Nutrition Corner: Anti-Inflammatory Foods

If you have pain that keeps you from doing your daily activities, have you considered an anti-inflammatory diet? Such a diet, now the focus of many cookbooks, can help combat inflammation that may be at the root of pain experienced in the joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles. Fortunately, there are some foods that are anti-inflammatory in nature.

SWEET POTATOES: Benefits include high amounts of beta carotene, plus powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that may help prevent chronic disease and cataracts. They can also help balance the glycemic index, which makes them an excellent food for diabetes or obesity.

WINTER SQUASHES: Buttercup, butternut and others are excellent for fiber and beta carotene as well anti-inflammatory properties, and also are rich in B vitamins and vitamins A and C.

MUNG BEANS: These beans are a nutrition powerhouse as well as a major detoxifier and are known to induce urination, clear heat and promote circulation.

ADZUKI BEANS: Nutrient-dense adzuki beans counteract toxins, are helpful for managing diabetes and regulate water metabolism to prevent edema.

CHESTNUTS: Low in calories and fat, unlike other nuts, chestnuts are a good source of vitamin C, folate and essential fatty acids.

TURMERIC: This herbal root looks like ginger in the produce aisle, but is more commonly sold powdered in the spices aisle. It’s known for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-tumor properties. This is especially true of the active component curcumin, which interferes with the chemicals that cause inflammation. Look for turmeric-based teas at natural food stores or make your own. Look online for golden milk or golden tea recipes using turmeric.

For more information about anti-inflammatory foods and recipes, please refer to Dr. Mao’s Secrets of Longevity Cookbook.