Top 5 Anti-Inflammatory Foods for the Gluten Free Diet

What to eat on the gluten free diet

Fighting inflammation with food is all the rage right now. Google “anti-inflammatory foods’ and you get over 26,000,000 hits. Wowza.

But in all seriousness, anti-inflammatory foods are really important for celiac disease. Celiac disease is based in a chronic, inflammatory response so fighting inflammation with food (along with supplements at times) is key.

Inflammation can come from certain foods in the diet. The big culprits are foods high in sugar and refined carbohydrates. Many people, especially when first diagnosed, transition to gluten free products that encourage the inflammatory process.

The gluten free foods that encourage inflammation in the body include:

  • Gluten free breads, pasta, baked goods (cakes, cookies, donuts, etc), cereals that are high in starch and white rice content
  • Gluten free products high in sugar content such as cereals, bars and granolas and the foods listed above
  • Pop
  • GF fried foods
  • Diets high in red meat

In order to decrease inflammation and encourage healing on the gluten free diet, it is important to decrease the use of the above foods and find healthy, nutritious substitutes. If you need help with this, booking a consultation with a Dietitian with experience in the gluten free diet is important.

Here are my top 5 picks that pack an anti-inflammatory punch:

  1. Tumeric: This spice is a nutritional powerhouse, quite well known for fighting inflammation. You may see turmeric supplements popping up in many natural food stores. But, your best bet is to always start with the actual food before thinking about supplements.

Supplements can have unwanted side effects at large doses (in pill forms) and may interact with some medications. So, if you are thinking about a turmeric supplement be sure to inform your Registered Dietitian or Medical Doctor.

Try this immune boosting smoothie:  Carrot, Ginger Tumeric Smoothie

  1. Salmon: Salmon is high in omega 3, specifically EPA and DHA, which are potent anti-inflammatory, essential fats that must consumed in the diet to meet our needs. In addition to reducing inflammation, omega 3 fats help to support healthy heart, brain, skin, and bone function.

Try this simple, weeknight meal: Maple Dijon Salmon

  1. Chia seeds: Chia seeds are a wonderful, vegetarian source of omega 3. The type of omega 3 found in chia seeds is ALA (alpha linolenic acid) and must be metablized into the essential fats EPA and DHA.   About 1% of ALA consumed in the diet will be converted into the essential fats, EPA and DHA.

Try this raspberry chia parfait for breakfast 

  1. Green leafy vegetables: There is so much goodness about green leafies (as I like to call them), I could go on and on. They pack a nutritional punch for the gluten free diet. Not only are they anti-inflammatory but they also contain an abundance of b-vitamins, specifically folate which can be deficient in someone with celiac disease. Aim to get a variety of greens throughout the week. Or, switch the type of greens you purchase on a week to week basis. Rotate through dark leafy greens such as romaine lettuce, arugula, kale, swiss chard, collards, red leaf lettuce and more.

Tip: throw a handful into smoothies, gluten free pastas, fried rice, soups, stews, and chilis, top sautéed greens on toast with a drizzle of olive oil and goat cheese, top it fresh on pizzas, etc. The options are endless!

  1. Blueberries: Blueberries are high in phytonutrients (plant nutrients), antioxidants and flavonoids, all components known to help to reduce inflammation in the body. Blueberries aren’t the only berry rich in these components, though, many other berries (especially dark berries like blackberries) are too.

Try these gluten free blueberry muffins!

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