Start the year with wild weight loss goals and a grand plan, only to feel you’ve already plateaued? We’ve found the nutrition buzz this year is around inflammation. This is our bodies immune response, where it tries to fight off harmful things like damaged cells, bugs and irritants. When our bodies are constantly getting bombarded with stress, lack of sleep, alcohol, cigarettes and a poor diet the body’s inflammatory state remains high.
Bottom line: high inflammation = difficulty to lose weight. Those who exercise a lot also experience higher levels of inflammation and they need a hand repairing.
Foods that help reduce inflammation in the body are high in chemicals called antioxidants, phyto (‘fight –o’) nutrients and healthy omega 3 fats. Eating lots of these foods can help reduce the inflammation in the brain and gut. They’ve shown in recent studies that reducing inflammation helps in weight loss efforts AND improves heart health.
Checkout our guide to anti-inflammatory foods:
Purple foods are high in a phytonutrient called anthocyanine helpful for repairing stressed cells (pow pow!). Try:
- Red cabbage – in coleslaw with a yoghurt dressing
- Eggplant – roasted and added to tomato based sauces or stirfries
- Purple plums – add to muesli or yoghurt
- Cherries – grab a handful as a yummy post dinner snack
OMEGA – 3 FATS
Omega 3s improve brain function and reduces muscle tissue damage induced by exercise. Have a go with:
- Salmon – grill a fresh piece or pop a tin into your sandwiches/salads (don’t forget to eat the bones!)
- Sardines – an oldie but a goodie, enjoy a tin on grainy toast for lunch
- Walnuts – sprinkle into salads or muesli (they are shaped like a brain for a reason)
- Flaxseeds – just a tsp added to a smoothie or hidden in a pasta sauce does the trick
Generally, the darker the vegetable the richer the nutrients. Vitamin A, C, E are antioxidants that keep cells resistant to attack. We need these vegetables everyday, so get creative!
- Broccoli – place in food processor and to make broccoli rice
- Bok choy/choy sum – throw into a stir fry with a smidge of soy sauce
- Avocado – eat ¼ at a time, smear onto toast under a runny egg
- Capsicums & tomatoes – chop up and toss with cumin to add to tacos
- Carrots – chomp away on raw carrots (they make the best dipping sticks!)
HIGH QUALITY LEAN PROTEIN
Protein eaten post exercise helps reduce muscle tissue damage and starts the repair process. For women it is helpful to eat both plant based proteins as well as animal sources. Some great examples are:
- Lentils – 1 cup of tinned lentils in a haloumi salad or added to Bolognese sauce
- Chicken or turkey mince – made into meatballs or served in lettuce cups
- Two eggs – boiled and chopped into a salad/sandwich or done as an omelette (perfect late night, 5 minute meal!)
SPICE UP YOUR LIFE
Turmeric is getting a lot of attention for its anti-inflammatory properties, but all spices are high in minerals and vitamins. Replace salt with spices for a depth of flavour in your dishes.
- Turmeric – sprinkle over roasted cauliflower or add to salad dressings
- Cumin – add to beans when cooking Mexican
- Cinnamon – a dusting on yoghurt or over roasted pumpkin & sweet potato!
There you have it, a quick guide to some new foods to reduce inflammation in your body and help tip it towards weight loss. Remember, simply eating certain foods may not guarantee weight loss, following the right program for you, watching your portion sizes and keeping physically active is also needed.
Have fun livening up your kitchen with new foods!
Ash, Kat and Em
Body Fusion Dietitian’s
As Accredited Practising Dietitian’s we can help you meet all your nutrient requirements for optimal healing. For more evidence based, personalised nutrition advice, yummy recipes and practical tips and tricks give us a call to book an appointment.