As with many bodily reactions to outside forces, inflammation is a reaction that is intended to protect the body from further harm, such as infections. It increases the body’s blood flow to areas that need to heal. The pain from inflammation is an alarm, telling us that something needs to be addressed.
Since chronic inflammation can lead to disease, so it best to catch it early or, with the Anti-Inflammatory Diet, avoid it as much as possible through nutrition.
Of the diseases that can be linked to inflammation, many of them are chronic diseases. These are difficult to treat, so it can be helpful to know the types of disease you can try to avoid by eating an anti-inflammatory diet. This is not a complete list, just a list of common ones.
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Autoimmune diseases
- Chronic Pain
- Heart disease
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Type 2 diabetes
The way to avoid inflammation in regards to protein is to monitor where you get your protein from. Your safest bet is to obtain your protein from plant sources. Nuts, whole grains and beans are great sources of protein, as opposed to most meats. If you are going to eat red meat, it is recommended to eat wild game or grass-fed meats as opposed to grain-fed. Wild-caught fish is also a helpful source of helpful proteins.
Fiber, like most things you eat, has a suggested daily intake amount. Generally, fiber lowers inflammation. You can get fiber from many places like vegetables, berries, whole grains, oatmeal, nuts, popcorn and brown rice, as well as potato skins. A good general guide for an ideal amount of fiber per day is as follows:
- Women who are 19-50 years old should have 25 grams a day of fiber
- Men who are 19-50 should have 38 grams a day
- Women over 50 should have 21 grams a day
- Men over 50 should have 30 grams a day
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are well-known for their ability to reduce inflammation, especially cherries and berries. Fruit juice, on the other hand, is low in fiber because it is the juice and not the pulp or “meat” of the fruit, though making smoothies can be a way to add fiber to your favorite juice.
Herbs and Spices
Some of the most beneficial anti-inflammatory herbs and spices to add to your diet are paprika, rosemary, ginger, turmeric, sage and cumin. Additionally, you may find some help using cloves, ground Jamaican allspice, cinnamon, sage, marjoram and tarragon.
Eat Healthy Fats
We all need fat, but keeping an eye on the types of fats is another way to reduce inflammation. Here is a good general guide:
- Eat monounsaturated fats
- Avoid trans-fats
- Limit saturated fats
- Balance your omega-6s and omega-3s
Thinking about our diet is often something we dread, because food is one of life’s great joys. However, taking eating for granted will cause more harm than good, as enjoying your favorite meal or treat is harder when you’re having to fend off painful inflammation.