Natural Anti-Inflammatories

If you’re anything like me, you hate taking pills. And if you have an autoimmune disease or other type of chronic illness, you’re probably taking a million of them. This is for your actual illness, this is a pain killer and/or anti-inflammatory, this one does this and that one does that. Then you add a naturopath into the mix and now you’re also taking a magnesium pill and vitamin A-Z, etc. etc. and by the time you’re ready for work in the morning your stomach is praying you never have to take another pill (except that you inevitably will… probably later that day).

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So how do we avoid so many medications? You probably can’t avoid them all, but I like to sub in certain types of foods, herbs and spices so that I can take less medication. This has become incredibly important since my rheumatologist took me off my anti-inflammatory because it was causing me stomach pain (something that anti-inflammatory medication eventually does is screw with your stomach and liver). What I’ve compiled today is a small list of some of my favourites, because they are a) delicious, and b) great anti-inflammatories that help!

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Herbs & Spices:
Tumeric is my favourite of them. It has an interesting taste and the compound curcumin in tumeric is a great source of anti-inflammatory properties. Plus, it’s delicious and portable as a tea, or fantastic in most Indian foods.
Ginger and garlic are easy to add to most meals, and add a lot of flavours. The additional advantage to garlic is that it keeps away the vampires.
Cinnamon. Did someone say cinnamon buns? Okay, maybe try not to eat too much gluten, but cinnamon is delicious and can easily be added to many breakfast dishes.
Are you a fan of spice? Cayenne can kick it up a notch and give you those anti-inflammatory properties that you need!

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Fruits & Vegetables:

Pineapple tops my list because it’s my favourite fruit. My friend made fun of me at work the other day because I always bring a half pineapple when I can get it on sale. Healing and delicious, what more could I ask for?
Blueberries are also a fruit that is both delicious and magical. Plus they are much more portable and are great on pretty much everything.
Lemon is probably the best thing to put in your water, especially if you’re looking for an anti-inflammatory. Bonus: lemon water is way more delicious than regular water,
Leafy greens – spinach, kale, all of that deliciousness is chalk full of healthy goodness outside and inside the anti-inflammatory world. Perfect for salads, and smoothies (I’m not a fan of smoothies but they are highly recommended by naturopathic doctors). Kale chips are easy to make and an actual healthy way to eat chips.

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Salmon tops this list without a doubt. It’s got a ton of health benefits, from antioxidants to anti-inflammatories and a whole lot in between. Cut down on your red meats and increase on your salmon intake. (I love fish and seafood so I’m going to promote the heck out of it).

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There a number of other foods, herbs and spices that could be added into this list, but this is a great place to start. I recommend heading to a naturopathic doctor if you’re interested in more information!