NUTRITION: 10 foods to help you heal your body
When it comes to healing and injury, your body has amazing systems in place. But that doesn’t mean you can’t give it a helping hand with the proper nutrients. Try including these 10 foods in your diet to help reduce inflammation and help your body heal faster.
Dark, leafy greens
Dark, leafy greens like spinach and kale are packed with flavonoids, which may reduce inflammation in the brain. Good sources include spinach, kale, soybeans, berries, and tea.
This tropical fruit contains the enzyme bromelain, which can help treat muscle injuries like sprains and strains. Add pineapple to a smoothie or salad.
Flaxseed is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation. Grind flaxseed to release the oils, and then add a spoonful of it to your salad, oatmeal, or yogurt.
Orange carrots are rich in carotenoids, a group of phytochemicals that help protect cells from free radicals, boost immunity and help regulate inflammation. Other carotenoid-rich foods include apricots, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, and pumpkin.
Walnuts are loaded with anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. Top a salad with a handful of walnuts or eat raw walnuts as a snack.
Research has shown that cinnamon reduces inflammation, fights bacteria, assists blood sugar control, and enhances brain function. Sprinkle cinnamon over yogurt, cereal, or oatmeal, or add it to a smoothie.
Ginger contains several anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols, which may relieve joint pain, prevent free radical damage, and increase immunity. Steep a couple of slices of ginger in hot water for ginger tea.
Try using onions as a base for soups, sauces, and stir-fries. Similar foods with anti-inflammatory benefits include garlic, leeks, and chives.
One of the richest known sources of antioxidants, tart cherries are an anti-inflammatory powerhouse. Research suggests that tart cherries offer pain relief from gout and arthritis, reduce exercise-induced
joint and muscle pain, and improve inflammatory markers. Drink a glass of tart cherry juice or combine dried tart cherries with nuts for a snack.
A mustard-yellow spice from Asia, turmeric gets its coloring from a compound called curcumin. Research shows that curcumin can improve chronic pain by suppressing inflammatory chemicals in the body. Make a homemade curry with turmeric or mix it into other recipes once or twice a week.