Anti-inflammatory Diet – What to Eat and What Not

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Anti-inflammatory Diet – What to Eat and What Not

Sometimes, inflammation is chronic, which can damage body cells. Following an anti-inflammatory diet can fight inflammation and improve your health.

Inflammation is a natural response to injury or diseases which shows your immune system battles an infection or illness. When you catch an infection or your tissues are damaged due to injury, your immune system becomes activated and release some chemicals to help your body fight against threatening invaders. However, sometimes inflammation continues, and this natural response can become your enemy. Due to chronic inflammation, your body cells don’t function properly due to repeated stressors. As a result, your body is unable to fight against illness and initiate a series of changes in the body that leads to the development of many serious diseases, such as cancer, heart diseases, diabetes, arthritis, and diabetes.

But don’t worry, by following a healthy diet and lifestyle, you can combat chronic inflammation and lower your chances of developing serious health issues. Many studies have shown that some foods and beverages have anti-inflammatory effects. According to some dietitians and nutritionists, eating a plant-based diet or vegan diet, avoiding highly processed foods, trans-fats, and added sugar can help lower inflammation.

Choose the right anti-inflammatory foods that are packed with antioxidants, staying active, getting adequate sleep can help you fight inflammation and prevent inflammation. Let’s explore some anti-inflammatory food options that you can include in your anti-inflammatory diet and how they can do wonders.

Anti-Inflammatory Diet

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An anti-inflammatory diet is focused on clean eating, fresh fruits, and vegetables. Some foods such as sugary and processed foods contain some ingredients that can trigger inflammation and the formation of free radicals, which can lead to cell damage.

On the other hand, fresh foods, such as vegetables and fruits, have an anti-inflammatory effect, and are an excellent source of antioxidants. Adding antioxidants to your body can help remove free radicals from the body and lower the risk of developing a range of diseases. The human body can produce some antioxidants by itself but eating foods that are rich in antioxidants can reduce the levels of inflammatory proteins and prevent the production of free radicals.

There are some famous diet plans such as the DASH diet, vegan diet, and the Mediterranean diet that are the top dietary approaches for the anti-inflammatory diet. These diets include fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains and other healthy foods that meet the standards of anti-inflammatory principles.

Benefits of Following an Anti-inflammatory Diet

Inflammation is the major cause of a variety of diseases. Believe it or not, an anti-inflammatory diet can reduce chronic inflammation and help prevent and treat a number of diseases, including:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Psoriasis
  • Asthma
  • Heart diseases
  • Eosinophilic esophagitis
  • Colitis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Lupus
  • Hashimoto’s disease
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Certain types of cancer
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

Anti-inflammatory Diet – What to Eat

Fill your plate with anti-inflammatory foods to increase your body’s ability to ward off future diseases and slow the aging process. Keep in mind that no single food can reduce inflammation, fight the illness or improve your health. However, adding a variety of foods to your diet can meet the nutritional requirements and are best for preventing chronic inflammation and associated illnesses.

source: Health.Harvard.edu

Best Anti-inflammatory Foods

Berries

Berries ara e very good source of antioxidants, which have strong anti-inflammatory effect and help reduce the risk of chronic illnesses. They boost your immunity by increasing the production of natural killer cells. To get a healthy dose of antioxidants, you can include strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries to your anti-inflammatory diet.

Fatty Fish

It’s no wonder that fish is an excellent source of protein and healthy fats, omega 3 fatty acids. Fish also contains DHA and EPA, which are essential components to reduce inflammation. Your body can naturally metabolize these fatty acids into two anti-inflammatory compounds, resolvins and protectins that also help your body fight inflammation.

Avocados

Avocados are packed with monounsaturated fatty acids, magnesium, and potassium that are good for your heart health. They are also a great source of fiber that helps you lose weight by keeping you satiated for long. In addition, these superfoods are also loaded with carotenoids and tocopherols that can reduce inflammation and the risk of cancer.

Beets

Beets are rich in phytochemicals, betalains that are very potent compound that can help fight inflammation. There are hundreds of delicious ways to add beets to your anti inflammatory diet; you can eat them as a salad, roast them, bake them, eat raw or try healthy beet recipes.

Broccoli

Broccoli is a superfood that is incredibly nutritious. It belongs to cruciferous family and according to many studies, cruciferous vegetables can decrease the chances of heart diseases and cancer. Broccoli contains a strong antioxidant, sulforaphane that can reduce inflammation by lowering the levels of cytokines, NF-kB which are mainly responsible for inflammation.

