Inflammation causes all sorts of problems to your health, therefore, it is wise to reduce it as much as possible. The common signs of inflammation are pain, redness, heat, and swelling. Inflammation has also been flagged as one of the causes of a heart attack. So it is worth your while to make changes that will help your body and not hinder it. One way to do that is through your diet.
Prioritize Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Modify your diet by reducing your intake of unhealthy fats, fried foods, processed foods, and sweetened foods that cause harmful inflammation. Instead, introduce anti-inflammatory foods into your diet.
These are foods that are rich in healthy fats, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals with bioactive compounds that lessen inflammation and stop free radicals from developing more inflammation. They also help to reduce inflammatory responses in the body and boost the immune cells’ ability to eliminate harmful intrusions.
An example of a diet that can help reduce inflammation is the Mediterranean diet. It consists of fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and other foods rich in healthy fats and omega-3 fatty acids.
The best sources of fruits are avocados, berries, cherries, citrus fruits, and high-fiber fruits like apples and pears. The vegetables include beets, dark leafy greens such as spinach, lettuce, and kale, and cruciferous veggies such as broccoli and cabbage. The best omega-3s are cold water and fatty fish like cod, anchovies, mackerel, salmon, sardines, and tuna.
Add to your diet plant-based omega-3s and monounsaturated fats such as olives, olive oil, peanut oil, soybeans, tofu, nuts, and seeds like chia and flaxseed.
Another thing you can do when following a healthy diet is to choose ingredients that are minimally processed, and avoid as much as possible, products with additives, dyes, and preservatives. They can trigger and aggravate inflammation.
Spice Up Your Diet
Spices are beneficial in reducing inflammation that can develop into arthritis, brain degenerative disease, cancer, heart disease, and respiratory problems. Include a wide range of herbs and spices, either naturally or dried, in your daily meals or snacks.
Some of the most widely used anti-inflammatory herbs are ashwagandha, calendula, chamomile, cilantro, cloves, echinacea, fenugreek, ginseng, basil, lemon balm, oregano, parsley, peppermint, rosemary, sage, and spearmint.
The spices include black pepper, cayenne, cinnamon, garlic, ginger, and turmeric. Turmeric is also found in supplement form and is popular for helping reduce inflammation.
Avoid Inflammatory Foods
These unhealthy foods are high in saturated fats and trans fatty acids and those that are high on the glycemic index. These include refined carbohydrates and processed and refined sugars. A diet full of these types of foods is a recipe for disaster! They are linked to a higher incidence of inflammation and the solution is to reduce or eliminate them in your daily diet.
Cut back on deep-fried foods and processed meats such as bacon, cured meats, hotdogs, and luncheon meats. Avoid refined grains like breakfast cereals, pasta, white bread, and white rice. Skip eating chips, crackers, cookies, and pastries. Keep away from anything that has trans fats such as corn oil and margarine.
Avoid Dairy and Gluten
People who have an allergy, an autoimmune disorder such as celiac disease, or intolerance to gluten or dairy should avoid dairy and gluten for a while, especially if there is existing inflammation. Take time out from these inflammatory foods to give your body time to recover.
Gluten can bring about serious side effects in sensitive individuals. If your body senses it as a toxin, your immune cells will overreact. This will create more inflammation, and mild to severe side effects such as bloating, fatigue, constipation, diarrhea, and intestinal damage. Processed foods high in gluten include cookies, crackers, cereals, candies, cakes, pies, and bread.
As far as dairy products are concerned, selectively eliminating dairy foods will enable you to determine if any or all types of dairy are causing you harm. Many adults suffer from consuming milk but are less affected by enzyme-altered products such as cheese and yogurt.
Intermittent fasting methods may help reduce your inflammation. Intermittent fasting patterns are showing anti-inflammatory effects. You can start with 12-hour fasting and work your way up to longer periods. For example, you finish dinner at 8 pm, then upon waking, drink water and eat your first meal at 8 am.
This will help reduce the risks of heart disease and improve brain health, insulin resistance, and inflammatory bowel disease.
Inflammation is the cause of chronic pain in many people. However, it can be reduced by making healthy diet changes. Take charge of hidden sources of chronic inflammation in your body, which can trigger various illnesses and diseases, by following a healthy diet. A body free from inflammation will help you to live a healthy life for a lot longer.