3 Meals That Fight Inflammation (Plus 2 Snacks!)
The Menu: Spiced-or-herbed up popcorn or yogurt with live, active cultures topped with walnuts
The 30-Second Explanation: Popcorn makes a great delivery vehicle for anti-inflammatory herbs and spices, while probiotics promote healthy gut bacteria linked to less inflammation.
And Everything Else You Might Want to Know: Popcorn is high in fiber, and sprinkling it with antioxidant-rich picks like turmeric, paprika, rosemary, or oregano works against inflammation on two levels. Turmeric might be particularly beneficial, and it’s often recommended for patients dealing autoimmune conditions like arthritis, says Sukol. The Arthritis Foundation recommends up to 3 grams per day, about the amount in 1 1/3 teaspoons.
(Sukol adds turmeric to her popcorn as a general inflammation fighter, and tells patients to do the same.) Your yogurt option is all about the microbiome. An imbalance between good and bad bacteria in your gut (in favor of the bad kind) can lead to inflammation, says Lisa Davis, PhD, co-author of Anti-Inflammatory Foods for Health. The cultures in the yogurt help build the healthy bacteria back up. Walnuts add a satisfying crunch, and their fatty acids help strengthen cell membranes to protect against damage, says Davis.
Images clockwise from top left: istockphoto: Delpixart, Kajdi Szabolcs, John_Kasawa, Floortje