While inflammation is a sign that our body is defending you against bacteria, viruses, and allergens, it becomes an issue when prolonged. At that point, the inflammation can damage cells, and your immune system could be jeopardized. Fortunately, you can help your body fight inflammation by paying attention to your diet.
Consuming anti-inflammatory foods helps your body recover, reduces belly fat, prevents bloating, and fights obesity. While it’s not a magic pill for weight reduction, an anti-inflammatory diet can help you lose weight and improve your overall health. Here are the best anti-inflammatory foods for weight loss.
Best Anti-Inflammatory Foods for Weight Loss
A study published by the National Library of Medicine investigated how eating berries affects our metabolism. The findings show that berry fruit consumption fights inflammation and reduces the risk of heart problems.
Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and other berries contain antioxidants called anthocyanins. These compounds are extremely powerful in combating inflammation, improving cognitive function, and lowering the risk of cancer and diabetes. Berries also contain vitamin C, which can reduce inflammation.
Due to their many health benefits, berries are excellent for just about anyone, even those who aren’t trying to lose weight. They are delicious and can easily be incorporated into oatmeal, smoothies, and salads.
Ginger is one of the best anti-inflammatory foods for weight loss. It contains gingerols, unique compounds with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
Ginger has plenty of benefits for our overall health. It calms nausea, keeps our breath fresh, soothes sore muscles, lowers blood sugar, and relieves indigestion.
Although ginger is extremely healthy, many avoid it due to its pungent taste. While this flavor can be tamed by cooking ginger with different foods, it’s important to point out that many nutritional properties are destroyed by cooking. If you want to make the most out of this powerful plant, it’s best to consume it fresh. Chop or grate it into smoothies, sauces, and salads. You can also add it to your lemonade or mix it with seltzer.
Those with a sweet tooth will be happy to know they don’t have to give up chocolate to lose weight. In fact, dark chocolate can even promote weight loss.
According to a study by the American Chemical Society, dark chocolate can lower the risk of obesity and diabetes. The cocoa in dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants that fight inflammation, keep our skin radiant, boost energy levels, and reduce the risk of numerous diseases and conditions.
When we eat dark chocolate, our gut bacteria ferment it and absorb the valuable compounds. You can enhance the beneficial effects by eating dark chocolate with apple slices.
Keep in mind that not all dark chocolate is good. Avoid those with added sugar and high levels of saturated fat. Look for chocolate with a high cocoa content. Ideally, the cocoa content should be 70% or above.
Salmon, like other fatty fish, is packed with healthy fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals. It contains long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, which are considered essential. Since our bodies can’t produce omega-3 fatty acids, we need to get them from our diet.
Omega-3 fatty acids are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. They also have numerous other health benefits, including fighting mental disorders, lowering the risk of heart disease, slowing down age-related mental decline, and reducing fat in the liver.
Salmon is a rich source of vitamin B, which helps our body turn food into energy and reduce inflammation. Since it contains a lot of protein, it controls our appetite by helping us feel full for an extended period.
Salmon can be consumed as a main dish or added to appetizers, sandwiches, or salads. Whenever you can, try to buy wild salmon. Unfortunately, farmed salmon often contains high levels of contaminants that inhibit its beneficial properties.
Although many don’t like its taste, broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables, with many benefits. Its anti-inflammatory properties are linked to sulforaphane, a chemical compound that belongs to glucosinolates.
Glucosinolates are plant metabolites valuable for reducing inflammation. Plus, glucosinolates have antimicrobial properties and lower the risk of numerous diseases.
Broccoli is packed with vitamins, minerals, bioactive compounds, and fiber, which have a ton of nutritional benefits. Eating broccoli promotes bone, muscle, and skin health, aids digestion, and boosts our immune system. The best way to consume broccoli is to eat it raw or steam it for a few minutes.
Many people who are trying to lose weight are afraid of consuming foods with a high fat content. Not all fats are bad, and avocado is an excellent example.
Avocado is rich in monosaturated fats, which are beneficial for our health. These fats regulate cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease. They also maintain our cells in excellent condition, support their function, and decrease inflammation.
