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Many people suffer from chronic inflammation. Your doctor might prescribe some medicine to help reduce it. But ask him about anti-inflammatory snacks and other foods. These anti-inflammatory foods might provide a life-long solution to an often painful and less-healthy life. Today we are discussing snacks and appetizers. But for more information, we suggest you read Best Foods to Reduce Inflammation.
Enjoy Anti-Inflammatory Snacks, Plant-based Delicious!
What is Inflammation?
We think of inflammation as being hot as in inflamed. When we speak of inflammation in the human body, we mean the inflammatory response. This immune response helps protect the body from foreign invaders such as bacteria, viruses or toxins. It can also be triggered by physical injury or psychological trauma and can cause uncomfortable symptoms such as pain, redness and swelling. You might recognize these 5 Signs of Inflammation..
But inflammation may also be caused by the foods we eat. A diet high in salt, sugar, simple carbs, and fats often leads to inflammation. The good news is that there are anti-inflammatory foods that can help keep inflammation at bay. In fact, these foods even help heal our bodies during times of injury or illness.
Why do we experience inflammation?
Our bodies produce a response to injury or illness as a means of protection. This response serves to ward off any unwanted intruders – toxins, viruses, bacteria. In this respect, inflammation helps us regain our health.
But this inflammation can also cause health issues when it becomes chronic. The human body manages short-term inflammation to recover. But when it becomes chronic inflammation, the harm outweighs the help.
Chronic inflammation explained
Chronic inflammation often sets in when we don’t easily recover from an injury, illness, or health problem. The stress caused by the body’s response to the problem leads to more problems. These may show as aches and pains, including those seen as arthritis or fibromyalgia. Other symptoms usually include fatigue and generally feeling unwell.
But if it continues, it usually leads to more problems. Research indicates that chronic inflammation left unchecked might lead to more serious problems, including multiple sclerosis (MS), cancer, or heart disease. In fact, studies show that chronic inflammation can have a very serious impact on your health, if left untreated.
Because of serious health issues, doctors often recommend an anti-inflammatory diet that includes low-inflammatory snacks. Studies indicate that the best way to reduce inflammation is to reduce or eliminate inflammatory foods, choosing those with anti-inflammatory benefits whenever possible.
What makes an anti-inflammatory snack?
Simply choosing a healthy snack with anti-inflammatory nutrients makes a big difference in your overall health. But knowing which foods decrease inflammation is not always easy.
to understand the healthy snack, first, understand the inflammatory foods
How can you avoid inflammatory foods without knowing the details? Let’s break it down. First, any food that is high in salt, sugar, refined carbohydrates, and unhealthy fats should be considered inflammatory.
Keep in mind that refined carbs include many of our store purchases, such as crackers, bread, pastries, and other items containing refined flour, sometimes labeled as enriched flour. Enriched simply means that the flour has been refined and some nutrients added. It usually lacks fiber and many essential nutrients.
Sugar comes in many forms, too. Look for corn syrup, for instance. And when a product says “low sugar” or “sugar free” that doesn’t ensure it’s safe. Often these products substitute added fats or salt to compensate for the flavor. Some have artificial sweeteners that cause problems, too.
Finding Anti-inflammatory foods
So many of our grocery store items and restaurant foods are filled with pro-inflammatory ingredients. Are we destined to eat lettuce every day?
Absolutely not! Although eating some lettuce and other greens is a good idea and will help reduce inflammation. Many plant-based foods are rich in anti-inflammatory compounds. And when you enjoy them in their natural form or close to it, most provide the healthy diet filled with nutrients we need.
Potato chips are plant-based vegan
Yes, it’s true! Those fried chips in the bag are usually vegan. But are they healthy?
Immersed in inflammatory oils as they are fried crisp and usually heavily salted, I cannot imagine any dietician claiming that potato chips are healthy or anti-inflammatory snacks.
But potatoes can provide a healthier snack. Baked potato chips or baked potato without adding fats and salts makes snack time healthier. Season with a sprinkle of herbs or serve with a healthy dip. You’ll enjoy the anti-inflammatory goodness that potatoes provide.
And it’s similar to other foods.
Whole Grain Crackers
Topping Ideas for Whole Grain Crackers
Mock Tuna Salad
Baked Tofu (Slices for cracker topping)
Avocado slices with tomato
Almond butter or other nut butters
Air-Fryer Potato Chips or use sweet potatoes
Veggie chips (baked or air-fry, not fried in oil)
Baked tortilla chips
Seeds, Nuts, Nut butter
Trail Mix with Nuts, Seeds, and Unsweetened Dried Fruit
Ginger-Spiced Mixed Nuts
Roasted Chickpeas or Lentils
almonds, walnuts, pistachios, and other heart-healthy fats from nuts
Fruit Salad with Plain Vegan Yogurt (no sugar added)
Sprouted bread or rolls
We love bread made from ground sprouts rather than flour. It’s much more nutritious and using only anti-inflammatory ingredients ensures we reap all the benefits.
While we enjoy it as is, we sometimes top it with fruit, almond butter, or hummus from roasted chickpeas. Sprinkle on a little fresh ginger for a bit more anti-inflammatory benefits!
For a slightly robust snack, melt a little dark chocolate and dip your bread in it. Or, use cacao powder mixed into a nut butter base.
Sometimes liquid snacks fit the need to satisfy your sweet tooth. When you combine fruit, greens, vegetables, and dairy-free milk such as oat or soy milk, you create a sweet treat that doubles as an anti-inflammatory snack. But we don’t mean those smoothies that you get at the local Smoothie Shop. Those usually contain lots of sugars and often other unhealthy ingredients, too. No, to be clear, these smoothies need to be made of anti-inflammatory ingredients with none of the sugar, salt, fats, and processed foods.
Not only does your fruit or green smoothie contain plenty of antioxidants, it also provides a wealth of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It’s nutritious enough for a snack, a light breakfast, or even a l unch.
Want to give it an even bigger boost for anti-inflammatory effects? Add a little dark chocolate, nut butter, protein powder, or turmeric. These pump up the taste in your smoothie recipes without any added sugars.
You’ll find some of our favorite smoothie recipes here.
Reducing inflammation is not impossible if you know how
Creating your recipes for meals and snacks around anti-inflammatory foods provides a good base. Make sure you center your foods around whole grains, veggies, and fruit. Use our recipes.
You need to eliminate added salt as excess sodium is one factor of inflammation. Also, refined sugar and added oils need to be avoided. If you stay with a healthy, plant-based diet and focus on consuming foods as close to their natural state as possible, you may soon find that your chronic inflammation is reduced or even eliminated.
An anti-inflammatory diet need not seem to lack taste or flavor. You just need to learn to enjoy foods without added salt, sugar, and processed foods. Enjoy these anti-inflammatory snacks. Your health shows how important they are!
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