What Is An Anti-Inflammatory Diet?
Inflammation is a normal process and response within our bodies that is typically beneficial. When you injure an area of your body, it will commonly swell with inflammation, but that is part of the healing process. The inflammation protects your body from further harm, even if the puffy area is tender or irritating. Normal inflammatory responses are a good thing, but sometimes your body can enter a state of chronic or persistent inflammation. A wide variety of illnesses and diseases, including leaky gut, asthma, and psoriasis, can cause persistent low-level inflammation. While each condition should be treated appropriately, you can do something irrespective of your specific maladies. If you find yourself dealing with chronic inflammation, it is worth looking into an anti-inflammation diet in addition to seeking out professional medical advice.
What Is In An Anti-Inflammatory Diet
When most people think of diets, they imagine restrictive lists containing only a few permitted foods. Thankfully, anti-inflammation diets are less about eating a specific regime of food and more focused on a style of eating. There are still some foods that you should avoid if inflammation is your main concern, but you will not find an overly strict list of foods to follow in most anti-inflammation diets.
In general, anti-inflammation diets include fruits, vegetables, foods rich in omega-3, whole grains, spices, lean proteins, beans, nuts, and healthy fats. The foods you should avoid to fight inflammation include red meats, alcohol, overly sugary foods, and processed foods. If you are looking for a more structured but not restrictive dietary plan, the Mediterranean diet and DASH diet are good to fight inflammation.
A significant part of fighting inflammation is ensuring you are eating enough foods with antioxidants. At the same time, your body does produce some antioxidants on its own, but you can eat foods rich in antioxidants for a boost. Antioxidants play a crucial role in keeping your body healthy and removing harmful substances. Ingesting antioxidant-rich foods will help with more than just dietary problems as they can help mitigate the adverse effects of smoking and stress.
Who Can An Anti-Inflammatory Diet Help
An anti-inflammatory diet can help everyone, as the general recommendations for anti-inflammatory foods are healthy for anyone. Even if you are not combating inflammation, an anti-inflammation diet could still be a fantastic way to eat healthier. However, an anti-inflammation diet is particularly helpful for people with certain conditions, including:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Crohn’s disease
- Eosinophilic esophagitis
- Leaky gut
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Hashimoto’s disease
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular disease
Specific Foods To Fight Inflammation
If you are not looking for a complete anti-inflammation diet, you can incorporate some simple foods into your diet that are healthy and help with inflammation. Adding these foods to your regular diet can help reduce inflammation even if you don’t commit to a full anti-inflammation diet. However, no single food will solve your problems, and eating a healthy balanced diet is critical to seeing meaningful improvements.
- Oily fish, such as tuna and salmon
- Fruits for natural sugar including, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and cherries
- Raw or lightly cooked vegetables, such as kale, spinach, and broccoli
- Nuts and seeds
- Olives and olive oil
- Foods rich in fiber
- Legumes and lentils
When it comes to adding these foods to your diet or replacing an unhealthy diet, there are a few key factors to remember. Fresh foods are the best option and will yield the best results, so taking the time to find fresh and organic foods is worth the effort. Aim to make your plate colorful with different kinds of fresh food, but avoid fake or processed colorful foods and embrace naturally colorful foods. If you do buy premade or packaged foods, read the label and look at the nutritional information. For example, if you are buying cacao powder, read the labels, and compare brands to find the healthiest option for you.
Fighting chronic inflammation is a long process, and you will rarely find fast results. The best thing you can do is adopt an anti-inflammation diet and talk with your doctor to determine other steps. Eating an anti-inflammation diet can help with a variety of conditions and is a healthy eating style regardless of any illnesses.