This creamy fruit is also rich in vitamin E, carotenoids, and fiber, which work together toward combating inflammation.
Due to its creamy texture, avocado can be an excellent addition to various dishes, from sandwiches to salads. It can also be used for salad dressings and sauces.
Don’t let the size fool you; these seeds may be small, but they are incredibly nutritious. One ounce of chia seeds contains 10 grams of fiber and almost five grams of protein, which is impressive. They are excellent for stabilizing blood sugar, suppressing appetite, and reducing inflammation. Put these exceptional properties together, and you get one of the best anti-inflammatory foods for weight loss.
Chia seeds are packed with minerals, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids. Since they don’t have a distinct taste, they can easily be incorporated into your diet. You can add them to smoothies, pudding, oatmeal, and baked goods. They can be sprinkled on top of yogurt, cereal, and even dishes like rice or chicken. Since chia seeds absorb water, you can use them to thicken sauces or as an egg replacement.
Another food that promotes weight loss and has anti-inflammatory properties is black beans. These legumes are rich in antioxidants, vitamin A, calcium, folate, magnesium, potassium, and iron. Thanks to these vitamins and minerals, black beans are great for blood sugar regulation, eye health, cancer prevention, and weight control.
A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition investigated the correlation between consuming legumes and having a healthy weight. The results confirmed that the inclusion of beans, chickpeas, and lentils in one’s diet contributes to weight loss, most likely due to the high content of fiber and complex carbohydrates.
Keep in mind that you should be careful with incorporating black beans into your diet if you’re not used to eating foods with a high fiber content. Some compounds in black beans can cause gas and discomfort.
Pineapples are packed with vitamins and minerals that have anti-inflammatory properties and improve our overall health. This fruit contains bromelain, an enzyme that pushes our body to create substances that combat swelling and pain. Plus, this powerful enzyme interferes with tumor cells and prevents blood clots.
Besides bromelain, pineapple contains vitamins B and C, manganese, fiber, and minerals like potassium and magnesium. All these combined are extremely beneficial for our immune system. This delicious fruit slows down age-related muscle degeneration, prevents asthma, regulates blood pressure, improves digestion, and fights skin damage.
You can eat pineapple as a healthy snack or add it to your smoothies or fruit salads. If you want to experiment, you can eat this fruit with chicken, shrimp, or kebabs.
Spinach contains vitamins C, E, and K, all of which have anti-inflammatory properties. This vegetable is rich in carotenoids, which act as antioxidants. Carotenoids are known to produce red, orange, and yellow colors in vegetables and fruits, so many are surprised to learn spinach contains them. In this case, carotenoids are masked by green chlorophylls.
Besides combating inflammation, spinach boosts hydration, curbs appetite, and strengthens the immune system, all of which are significant for weight loss.
Spinach can be consumed raw, but you can also cook it, depending on your preferences. It can be added to smoothies or salads or combined with meat, rice, potatoes, etc.
Whole grains are grains that contain all three parts: endosperm, germ, and bran, while refined grains contain only the endosperm. As such, whole grains are a much better choice, because each part is packed with vitamins and minerals.
Some of the most popular whole grains are brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, bulgur, and oatmeal. All of these are rich in fiber, which stimulates the production of butyrate, a fatty acid that fights inflammation and insulin resistance. The high vitamin B content promotes cell health and increases energy levels. Eating whole grains regularly reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity, and diabetes.
While extremely healthy, whole grains aren’t good for everyone. Those sensitive or allergic to gluten shouldn’t consume whole grains like wheat, rye, or barley.
You can incorporate whole grains into your diet in many ways. For example, you can sprinkle them on cereal, yogurt, or pudding, add them to smoothies, soups, or porridge, or prepare them as a side dish.
Enjoy the Benefits of a Healthy Diet
Just like certain foods combat inflammation, others trigger it. If you want to reduce inflammation, it’s best to avoid foods that contain a lot of sugar and refined carbohydrates. Try consuming less soda, processed and red meat, and alcohol.
We hope this list of the best anti-inflammatory foods for weight loss will guide you in the right direction and help you lose weight and stay healthy.
Read also: Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good for Weight Loss?