Foods that Help with Inflammation

As I've gotten older, I've become less conscious about the latest fad diet and more conscious about what foods are going to provide the best benefit when it comes to addressing problems with inflammation, brain fog, and fatigue. I have found that I feel better when I vary my diet with nutrient rich foods, eat cleaner by avoiding processed foods, try to grow some of my own herbs and vegetables in container gardens and home cook my meals, because I like knowing what I put into what I'm eating. The last two are the most challenging to keep up with, especially during the seasons that I have to work outside the home, but I have found that I feel better when I stick to the plan. Don't get me wrong, I love going out to eat, but if I don't go to my list of restaurants that don't make me feel sick, random dining is a crapshoot, and the inflammation and fatigue comes back. 

For this reason, I will be continuously updating this post as I start exploring more foods that I have found beneficial to my health. I've added a few recipes and foods from past posts: 

Boost Your Health With Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Fingerlings Potatoes and Chestnut Recipe
A Delicious Gluten Free Dessert
Reintroducing Gluten? Try this Flour
Gluten-Free Doesn't Have to Mean Happy Free
Red Chicken Curry in Four Easy Steps

This week, I introduced my family to black rice. I can't say that I made them complete fans, but they didn't complain, so that was a plus. I've tried quinoa and brown rice, as I love both, but when you're cooking for several tastebuds in a family, it's challenging to find a middle ground. Finding that middle ground takes patience, especially when you get one member of the family who only loves plain, steamed white rice and the other, mexican rice. One hates quinoa and the other brown rice. It can be frustrating, I know. You take the time to prep and cook the meals and the icing on the cake are sour looks (ahem-not mentioning any names). I'm a total sucker when I comes to wanting to make everyone in the family happy, but I'm getting older, and it's getting to the point where I can't play with eating whatever I want. I pay for it when I do, and I have to be stronger about not being too indulgent, even if they tug at my heartstrings. Because, I have found that if I don't have the energy to keep up with my family, everyone else suffers, and I don't want to be the one to drag everyone else down. They have enough on their plates- no pun intended. 

So...back to black rice. It's rich in nutrients and it has an interesting history. In ancient China, commoners were not allowed to grow it for themselves, much less consume it. Only Chinese nobility could enjoy it.¹ 

Lucky for us, we don't live under that type of regime, so we get to reap its benefits. You'll find that it has a nutty taste and the texture is a little harder than white rice, but I liked it. It's also easy to make. Just boil it. I bought Village Harvest Black Rice. It's non- GMO, which means it wasn't genetically engineered or modified. I will say that although gluten-free, it wasn't organic. I didn't see one that was when I shopped at my local grocery store this time around, but I'll be sure to get one that is, next time. With that said, I had to boil it in extra water andfor more time, since rice is known to contain higher levels of arsenic. But the best part to this rice are its benefits:² 

  1. It's rich in antioxidants that help restrict free radicals that cause cancer and diabetes, and it's especially high in Anthocyanin, the nutrient found in blueberries. Anthocyanin helps improve brain function and reduce inflammation. The anthocyanin phytochemicals in black rice, reduces bad cholesterol (LDL), a common contributor to cardiovascular diseases. So it is also good for your heart. 
  2. Cleanses the liver of disease causing toxins which makes it a natural detoxifier.
  3. It's a great source of fiber, leaving you with a feeling of fullness, and this particular rice can also help prevent insulin resistance. 
  4. Higher protein content of 8.5gms of protein per 100gms serving, compared to brown rice at 8 gms, red rice at 7gms,  and white rice at 6.8 gms.
I've added it to my shopping list of rice to buy from now on. As I start introducing new foods, I'll keep updating this list. If you enjoyed reading this post, sharing is appreciated. Thanks for reading and come back and visit!

₁ Levy, Jillian. (2015, Feb 8). The Forbidden Rice: Black Rice Nutrition & Benefits.

₂ Sengupta, Sushmita. (2018, June 22). 7 Incredible Benefits of the 'Forbidden Rice': The Black Rice.

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