Given my history of celiac disease, a gastro-intestinal condition in the auto-immune category, I am always seeking new ways to introduce gluten free anti-inflammatory food to my diet. The nature of celiac is such that if I eat food that has been cross-contaminated with gluten, I become quite ill, and my small intestine becomes inflamed. Furthermore, these foods are helpful in tissue healing after grueling training runs. Thus, I have compiled a list of foods with anti-inflammatory properties according to the National Institute of Health (NIH), and some ideas on how to implement them into your diet. I have also included Honey, as burgeoning studies support its anti-oxidant properties as well.
- Omega 3 EFA’s: Naturally found in white fish, primarily cod fish oil. This may be consumed by eating the fish directly, or through a supplement. Ask your physician which dose is appropriate for you. Omega-3 is supported by the American Heart Association as a preventive and corrective asset for heart disease, and has been shown to reduce musculoskeletal inflammation.
- Curcumin (Turmeric): This gorgeous herb is derived from a flowering plant in the ginger family and is often used for cooking. I has demonstrated musculoskeletal anti-inflammatory properties as well. I use it when cooking Paella and Indian dishes, however in order to prevent denaturing of its useful properties, I add a teaspoon of it raw to my morning smoothies.
- Green Tea: This widely publicized drink has long been known to contribute to lowered inflammation, weight loss, and prevention of heart disease. It is now also touted as a preventative measure for arthritis. Recommended dose tends to be at least 2 cups per day. I try to drink this in the morning instead of coffee at least 3 times per week. I also like to try to drink it after lunch at work as a pick-me up.
- Ginger Root: noted to decrease nausea and decrease musculoskeletal inflammation, I use this raw in a few Thai dishes (recipes to follow soon), as well as raw thrown into my morning smoothie. I use approximately a 1” chunk , cut into smaller pieces and thrown directly into the blender with fruit and a small amount of rice milk.
- Capsaicin (chili pepper): This one was a surprise to me. I use it when cooking chili and other southwestern dishes, however I figured that it was probably not doing me any favors in the inflammation department. The NIH notes that it does indeed act as a nociceptive blocker thus reducing pain, and as an anti-inflammatory agent despite the burning sensation it can induce in high quantities. It seems that the true medicinal properties of this herb are best realized when combined with other agents into a capsule form, thus a good question to your physician if this is a route you are interested in taking.
- Honey: there is growing evidence that honey not only acts as an anti-oxidant, but it may have anti-biotic properties as well. It is growing in popularity as a beauty product agent due to its anti-oxidant properties and the soothing affects on skin when used topically, as seen in Burt’s Bees and a myriad of other products available over the counter. This is also a great one to throw in the morning smoothie in addition to a small teaspoon in tea or over gluten free crackers. Yum!
Stay tuned for gluten free Recipes in the future that include the above noted goods!
Make your day great!