7 Low-Carb Ingredients That Can Reduce InflammationArticle posted in: Diet & Nutrition
Inflammation is generally thought of as a negative thing. However, when you go back to the basics, it’s technically a defense and healing mechanism for your immune system, says the peer-reviewed journal StatPearls. In the short-term, inflammation can be a good thing as it helps to ward off injury and infection. But when it lasts for prolonged periods of time, a once beneficial process can turn into a harmful disease.
Not only are there many causes of chronic inflammation but it can also lead to many different health problems. According to Harvard Health Publishing, “chronic inflammation is associated with heart disease, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.” If you suspect that you are experiencing inflammation of any kind, always speak to your doctor.
There are certain healthy ingredients that have been shown to ward off inflammation. Our nutrition experts have put together this list of seven anti-inflammatory superfoods that fit into your low-carb menu.
Here are seven low-carb foods with anti-inflammatory powers:
Featuring a beautiful color and mild flavor, avocado’s decadent and creamy texture does more than appease your palate! According to the Arthritis Foundation, avocados are natural inflammation-fighters, thanks to their monounsaturated fats and vitamin E. They explain, “Unlike most fruits, avocados are a good source of vitamin E, a micronutrient with anti-inflammatory effects.” Avocados count as a Healthy Fat on the South Beach Diet program.
Throw a slice of avocado on your burger or swap it for the mayo in your egg salad! “In one study, when people consumed a slice of avocado with a hamburger, they had lower levels of the inflammatory markers NF-kB and IL-6, compared with participants who ate the hamburger alone,” says Healthline. Looking for some healthy avocado recipes? Check out these 11 ideas that will totally “guac” your world! >
Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries all contain powerful antioxidants, including anthocyanins, vitamin C and carotenoids. According to the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, anthocyanins give berries their beautiful color. “These compounds also help rid the body of free radicals that promote inflammation and help prevent heart disease and certain cancers,” says the Arthritis Foundation.
On the South Beach Diet, you can count berries towards your daily Extras. Refer to our Grocery Guide for serving sizes! >
This vibrant yellow spice is famous not only for its color but its inflammation fighting powers. According to Healthline, turmeric contains curcumin, a compound with anti-inflammatory properties. “Research suggests that curcumin can help in the management of oxidative and inflammatory conditions, metabolic syndrome, arthritis, anxiety, and hyperlipidemia. It may also help in the management of exercise-induced inflammation and muscle soreness, thus enhancing recovery and subsequent performance in active people,” says research, published in the scientific peer-reviewed journal Foods.
Adding this spice into homemade dishes is an easy, tasty way to combat inflammation! Turmeric is an unlimited Free Food on the South Beach Diet. Not sure how to start cooking with this superfood? Try our delicious and healthy recipes for Chicken Tikka Skewers, One-Minute “Golden Milk” Yogurt and Coconut Curry Chicken! Click the link below to learn more about this powerful golden spice:
4. Fatty Fish
Yes, these delicious, main course options are not only packed with protein and flavor but also omega-3 fatty acids! According to Healthline, everything from salmon and sardines to mackerel and anchovies are filled with EPA and DHA—long-chain omega-3 fatty acids that combat inflammation. “Your body metabolizes these fatty acids into compounds called resolvins and protectins, which have anti-inflammatory effects,” says Healthline.
All fish falls into the Protein category on the South Beach Diet. Be sure to peruse our Recipe page for plenty of low-carb recipes featuring fatty fish like salmon!
5. Green Tea
Green tea is an excellent source of catechins and epicatechins, flavonoids that stop inflammation and can decrease plaque buildup in the arteries, says Harvard Health. According to Healthline, green tea reduces your risk of heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, obesity and other conditions—all thanks to the compound epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). “EGCG inhibits inflammation by reducing pro-inflammatory cytokine production and damage to the fatty acids in your cells,” says Healthline.
Unsweetened green tea will count towards your daily water intake on the South Beach Diet. Click here to learn more about the benefits of green tea, then try out this tasty Green Tea Frozen Latte recipe! >
6. Olive Oil
Once again, this ingredient is rich in monounsaturated fats, which is naturally anti-inflammatory. According to Healthline, “The effect of oleocanthal, an antioxidant found in olive oil, has been compared to anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen.” We recommend choosing extra virgin olive oil because it is less processed than other varieties. Olive oil counts as a Healthy Fat on the South Beach Diet meal plan.
Don’t be scared of fat while trying to lose fat! There are many healthy oils that are great for your weight loss goals. Moderation is key, so always stick to the recommended servings sizes in our Grocery Guide. Check out the link below to learn about more South Beach Diet-approved oils!:
A good source of protein, healthy fats and antioxidants, many nuts are considered anti-inflammatory. According to the Arthritis Foundation, “Some nuts are rich in magnesium, l-arginine and vitamin E, which may also play a role in keeping inflammation under control. Studies show that people who eat a diet high in these nutrients tend to have lower levels of some inflammation-causing molecules and higher levels of the anti-inflammatory protein adiponectin compared with those who consumed less.”
Reach for some unsalted, raw walnuts, almonds or peanuts and reap the benefits of their natural anti-inflammatory components! All nuts will count as a Healthy Fat on the South Beach Diet meal plan.
Looking for a great grab-and-go snack for your weight loss plan? Fill up your pantry with perfectly portioned Sea Salt-Kissed Nuts from the South Beach Diet! We even deliver them directly to your door for ultimate convenience. Click here to stock up! >
*Always speak to your doctor before making any dietary changes or if you have any questions about inflammation.