Last Updated on September 16, 2020
I’m a naturopath and let’s talk about some foods that fight inflammation. I may have completed some videos like this previous. Let’s just see if that microphone’s on. Yep, it’s on.
So I’ve done other videos before, but let’s just go over a few different foods that help to fight inflammatory response. One of the biggest problems we face as humans, and especially as we get older, is inflammation. If we can reduce inflammation in any way, shape, or means possible, we’re going to be in a better position. Inflammation seems to stoke the fire that pushes up into many different types of conditions, especially the three big ones; cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. All three are fueled, again, by inflammation and so with just about every other disease in the body.
So how can you reduce inflammatory response? Well, let’s go through different foods here and explain some of these things to you. And the interesting thing is I grow most of these foods myself; the cherries, the berries, the broccoli, the avocados, the peppers, and tomato. You can do all this too, anyone can grow stuff. So the foods I focus on to grow in my garden are the expensive ones, not the cheap stuff like potatoes or things like that. But the more pricier foods, and especially the anti-inflammatory foods, they’re the ones I’m very interested in.
So the number one category will be the berries, and I’ve got nearly 40 blueberry plants for that reason. In fact, we’ve got loads of blueberries at the moment. We’ve got container loads of them because we grow so many of them. So they can be frozen, they can be dried, they can be preserved, they can be given away to people. They’re a fantastic food. Blueberries in particular are outstanding. Especially as you get older, like 50 plus, if you want to protect the brain, the nervous system, you want to stop inflammation around the heart, you want to keep the eyes in good condition, blueberries are going to do this.
So I’m just going to read some notes that I wrote down here. So blueberries are packed with nutrition, they’re seriously a powerhouse of nutrition. They contain lots of fibers, but also lots of minerals and vitamins, antioxidants. Especially ones with anthocyanins you see the nice purple, blue color. Always look at purple, blue kind of things because these seem to be the ones especially packed with nutrition. Purple lettuce, purple onions, anything purple.
Significant increase in killer cells with blueberries, blueberry consumption. So when you’re consuming several tablespoons a day like I do, in fact, I consume like a bowl per day. And what you’re doing is you’re producing, your immune system’s producing, more and more cells to help to wipe out bad bacteria and also to reduce inflammation in general. So heart disease, for example, many heart disease markers like high-sensitivity C-reactive protein through studies have shown to be reduced by the consumption of blueberries every day.
But what I love about blueberries is they really help to look after the eye health and the brain health especially as you get older. Have a look at the Beaver Dam Study that was conducted in the States years ago, looking at the best foods for brain and eye like spinach, egg yolks, blueberries, avocados. These are like pinnacle foods.
Second one are the fatty fish category. Again, I love fatty fish; mackerel, anchovies, herring, salmon. Had two nice big Sicilian olives yesterday that were stuffed with garlic. They were beautiful. And also had some Sicilian olives that were stuffed with anchovies. They were also very, very nice. So these also, these fish in particular, contain lots and lots of long-chain fatty acids in them; DHA, EPA in particular. So by eating fatty fish regularly, you’re going to really increase the ability of your body to reduce inflammation long-term.
Let’s look at cultures around the world where people have generally had quite long lifespans and healthy even as older people. If you look in parts of Italy and Greece for example, and again, what do they eat? Tomatoes, fats, fish fats, olive oil, avocados. These are the sort of foods that you want to be looking at. So you’re going to reduce C-reactive protein, the overall inflammatory marker, by sticking with fatty fish a few times per week.
Nuclear factor kappa-light-chain. NF-κB is a big word there, but basically this is a protein that controls gene transcription. So if you want to reduce the damaging effects of NF-κB, you’re going to need to be eating these kinds of foods. So in fact, some studies have shown that several of these foods we’re talking about work as well as ibuprofen to reduce inflammation. So why the heck would you want to go to a doctor and take toxic pills made by some factory by some robot, probably now, when you could be growing stuff and then reducing inflammation with a natural medicine, which is a healthy food basically? All right, so the fatty fish.
