Inflammation Is The Body’s Response To Injury And Disease
Like when you have swelling and redness around a wound or twisted joint, or fever while your immune system battles an illness. In the short run, inflammation can be helpful. Howevever chronic inflammation has been linked to a range of conditions, and some evidence indicates lifestyle – including what we eat – may contribute to inflammation. “The role of chronic inflammation in various diseases – obesity, Type 2 diabetes, arthritis, certain cancers – is fairly well-accepted in the scientific community,” says Whitney Linsenmeyer, an assistant professor of nutrition at Saint Louis University and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “Naturally, people are looking towards dietary changes to reduce inflammation and promote overall health and immunity.”
Anti-Inflammatory Diets Help Heal The Body
Experts say eating patterns with the most science behind them, like the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet (the acronym stands for dietary approaches to stop hypertension), are your top choices for an anti-inflammatory diet. They include a broad range of proven-healthy foods you probably have been told to eat since you were young, which research indicates are also anti-inflammatory foods. Here are some anti-inflammatory foods:
Antioxidant-infused fruits and vegetables
- Broccoli, kale, oranges, berries, and cherries
- Red and orange peppers
- Citrus fruits and winter squash
- Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, and collards.
Whole grains that are a great source of fiber
- Oats, quinoa, brown rice and barley
- Raspberries, apples, and broccoli
- Beans and peas
Omega-3 fatty acids & Other Healthy Fats
- Omega-3-packed fatty fish like salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel and shellfish
- Nuts (especially walnuts)
- Plant oils like flaxseed oil and olive oil
- Herbs and Spices
- Tumeric and ginger
- Cinnamon, cumin, chili peppers, garlic, clove, rosemary, sage and oregano,
Sugar Causes Inflammation
The main food that people following an anti-inflammatory diet should avoid is sugar. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting calories from added sugas to 12 teaspoons (for a 2,000 calorie diet) per day. By comparison, the average American consumes about 17 teaspoons of sugar daily, and many have much more than that. Additional foods that should be avoided include:
- processed meats.
- trans fats, found in fried foods.
- white bread.
- white pasta.
- soybean oil and vegetable oil.
- processed snack foods, such as chips and crackers.
Think “Balance and Consistency” When Comes to Fighting Inflammation
Having a glass of wine with dinner isn’t discouraged with diets like the Mediterranean. But drinking in excess can increase inflammation. (The U.S. Department of Agriculture dietary guidelines suggest having no more than one drink per day for women and two daily for men.) If you’re trying to reduce inflammation and improve your health through diet and lifestyle, you need to consider everything you eat and drink. Look at the big picture of your lifestyle. Having a couple of salmon meals a week, and then smoking and taking in excess alcohol, be overweight and (not) eat any fruits and vegetables is Not going to reduce inflammation.