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8 Healthy Holiday Foods to Reduce Inflammation

Dec 14, 2017

holiday table with place setting The holidays are a time for goodwill, sharing, and of course, eating. Making healthy choices over the holidays may seem difficult with the temptation of sweet treats and finger foods everywhere, but too much of these things can increase inflammation in the body and wreak havoc on your joints. Try these inflammation-reducing foods this holiday season instead.

Pumpkin

This holiday staple contains a powerful anti-inflammatory called beta-cryptoxanthin, which happens to be more easily absorbed by the body when paired with a fat, such as oil or butter. The internet is full of healthy pumpkin recipes, from hearty soups to delicious desserts that are perfect for the holidays.

Nuts

Nuts are another traditional holiday treat that happens to be a perfect addition to an anti-inflammatory diet. Add walnuts, hazelnuts, and almonds, along with other nuts to salads and snack platters or leave them in bowls around the house for snacking throughout the holidays. Nuts are also a great stocking stuffer!

Leafy greens

Spinach and kale may not exactly scream Thanksgiving or Christmas, but you can find recipes to give your salads some holiday flavor. Top a bowl of mixed greens with nuts and dried cranberries for a festive flare. Salads are also perfect for topping with all that leftover turkey you’re bound to have.

Fish

Cod, salmon, and halibut are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been proven to lower inflammation. Fish is a traditional choice for many cultures on Christmas Eve and can be enjoyed as an alternative to red meat during any family gathering. Fruits and vegetables The more color in your fruits and vegetables, the better they are for you and your arthritis. Arrange colorful fruits and veggies in holiday shapes for a festive and healthy snack to take to holiday parties.

Chocolate

Yes, chocolate can be good for you! Cocoa contains flavanols, which have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Dark chocolate with at least 70 percent cocoa will give you the health benefits of cocoa flavanols.

Coffee and tea

What better way to end a holiday meal than enjoying a hot cup of coffee or tea over conversation with loved ones? Coffee contains several anti-inflammatory compounds, such as polyphenol, and has been shown to reduce inflammation. For those that prefer tea, a 2016 study found that green tea contains a substance called EGCG that blocks a pro-inflammatory cell (interleukin-1) from damaging the cartilage.

Ginger

Is there anything better than a gingerbread cookie during the holidays? Various studies have found that ginger not only has anti-inflammatory properties, but it may even be a viable substitute for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). You can add fresh ginger to many of your holiday meals, from soups to vegetables, and of course, your cookies. Ginger is also good for the tummy, which will come in especially handy after all those big holiday meals! Adding all of these foods to your diet during the holidays and all the year through can help you lower inflammation and keep your arthritis symptoms in check. Happy holidays! For more information on finding solutions for your back pain this holiday season, give us a call at 1-844-201-1308 to learn how our board-certified spine specialists can help.



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