Chronic inflammation in the body can lead to debilitating health problems such as chronic pain, digestive problems, lupus or weight gain. In addition to getting consistent exercise and drinking plenty of water, incorporating anti-inflammatory ingredients into your recipes can help you manage, prevent, or reverse the effects of inflammation.
To learn more about the anti-inflammatory ingredient in dinner that can help with weight loss, we spoke with Eva De Angelis, a registered dietitian, nutritionist, and health and nutrition writer at Midss.com. She highly recommends Nuts as an anti-inflammatory dinner ingredient because they’re high in fiber, protein, healthy fats, and Omega-3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation and satisfy your weight-loss cravings. Find out more below!
Walnuts are the anti-inflammatory ingredient in dinner that can help with weight loss
Before we discuss why walnuts are so great for weight loss, let’s first determine what inflammation is. De Angelis says: “Inflammation is a normal and healthy process, but sometimes we have to fight it, especially when it comes to chronic inflammation. When chronic inflammation occurs, our immune system never ‘shuts down’ and continues to send white blood cells and natural chemical compounds, thus prolonging the process and leaving our body in a constant state of alert.” This can have serious long-term repercussions, including weight gain.
Chronic inflammation can be caused by numerous factors, but he notes that “the mechanism is always the same,” via free radicals. “Free radicals are molecules that occur naturally in our body, but when they are produced in excess, they lead to many health problems. So, when it comes to anti-inflammatory foods, these are the ones that help neutralize these free radicals, thus reducing or avoiding the harm,” adds De Angelis. Just as there are dinner ingredients that cause inflammation and weight gain, there are certain foods that are anti-inflammatory and conducive to weight loss. He recommends that the best anti-inflammatory dinner ingredient he loves and he always recommends are nuts.
That’s because walnuts are packed with powerful weight-loss nutrients. “Nuts have a fantastic combination of fiber, protein, and healthy fats that are great for fighting inflammation. Additionally, walnuts are one of the richest nuts in Omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are one of the most powerful nutrients anti-inflammatories that we can find. Omega-3 fats are great for heart and brain health,” she explains. And they can help improve gut health.
And while it might seem counterintuitive to eat foods high in fat for weight loss, De Angelis says: “Although one might think that nuts are high in fat and therefore not good for weight loss, that’s not entirely true. Yes, they are. They are high in calories and fat, but these are healthy anti-inflammatory fats mixed with a wide range of bioactive healthful compounds.” Noticed!
While walnuts may not be the most traditional dinner ingredient, they go well with a wide variety of meals. Plus, they add a satisfying crunch and that wonderful nutty flavor. “And a little goes a long way. Just adding 0.5 ounces yields a whole host of health benefits, including aiding in weight loss and losing a few inches at the waist,” he continues. You can mash walnuts into a creamy pasta sauce, garnish them on your salads, use them as breadcrumbs for lean proteins like salmon, and so much more!
The bottom line
At the end of the day, there are so many reasons you should be cooking with nuts: They’re packed with fiber, protein, healthy fats, and Omega-3 fatty acids to reduce inflammation and help with weight loss. And they are a delicious and versatile cooking ingredient. But it’s still important to remember that no single ingredient can work wonders on your body. You should still exercise consistently, stay hydrated, get plenty of sleep, and try to reduce stress as much as possible. And when it comes to anti-inflammatory ingredients for dinner, you can’t go wrong with De Angelis’ recommendations.
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