Inflammation is the nightmare of every Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) sufferer. Believe it or not, inflammation is actually supposed to be a GOOD thing. Inflammation occurs when the body is trying to protect itself from bacteria or viruses. However, people with IBD or other autoimmune diseases are cursed with a non-stop inflammatory response. Our bodies trigger inflammatory responses when there is no bacteria or virus to fight off. Thus, your body is fighting itself – an otherwise perfectly healthy person.
NSAIDs like ibuprofen are anti-inflammatory drugs, right? SURE. Let’s pop a bunch of these pills and the pain will go away and inflammation will go down. Right? WRONG. The number one side effect is gastrointestinal problems and they have a tendency to cause bleeding and in your intestines. Uh…. I already have ulcers there…*facepalm*.
To help tame the inflammatory triggers try incorporating these paleo anti-inflammatory foods into your diet. Best part? None of these foods come with a warning that says, “may cause death”.
1. Bone Broth
Have you ever felt better after drinking homemade chicken soup? Bing, bang, boom. It’s not on accident. Bone broth contains amino acids that help everything from mucus in your lungs to inflammation in your gut. There are specific amino acids that fight inflammation. For joint inflammation,
Speaking of joint inflammation, gelatin fights inflammation in a similar way to glucosamine and chondroitin sulphates found in bone broth. It’s been known to aid cartilage function and can be helpful for arthritis inflammation. Since gelatin naturally binds to water, when you eat gelatin with foods it helps carry everything through your digestive tract easier. Gelatin is like, “Come on everyone! Hold my hand. Let’s do this smoothly and safely. Single file, please. Don’t inflame this digestive tract!”.
3. Wild Salmon
Salmon is a good anti inflammatory food because of its helpful Omega-3s. Specifically, a study showed that there is a hormone that aggravates inflammation. The fish oil lowers the effects of this naturally occurring hormone.
You can also substitute with fish oils, but why not just eat it once or twice a week and not worry about adding supplements. 😉
4. Leafy Greens
Vitamin E and packed with nutrients. Another reason to eat kale. If you have a hard time digesting leafy greens because of your IBD try sauteing or boiling them.
Ginger is well known to soothe the tummy and relieve gas. So, when you’re feeling nauseated and bloated just sip on some tea with fresh ginger root…then go buy some turmeric.
Suggested recipe Carrot Pumpkin Soup
Did you know that turmeric is part of the ginger family? Aw, how cute. Turmeric has a bright yellow color that comes from curcumin. Curcumin does more than stain everything yellow. It’s the molecule thought to be responsible for battling the enzymes that try to make us inflamed.
Suggested Recipe: Turmeric Cinnamon Roasted Cauliflower
7. Kombucha and Fermented Foods
Fermented foods, like sauerkraut (pictured above from Mark’s Daily Apple) are when fermentation converts the sugars in the food to alcohols and carbon dioxide. Originally, this was probably done to keep food from going bad. You know, before refrigerators! Fermented food is well known for its healing properties by balancing probiotics and gut flora. The fermented foods contain properties that help guide undigested proteins (which can cause an inflammatory response). Talk about being proactive! So, that’s one reason it’s great for IBD.
Fermented foods include live cultured vegetables like sauerkraut, kimchi. Fermented tea: kombucha. And some yogurt and kefir (not paleo, but primal).
8. Sweet Potatoes
Eating sweet potatoes can help curb sugar cravings. Since sugar is certainly an inflammatory food it’s a great replacement when you’ve got a sweet tooth.
Blueberries are the kings of anti-inflammatory fruits, especially for intestinal inflammation, but what about the others? Well, include them too. Red raspberries can help arthritis. And don’t forget about strawberries, blackberries, and buried berry berries. What? I just made that last one up. Anyways, they all contain phytonutrients and anthocyanins (which give them their bright color). Do you know why plants contain anthocyanins? It’s to attract animals to eat them! No kidding. It’s also home to antioxidants which help prevent free radicals from killing our perfectly good cells.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say you are a crazy person for not understanding the importance of drinking water. It keeps you hydrated, it helps you digest food, regulated fat, makes our kidneys do their job, and it carries nutrients and oxygen around your body…blah blah blah. But it also contains negative ions. Sounds bad, right? Wrong. Negative ions are good. Think of them as good vibes – like Niagara Falls!
Water keeps everything running smoothly in your body including your immune system and inflammatory responses.
MANGIA and tame the inflammation. 😉
*The suggested recipes listed are all approved on the autoimmune protocol.
- Little Pig ‘Pasta’
- Classic Paleo Gremolata