What is inflammation?

Updated: Aug 28, 2018

Your immune system becomes activated when your body recognizes anything that is foreign—such as an invading microbe, plant pollen, or chemical. This often triggers a process called inflammation. Intermittent bouts of inflammation directed at truly threatening invaders protect your health. However, sometimes inflammation persists, day in and day out, even when you are not threatened by a foreign invader. That's when inflammation can become your enemy. Many major diseases that plague us—including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, depression, and Alzheimer's—have been linked to chronic inflammation.

How can we avoid or reduce inflammation?

One of the most powerful tools to combat inflammation comes not from the pharmacy, but from the grocery store. Choose the right foods, and you may be able to reduce your risk of illness. Consistently pick the wrong ones, and you could accelerate the inflammatory disease process.

Foods that inflame

Try to avoid or limit these foods as much as possible:

  • refined carbohydrates, such as white bread, pastries and foods with added sugar

  • fried foods

  • soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages

  • factory farmed red meat and processed meat (hot dogs, sausages etc)

  • margarine, shortening, and lard

Foods that combat inflammation

Include plenty of these anti-inflammatory foods in your diet:

  • tomatoes

  • olive oil (low heat)

  • green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, and collards

  • nuts like almonds and walnuts

  • fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines

  • fruits such as strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges

  • seasonings like oregano, black pepper, ginger, garlic and turmeric

For more information on an anti-inflammatory diet and the full article visit:


After reading about the benefits of an anti-inflammatory diet and what types of food can help reduce inflammation, I started experimenting in the kitchen. We were thinking about offering smoothie bowls at our next yoga retreat so I decided to start there. Below you can find a recipe I have created so that you can make your own anti-inflammatory smoothie bowl at home.

Golden Almond Berry Smoothie Bowl


  • 1/2 cup mixed frozen berries (ideally blueberries, blackberries, strawberries or raspberries)

  • 15 raw almonds or 1/4 cup almond meal (can also substitute with walnuts)

  • 1 cup baby spinach

  • 1 tsp ground turmeric

  • a pinch of cinnamon

  • a crack of pink rock salt

  • 1 tbsp of coconut yoghurt or greek yoghurt

  • 1 cup of ice topped with water

  • Optional tsp of honey


Put all ingredients into a high powered blender and blend until smooth.

Pour smoothie into a large bowl and then top with your favorite toppings. I just used what I had in the cupboard but some good options include seeds, spices, fruit and fresh edible flowers to complete an instagram worthy breakfast bowl.

Use the hashtag #yourtimeyogasmoothie on your instagram post to be featured on our feed.

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