit, these transitional periods can also be disruptive and can require us to devote additional care to our bodies. Incorporating more anti-inflammatory foods into your diet is the first step in facilitating healing and strengthening your body’s defenses from the inside out. Below are a few of our nutritional favorites for reducing inflammation this Spring:
- Flax seed oil is high in omega 3 fatty acids, which are incredible for reducing inflammation. This oil is six times richer in omega 3 fatty acids than most fish oils. Try drizzling some over your next salad, adding a spoonful to a smoothie, or sprinkling flax seeds in soup, oatmeal, or yogurt.
- Walnuts are chock-full of healthy fats—65 percent by weight, in fact—which makes them an energy-dense food that will satisfy you for longer periods than other snacks. A high source of polyunsaturated fats, walnuts are the only nuts that contain a significant amount of omega 3 ALA.
- Spinach is a great source of vitamins A, C, K, manganese, zinc, and selenium. It contains flavonoids, powerful antioxidants that protect against disease and fight free radical damage, making it one of the best foods for strengthening the immune system.
- Turmeric is the current darling and with good reason. It's a great source of the chemical curcumin, which has been shown to decrease swelling and inflammation. It's great for gut inflammation, joint issues, and skin redness. Use fresh root or powered turmeric in stirfries, add to a latte, or make golden milk: heat up coconut or almond milk on the stove and add grated turmeric and ginger, a cinnamon stick, ground black pepper, and a sweetener of choice. Simmer for 10 minutes and enjoy this healing beverage.