Turmeric

Turmeric is a spice that is used in curry powder to make Indian cuisine. It contains a miraculous compound curcumin that has strong anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric is an effective remedy to prevent and treat inflammation related to arthritis, diabetes and other chronic illnesses. Turmeric supplements can provide you with a recommended dose of curcumin and piperine (a compound present in black pepper which can increase the absorption of curcumin).

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C, potassium, and an important antioxidant lycopene that possesses outstanding anti-inflammatory properties. Lycopene is beneficial for reducing pro-inflammatory compounds that can cause different types of cancer. A study suggests that tomato juice can significantly decrease inflammatory markers in overweight women.

Nuts

All nuts are healthy and rich in healthy fats and contain many antioxidants, which can fight inflammation. Nuts can help you lose weight and decrease LDL levels which helps your body to ward off inflammation. Adding nuts such as cashews, pistachios and walnuts to your anti-inflammatory diet is a great idea. A study suggests that people who eat nuts five or more times had lower levels of inflammatory biomarkers such as C reactive protein and interleukin – 6.

Anti-inflammatory Diet – What Foods to Avoid

Avoiding and limiting your intakes of the following foods can help you prevent inflammation and cell damage.

  • Refined Carbohydrates
  • French Fries, Crackers
  • Sugary Drinks
  • Salty foods
  • Red Meat
  • Saturated Fats
  • Unhealthful oils
  • Alcohol
  • Desserts

 

Stay Away from the Processed Foods

Refined carbohydrates, processed cereals, pastries, and fried foods contain plenty of unhealthy fats that can inflammations. However, eating unprocessed, whole grains, fruits, vegetables and beans can prepare your body to fight against inflammation.

Say No to Sweets and Cookies

These are not healthful options and contain empty calories that make you feel unsatiated and lead to weight gain, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and other diseases related to inflammation. Cutting out sugars, cookies, soda and other sweet drinks can help you stay healthy.

Cut Down on Saturated Fats

Limit your intake of saturated fats that is present in butter, cream, and fatty meats. They contain a lot of saturated fats, which can cause inflammation and many serious health issues. So avoid using them.

Anti-inflammatory Diet Tips

Besides eating anti-inflammatory foods, there are some other steps you are required to combat inflammation.

Focus on Fruits and Vegetables

Eating fruits, veggies, and legumes can be very helpful to improve your overall diet. Eating vegetables, including leafy greens, such as kale, spinach, collard greens and fruits such as blueberries, oranges, cherries are a few healthy anti-inflammatory food choices to lower inflammation.

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Choose Healthy Fats

Keep in mind that highly processed foods contain hydrogenated oils and saturated fats. Consuming monounsaturated fats and omega 3 fatty acids can help you stop inflammation. Olive, sunflower, canola, peanut and avocado oils are a few healthy choices. Increase your intake of salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, walnuts, flax seeds, are a few healthy fat foods that you can incorporate into your anti-inflammatory diet plan.

Eat More Herbs and Spices

Instead of adding salt, add fresh herbs and spices to take the flavor to a whole new level. Experimenting with some herbs and spices can not only enhance the flavor, but it will also offer a long list of health benefits.

Practice Good Sleep

Poor sleep patterns can trigger inflammation and lead to many health disorders. Therefore, getting adequate sleep pattern can help you prevent inflammation.

Be Finicky About Protein

When it comes to fulfilling your protein requirements, make sure to eat at least eat five to six ounce per day to meet the daily protein requirement. Red meat can cause inflammation, so instead of eating red meat, eat lean protein, such as poultry, fish, and turkey. You can also eat plant-based protein, such as legumes, tofu, tempeh, beans, peas, and lentils, to get a healthy dose of protein.

Stay Active

Incorporate 20-30 minutes of daily workout sessions into your routine. Be it walking, running, jogging, cycling, or swimming, participating in physical activities can produce anti-inflammatory effect.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Obesity could contribute to increased inflammation and linked to many serious health problems. Therefore, get rid of excess body fat, lose weight, and maintain it to stay healthy and fit.

To Sum Things Up

An anti-inflammatory diet along with exercise and good night sleep can offer innumerable health benefits. Eating anti-inflammatory foods is a healthy way to decrease the levels of inflammatory markers, improve the symptoms of many health conditions and reduce your risk of developing chronic illnesses.

Saher Naseem is a health writer who writes about nutrition, fitness, weight loss strategies, skincare, health and wellness. Her writing is mainly focused on delicious recipes and sustainable approach to eating well and losing weight. She follows a gluten-free diet and finds herself making meaty, gluten-free recipes to please herself.

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