We're of the opinion that inflammation-fighting foods should be a regular part of any healthy diet. But after starch- and sugar-heavy meals like Thanksgiving dinner, everyone could stand to load up on anti-inflammatory foods to temper bloating and do a bit of damage control. That's according to Rachita Reddy, MD and Violet Santana, nutritionist and author of Operation Cleanse, who shared the de-bloating, anti-inflammatory foods they turn to after an indulgent meal with She Finds. Consider filling up on the following three foods to ease inflammation and detox this holiday season.
"Whole grains reduce fat and take inches off your waist because they're absorbed into the bloodstream at a slow pace," explains Reddy. She suggests filling up on quinoa and other whole grains like barley, brown rice, bulgur, and steel-cut oats following an indulgent meal since they're filled with fiber, which prevents inflammation and a sugar spike. "No sugar spike means the sugar in your body isn't stored as fat."
Salmon tops any list of anti-inflammatory foods to add to your diet. The omega-3 fatty acids in this fish are what you could call "healthy fats" that contribute to healthy brain function and even lower the risk of cancers and chronic diseases like Alzheimer's, macular degeneration, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. A 2013 study in the journal Immunity even found that omega-3s help block the body's inflammatory response. Plus, this protein-rich fish is rich in vitamins and minerals like potassium, selenium, and vitamin B12.
"While the avocado is rich in healthy oils, it's not as high in calories as people fear," says Santana. She recommends eating this fruit after indulgent meals, as it is naturally high in heart-healthy unsaturated fat, fiber, vitamins A, C, E, K, and B, potassium, and antioxidants. The anti-inflammatory benefits of avocados are so strong that they can even offset unhealthy food choices. One 2013 study even found that simply adding an avocado to a hamburger could limit the inflammatory response in the body.
Next up: Two more anti-inflammatory pantry staples that you need to know about!