Broccoli, probably one of my favorite of all vegetables. Sulforaphane, which is an antioxidant, which is again linked with really, really helping to stabilize gene transcription. So foods like broccoli stop you really from … Well, not stop you, but help to prevent you from really going into hardcore cancer. Eating broccoli regularly and kale and collards and those sorts of foods, providing they’re well cooked because raw is not that best with kale, for example, because it can have some effects on thyroid function, and all of the brassicas. Be careful with kale. But also the effect on the bowel are quite profound.
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I’ve also seen studies with broccoli and the brassicas where the bowel function was really improved and the beneficial bacteria started to really come back up and repopulate, which again created an anti-inflammatory effect in the gut. You can’t go wrong with broccoli, especially if you grow it yourself. Just be careful of broccoli that you buy because it could be sprayed with some chemicals in it.
Avocado. I’ve got two avocado trees and they have to be my favorite fruit. In fact, we’ve got avocado overload. We give them away to everybody now, we’ve got too many of them. Try and eat one per day, one avocado. I can’t eat one of mine per day because they’re that flipping big. I have to cut them in half and usually end up dumping half or giving half to someone else. But yeah, avocado per day. You’ve got so much monounsaturated fat in this. It’s such a good anti-inflammatory food.
I really like avocados for people with autoimmune diseases and especially inflammatory autoimmune diseases. I find it works well with rheumatoid arthritis for example. Lots of magnesium, lots of potassium, lots of tocopheryls like vitamin E, kind of like substances in these things. Carotinoids. Cancer risk, again, reduction in cancer risk and also a reduction in NF-κB. All right, which means Interleukin 6 is going to go down, which is the inflammatory cytokine, which you don’t want high amounts of.
Green tea, number five. Try and drink one cup of green tea per day, it’s not that bad. You can get matcha tea, M-A-T-C-H-A, matcha. It’s a deep green, very nice tasting green tea. One good cup of green tea per day is an awesome thing to do in your diet along with these recommendations. Just one cup per day.
Epigallocatechin-3-gallate, EGCG, that’s the main antioxidant found in green tea and it can really vary from tea to tea. If you’re serious about green tea like I am, go to the internet and buy a good Japanese green tea from a website. There’s different types because green tea is like basically olive oils or wines. There’s so many variables and different types. You’ll find a type that you like. But yeah, good health food shop. Buying a green tea bag, green tea, tea bags, from the supermarket, it’s probably not the best approach is it? You’re better off going to a health food store.
What do we got now? Number six, everyone’s really giving this a kick in the guts these days. The tomatoes, you’re getting kicked in the guts because of lectins. But hey, the Mediterranean diet is based around tomatoes. For thousands of years I haven’t seen the Italians and Greeks dropping dead like flies because they’re eating tomatoes like Doctor Gundry, Steven Gundry, says. The guy with three chins, more chins than a Chinese phone book and here he is. He’s sinking the boot into tomatoes saying they’re toxic, keep away, they create holes in your gut. What a load of crap. Tomatoes are an amazing food, especially if you grow heirloom or old-fashioned tomatoes. Really good quality ones, not this hybridized crap that people buy today from the shop. I’m not talking about hydroponic tomatoes. I mean, this is junk. You might as well drink Coca Cola. But I mean proper proper tomatoes that tastes good. Tomatoes originally were yellow, they were never red. They were bred to be red over time.
But the yellow tomatoes are the ones that have got the best lycopene content. Now lycopene is a very powerful antioxidant that helps to reduce prostate cancer and diseases like that, but we still get people coming along, riding the same old horse. Let’s sink the boot into one food and write a book around it and get authority around this. But I can tell you now, I really can’t see the hardcore evidence that tomatoes actually kill you and wreck your gut and make you sick and all this crap that I read about. Maybe if you’re, I don’t know, if you’re eating a Frankenfood tomato maybe, but if it’s organically grown and you’re eating bell peppers and foods like that, I can’t see them being toxic. I just can’t. Loaded with vitamin C, loaded with flavonoids, loaded with quercetin. So much goodness in a tomato, but especially for male, the lycopene.
