Anti-Inflammatory Diet For an Improved Lifestyle

While inflammation is the body’s response to defend itself against infection, illness, and foreign invaders such as viruses and bacteria, chronic inflammation contributes to many chronic diseases including allergies, joint pain, thyroid problems, etc. Excessive stress, lack of sleep and exercise, genetics, and unhealthy lifestyle choices are all possible causes of inflammation.

On one hand, the classic signs of short-term inflammation include redness, pain, heat, and swelling in parts of the body. On the other hand, long-term inflammation often occurs inside your body without any noticeable symptoms and can drive illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, fatty liver disease, and cancer. 

Research indicates that there’s a positive relationship between what we eat and our body’s inflammatory response. Not surprisingly, certain types of foods can trigger and enhance inflammation while others can help fight and reduce this condition. Below is a list of foods that are pro and anti-inflammatory: 

Pro Inflammatory Foods: 

Sugar: sweetened beverages, desserts/baked goods, table sugar, syrup, candy.

Refined Carbs: white flour, white bread, white rice, heavily processed carbohydrates. 

Trans Fat: foods prepared with or cooked in hydrogenated oils, such as fried foods, processed/packaged baked goods, and margarine 

Saturated Fats: Fatty beef, lamb, pork, poultry with skin, lard, butter, and kernel oil. 

Other dietary factors that links to inflammation include excessive alcohol and foods that you may be allergic or sensitive to. On the bright side, by avoiding these pro-inflammatory foods and incorporating more anti-inflammatory foods into your diet will help reduce the chance of getting chronic inflammation. 

Anti Inflammatory Foods: 

Fruits and Vegetables: carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, cantaloupe, citrus fruits, berries, broccoli, spinach, etc

Healthy Fats: omega-3 fats such as salmon, sardines, walnuts, avocados, sunflower seeds, flax, hemp, almonds, etc 

Spices and Herbs: garlic, ginger, turmeric, onions, basil, rosemary 

Tea: green tea, rosemary, ginger, nettle, peppermint or cinnamon tea. 

It’s easier said than done to cut out pasta and pizza, but by eating less of the pro-inflammatory foods and by following an anti-inflammatory diet will reap rewards of an improved lifestyle for you in the long run. Along with sufficient exercise and sleep, you will lower your risk of many diseases, feel better in terms of energy and mood, and improve your quality of life.