“Anti-inflammatory” is a term that you’ve probably heard floating around in the world of nutrition and healthy living. But what is it really all about and why do we need it?
First, what is inflammation? It’s something that results when we’re injured, yes. But the swelling of a sprained ankle, for example, is only one manifestation. Inflammation is also systemic, which means your organs and internal functions are impacted. The food you eat can actually increase or decrease the inflammatory response – and research shows it impacts your likelihood to develop heart disease, obesity, dementia, chronic pain and autoimmune diseases.
Needless to say, the goal is to reduce inflammation as much as possible! The good news is that it’s easy to do it by adding key foods to your diet – and reducing the toxic load from processed, sugary foods. These are the top 5 anti-inflammatory foods you should be eating now:
Turmeric. Easily one of my favourite spices, turmeric is also one of the top anti-inflammatory herbs. With its bright orange colour, it adds vibrancy and a really unique, smoky flavour to any dish: I love it in my Cinnamon and Almond Carrots with Turmeric Tahini Dressing.
Greens. Is there anything greens can’t do? Dark, leafy greens like spinach, kale and silver beet are packed with antioxidants, which help reduce toxic load and protect us from cellular damage and an inflammatory response. Enjoy them raw when you can (think fresh salads, smoothies and juices) but they’re great when sautéed in coconut oil, too.
Ginger. Crush inflammation with this spicy root – it’s great to add to a post-workout smoothie. It reduces nausea, too, and is amazing as an herbal tea. I love adding ginger to savoury dishes, too! It gives delicous flavour to my Japanese-inspired Salmon.
Fish Oil. Another extremely effective weapon against inflammation, fish oil is high in omega-3s. In large enough amounts, research shows that it reduces the inflammatory process that leads to many chronic illnesses like asthma, depression, cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases, and even cancer. Be sure you’re getting oily fish, like salmon and mackerel, in your diet.
Garlic. This plant superstar has been revered for its medicinal properties for hundreds of years. It’s thought to benefit over 150 different conditions and has benefits ranging from anti-inflammatory to anti-viral to antioxidant. Chop it up and add it to just about any savoury dish for a boost of flavour and superfood power. My Crispy Herb and Garlic Halloumi on Asparagus and Hummus makes an incredible lunch!
Hi Jessica, I believe in synchronicity so when I was guided to you .on FB I was intrigued and inspired. I turned 46 last week and my husband bought me your book. I wanted to thank you for sharing your wisdom in such a beautifully presented way. My copy is now filled with tabs and post it notes with actual notes throughout. I am dairy intolerant since having my gallbladder removed 15+ years ago, I don't eat meat, very minimal gluten and was told 12 months ago my gut was not digesting my food properly so I wasn't receiving sufficient nutrients and taking supplements would be a waste of time. My weight fluctuates tending to gain rather than lose but now I believe I have a tool to help me bring my body back into balance that I need for my health and longevity of life - so again thank you. The first few steps to creating a stronger path forward for my health has found its foundation in your beautiful book, The Healthy Life.
With kindest regards Samantha
I'm writing this email because I wanted to tell you how much I love your blog and how you really helped me in my health journey. Thank you for sharing all your advices and experiences.
When I started my studies, I was drinking lots of coffee and I was eaten the wrong foods, and feel bad about it, I wasn't at my best. So I had done some research on the net but at first I didn't found advices that are for me, and then I found your blog. It was exactly what I was looking for, good advices and healthy recipes. Now I'm following your advices on rest more, and snacks between meals and prep the meals and take time for myself to reconnect with my body and let go my anxiety, etc, and I have a more balanced life and have a new relationship with food thanks to you.
I bought your book and it's honestly the best book I have ever bought. I suffer from IBS and anxiety. I have paid so much money seeing naturopaths however after reading your book and all of your tips I'm noticing so much of a difference, so simple and easy to follow. And symptoms have dramatically decreased. Also you have helped me to relax. Currently drinking the protein health smoothie! Thankyou your amazing.
Hey Jessica! I haven’t yet brought ‘The Healthy Life’, but I do have the clean life and your slim down plan! I would like to thank you so much for the knowledge your share and the message you put across about health and wellness. I’m studying Nutritional Medicine in Melbourne and absolutely love the philosophy that you share with your JSHealth community. The work you’ve done to show people that leading a healthy lifestyle isn’t boring, tasteless, difficult or depriving is amazing and hope to share the message myself one day. You’ve inspired me to start my own blog , to share the message and have taught me so many things about my own health! You should be proud of your achievements! Thank you again
I searched for help and tips through the Internet and found Jessica Sepel. This is seriously not exaggerated, but she was the reason why I have dared myself to eat again, to have snacks in between, to nourish my body. I could slowly improve my negative thoughts about my body image and my stupid anxiety of gaining weight. Besides, The Cleanest Gut was awesome too! A huge thank you! Especially from my mum. Seriously, without you I wouldn’t be where I am now!
Congratulations on your new book! It looks absolutely gorgeous. I’ve been following you on Instagram for a few years and you’ve inspired me to slowly but surely eat healthier without giving myself a hard time when I don’t. It made me so happy (and weirdly proud) to see the Daily Mail article on The Healthy Life. I remember trying out your recipes before you even had your eBook out! I can’t wait to get my hands on the book. Keep up the great work.
Cooking in this way truly brought out the foodie in me and has instilled a huge passion for health and wellness! Life throws you hard and frustrating things sometimes but I truly believe that this is where we learn more about ourselves and what our passions in life are! Thank you for inspiring me on my journey to health and wellness!
I am a yoga teacher in Johannesburg and am thrilled to have bought your book today. I love making healthy, nutritious food for my family, friends and fellow yogis! Thank you for this book and your inspiration (had to share a pic of my book on my recipe stand in the kitchen).
I bought your beautiful book during the week and told my bestie to go out and buy it also! I love love love it. It is the book I would give to my younger self if I could (I am 41 years old). Everything is just so sensible and informative and is definitely a book all teenagers should have. This should be a text book for girls becoming teens. I will love going back and re-reading it many many times and can't wait to make more of the recipes. Thank you Jess - you are an incredibly inspiring woman and you should feel so proud
My fiancé bought your book and we have cooked some of your meals. Amazing! I love your outlook on a healthy lifestyle and your hints and tips with preparing tasty meals are fantastic. Thanks for reviving us to live a healthier lifestyle and get our bodies wedding ready.
I want to empower you to make good choices, every day. I want you to enhance your understanding of health and nutrition. I'm committed to making sure you live the best life. Because you deserve it. Are you ready to start feeling great?
Let me know your email address so I can send you an eBook '7 Days on my plate' - a little gift from me to you!