Anti-Inflammatory Diet Guide
Before you can fully grasp why an anti-inflammatory diet may be helpful and is one of the most buzzed-about diets right now, it aids to understand what inflammation is to begin with. When you hear the word “inflammation,” you may instantly think about the swelling or redness that comes from hitting your elbow on a wall. Those are definitely two external signs of inflammation, but there’s more to understand when it comes to inflammation.
Inflammation happens naturally as part of our natural immune response. When our body is fighting an infection or injury, it sends inflammatory cells to site of the injury or infection as a response. This results in those typical symptoms such as swelling, redness, and sometimes pain. That’s completely normal and natural.
The story changes when inflammation lingers and never fully goes away. This chronic inflammation means your body is always in a state of high alert, and it can trigger some major health issues, including heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer.
Luckily, inflammation levels are somewhat in our control. Factors like smoking, being overweight or obese, and consuming too much alcohol can increase your risk of inflammation. Diet also plays a role, and there’s been science that say’s adjusting the foods and drinks you take in could be a better course in lowering inflammation levels than relying on medication that come with nasty side effects.
Taking on an anti-inflammatory diet means consuming foods that science has shown can help lower inflammation and reducing your intake of foods that will increase inflammation. One of the best things about the diet is that there are plenty of food options and lots of leeway, so you can pick and choose the foods you like best.
Anti-Inflammatory Foods to Eat
- Fresh fruit, including grapefruit, grapes, blueberries, bananas, apples, mangoes, peaches, tomatoes, and pomegranates
- Dried fruit, including plums (prunes)
- Vegetables, especially Asparagus, brussel sprouts, squash, and cabbage
- Plant-based proteins, such as chickpeas, seitan, and lentils
- Whole grains, brown rice, barley, and sourdough bread
- Leafy greens, including kale, spinach, and romaine lettuce
- Spices including, ginger, turmeric, and dill
- Nuts, including walnuts and almonds
- Seeds, such as chia seeds and flaxseed
- Foods filled with omega-3 fatty acids, such as avocado, salmon, and olive oil
- Green tea
- Dark chocolate (in moderation)
- Red wine (in moderation)
What Are the Possible Health Benefits of Following an Anti-Inflammatory Diet?
Following an anti-inflammatory diet has been shown to help people with:
- Autoimmune disorders including rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis
- Heart disease (13)
- Cancer, including breast cancer and colon cancer
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Pulmonary disease
In addition to lowering inflammation, a more whole-food, less processed diet can have effects on your physical and emotional health. A healthy diet is valuable not only for stoping and halting the risk of chronic diseases, but also for improving mood and overall quality of life.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute as medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.