An Anti-Inflammatory Diet: What to Eat
Inflammation is your body’s reaction to heal or defend against invaders, such as when you have a sore throat or a scrape. But when your body is exposed to high levels of inflammation for long periods, it can negatively impact your health. Carla Schuit, MPH, RD, LDN, a dietitian at Northwestern Medicine Metabolic Health and Surgical Weight Loss Center at Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital, says that anti-inflammatory food superstars can help keep you healthy.
To prevent or reduce inflammation, she recommends eating more:
- Omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon, olive oil, avocados, walnuts, and chia seeds
- Antioxidants, such as lycopene, found in watermelon and grapefruit
- Phytochemicals — plant pigment that gives plants their deep, rich color — such as anthocyanins found in blueberries, black rice and purple sweet potatoes, and sulforaphane found in cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and kale
- Spices, such as ginger, garlic, turmeric and cinnamon
Build a superfood salad using anti-inflammatory ingredients.
Blueberry and Salmon Superfood Salad
Portion size: 10 oz.
- 12 oz. salmon, diced
- Juice of a lemon
- 1 tsp. poppy seeds
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 8 oz. spring mix lettuce or kale
- 2 cups fresh blueberries
- 1 oz. sliced red onions
- 4 oz. sliced carrots
- 1/4 cup sliced, toasted almonds
- 1/2 cup Balsamic vinaigrette
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Toss diced salmon with juice from the lemon, poppy seeds, salt, black pepper and olive oil. Place salmon on a roasting pan, and bake it until the internal temperature reaches 165° F.
- Mix together the lettuce or kale with the blueberries, red onions and carrots.
- For each salad, place 4 cups of the tossed vegetables into a bowl. Add a quarter of the salmon pieces and 1 tbsp. almonds to each bowl.
- Serve with the dressing and enjoy!