Now cooking tomatoes with olive oil is better and that’s what the Italians have done for generations. Heating up the tomato liberates the lycopene and allows it to get absorbed more quickly into the cell. But when you eat the yellow tomatoes … Moonglow, look up Moonglow, I think is one of them. There are various yellow ones and you’ll see exactly what I’m saying is correct that the yellow ones have got the better lycopene content. I can’t remember if it’s the cis-lycopene or the trans-lycopene, but there’s one lycopene that can get absorbed into the body without heating it up and this is how tomatoes used to be. Look, all food once, before man stuffed it up, used to be very, very healthy for us until we got it, put it in the lab, hybridized it, experimented with it, tried to grow it in plastic green houses and crap like that. We’ve just ruined so much healthy, natural food. But like me, you can still get seeds that were grown, certain types of tomatoes that have been grown for a hundred years, you can still get them. I’m growing a corn at the moment that’s been grown since the 1600s, so these are good foods.
Seven, turmeric and ginger. These should be staple foods in your diet. Turmeric contains curcumin. Turmeric and ginger are very similar. They both look the same, I’ve grown them. They smell sort of similar and they’re both tubers, they’re roots. Ginger, I really like for inflammation and pain with people. In fact, a pharmaceutical company several years ago brought out ginger powder for arthritis and was making a lot of money out of it. But just plain old ginger, amazing.
Ginger should form part of your cooking along with garlic. In my opinion, it’s one of the supreme anti-inflammatory components of a diet which contains herbs and spices and things like that. Especially the curcumin has shown to have very powerful effects on cleansing and restoring and reducing inflammation in several key parts of the body. Turmeric has shown, proven to be in some respect, even more powerful than various pharmaceutical medications for inflammation. You can alternate turmeric powder and ginger powder in your diet and it works quite well too. So any inflammatory type of condition, especially musculoskeletal, I recommend the ginger straight away in the diet, fresh and also powder. Ginger powder keeps for years. Turmeric will discolor, you must keep it dark and cool like all herbs and spices. But I find the ginger lasts a lot, lot longer and doesn’t go off as quick as turmeric does.
The other tip with the turmeric is to have it with some black pepper. The piperine, or piperine, was an antioxidant found in pepper that really potentiates the effect of turmeric. In fact, pepper when consumed with many other foods, enhances the uptake of the nutrition in that food. Another good reason to have pepper in your diet.
Number eight, EVOO. Extra virgin olive oil, the staple of the Mediterranean diet. 50 milligrams per day, 50 mils per day, about two tablespoons would be about the amount I could consume daily. Now this is proven to have a seriously good effect on reducing many different types of inflammatory markers in the blood. So tests and studies have been completed on mice and on rabbits, on humans, and it’s consistently shown that EVOO reduces inflammation on several accounts. This should be part of your diet. But be very careful with extra virgin olive oil because again, there’s a lot of junk on the market. All right?
Chocolate, number nine. Well, dark chocolate, again, we know antioxidant rich. Again, a very good food, but be very careful with dark chocolate because many people just see it, again, as a way to binge or to really step up their candy intake. So we’re talking like one slice per day. If I told you that green tea was good, you wouldn’t have 12 cups of that in a day, would you? No. But it’s easy to have 12 slices of chocolate in a day. So one tiny little piece of dark chocolate per day. I don’t buy chocolate because I find I can’t stick with the one piece, I need to have like the whole bar. Probably like you guys out there. But try and put the dark chocolate and the green tea in the same category, pinnacle foods, small amounts on a regular basis.
Last one are cherries. Cherries are amazing. Again, a study I read not that long ago showed a huge reduction in C-reactive protein. Also, I find them especially good for gout, the inflammation of gout, or arthritis. People who eat 200 grams of cherries per day, which is quite a large amount, has shown a big reduction right across the board on many markers, adverse markers. The cherry juice is also good, providing you don’t have any sugar with it.
So that’s just a list of about 10 different types of foods, which I like to include in my diet on a regular basis, which are antioxidant foods. These are good foods to have with autoimmune disease. And I’ll just remind you, don’t let people pull the wool over your eyes regarding tomatoes and bell peppers and foods like that, saying that they’re bad, they create holes in your gut. I’m sure if I come out with a brand new diet and book and put on a flash suit and a stethoscope and started walking around, people would start to believe me too. So just be careful, all right? Everything you see and hear online is not the gospel.