Anti-Inflammatory Diet – Foods to Eat and Avoid
Chronic inflammation is often caused when the immune system releases chemicals meant for fighting viral and bacterial infections but when none of these is present. Another cause of chronic inflammation is a sedentary lifestyle. To prevent the development of this troublesome issue, it is important to follow an anti-inflammatory diet.
An anti-inflammatory diet is an eating plan to reduce or prevent low-grade chronic inflammation. This diet consists of vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, lean meats and healthy fats. It is important to keep low-grade chronic inflammation in check as it is a major risk factor for developing serious health problems.
How Is an Anti-Inflammatory Diet Beneficial to Health?
An anti-inflammatory diet tends to limit foods that cause inflammation such as food rich in refined carbs, trans fats, corn-fructose syrup and sugar. This helps to reduce the risk of developing insulin resistance and heart problems. An anti-inflammatory diet also helps in weight loss and prevents any chronic illnesses from developing due to inflammation.
Anti-Inflammatory Foods You Must Eat
Here is an anti-inflammatory foods list:
Cherries are rich in antioxidants like catechins and anthocyanins which are great for fighting inflammation. Tart cherries are especially good for helping to reduce the risk of disease.
Also rich in antioxidants such as anthocyanins, these are amazing for fighting inflammation and eventually lead to a reduction in the risk of developing various diseases. Blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and raspberries are often consumed by people on an anti-inflammatory diet.
Well known for being nutritious, broccoli is rich in an antioxidant called sulforaphane, which helps to fight inflammation. This is what makes it one of the most effective anti-inflammatory foods for the stomach.
4. Fatty Fish
Fatty fish is an amazing source of proteins as well as omega-3 fatty acids. The omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA are able to control inflammation that can eventually lead to diseases such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome and heart disease. Some types of fish to add to your diet are sardines, salmon, mackerel, herring and anchovies.
5. Green Tea
Green tea is an extremely healthy drink and provides many health benefits such as anti-inflammatory properties. EGCG is what makes green tea so healthy and helps in reducing any damage caused by fatty acids to the cells.
The benefits that this superfood provides are reduced risk of cancer, and heart disease to name a few. As avocados are rich in magnesium, potassium, monosaturated fats and fibres, they protect the body from inflammation.
Though there are different types of mushrooms, most are poisonous and only a few such as shiitake mushrooms, and truffle are edible and rich in antioxidants. A type of mushroom called ‘Lion’s Mane’ is said to reduce inflammation in people with obesity.
Bell and chilli peppers are rich in antioxidants and Vitamin C that provide anti-inflammatory properties. These are one of the best foods you should include in your anti-inflammatory diet.
As they contain anthocyanins, grapes are known to have anti-inflammatory properties. They are also good sources of resveratrol, another component that adds to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Rich in potassium, Vitamin C and lycopene, tomatoes have amazing anti-inflammatory properties. They are also known to help reduce the risk of cancer.
Foods You Must Avoid
Here is a list of foods that you should avoid if you are on an anti-inflammatory diet:
When sugar is consumed, it leads to the release of cytokines, which can increase inflammation. Cakes, cookies and other types of sweets are high in these. If consumed in excess quantity, they can lead to a host of problems related to inflammation like high blood pressure, weight gain and high cholesterol.
Carbonated drinks often have a lot of sugars added to them, making them bad for your health and likely to cause problems like inflammation.
3. Processed Meats
Meats that are processed like hot dogs and frozen burgers are full of saturated fats, which is known to cause problems related to inflammation.
4. Dairy Products
Saturated fats are present in full-fat dairy products like butter, cheese and whole milk. This can enhance inflammation. Switch to low-fat dairy products if you don’t want to stop consuming these.
5. Fried Foods
All fried foods contain omega-6 fatty acids which reduce the good omega-3 fatty acids. This leads to inflammation.
6. Coffee Creamers
When trans fats are consumed, they increase the levels of LDL cholesterol in the body, leading to inflammation. Trans fats are found in coffee creamers and margarine. If you see ‘partially hydrogenated oils’ on the product label, you shouldn’t buy it.
7. Barley, Rye and Wheat
People who suffer from celiac disease and are intolerant to gluten need to avoid whole grains like barley, wheat and rye.
Anti-Inflammatory Diet Chart
Here is a sample non-inflammatory foods diet chart for how your meals should look like in a day:
|Meal||What To Eat|
|Breakfast||Fruits and oats|
|Morning Snack||Baby carrots and cucumbers|
|Lunch||Dal with brown rice and vegetables|
|Snack||Nuts or seeds with green tea|
|Dinner||Grilled chicken or fish with sautéed spinach with garlic and green beans|
How To Follow an Anti-Inflammatory Diet?
Here are a few tips that can help you to follow and stick to an anti-inflammatory diet:
- Make sure to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. The vegetables should preferably be organic.
- Cut down on the amount of fast food you consume.
- Start cutting out sodas and sweet beverages.
- Find an anti-inflammatory meal plan that you can stick to. This will help you avoid picking up inflammatory foods.
- Drink a lot of water every day.
- When you are on-the-go, carry some snacks such as nuts and seeds so that you do not end up snacking on unhealthy food.
Here are some frequently asked questions about the anti-inflammatory diet:
1. What Conditions Can an Anti-Inflammatory Diet Treat?
Some of the conditions that can be treated best by an anti-inflammatory diet are psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, Crohn’s disease, colitis, diabetes, eosinophilic esophagitis, obesity, heart disease, Hashimoto’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and lupus.
2. Can an Anti-Inflammatory Diet Reduce My Weight?
An anti-inflammatory diet is mostly comprised of natural and organic foods like fresh fruits and vegetables. Natural foods push the metabolism to work faster, making you lose more calories. This makes an anti-inflammatory diet perfect for weight loss.
3. Can a Vegetarian Diet Help With Inflammation?
Vegetarians have been seen to have higher levels of plasma AA, which is related to low risk of heart diseases and inflammation. It is best to substitute vegetables and fish with meat as consuming animal products has been seen to increase the risk of developing systemic inflammation.
4. Is Apple Cider Vinegar a Natural Anti-Inflammatory?
Apple cider vinegar comes with many benefits and being anti-inflammatory is one of them. As it contains Vitamin C, it’s capable of fighting free radicals responsible for inflammation and balancing the level of acidity in the stomach.
Everybody wants to live their lives to the fullest, but when health starts becoming an issue, things don’t always go smoothly. Instead of waiting for something to go wrong, it’s better to go with the old saying, “Prevention is better than cure”, and try to incorporate an anti-inflammatory diet into your life While fast food and other unhealthy foods taste great, they cause a lot of damage to the body in the long run. Anti-inflammatory herbs and spices are a good way to add anti-inflammatory properties into your diet. This will not only make your meals more delicious but also keep inflammation at bay.