10 Feb The Anti-inflammatory Health Plan
Lori Woodward, MS, LD, RD
Inflammation is how our body’s immune system responds to attack, infection, or injury to our organs or tissue. Familiar symptoms may include pain, swelling, heat, or redness. But there is also a form of inflammation that is referred to as “silent inflammation.” And your diet can affect how much of this chronic, low-grade inflammation is in your body
Research has shown that this type of inflammation may lead to sickness and disease, like fibromyalgia, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and certain cancers. However, by consuming the right foods, we can decreased this silent inflammation throughout the body and potentially ward off disease.
An anti-inflammatory diet emphasizes eating food that reduce inflammation and avoiding or limiting ones that promote it. Key nutrients in this diet include fresh fruit and vegetables. These foods provide fiber, phyto-nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that block the pathway leading to inflammation.
Fish and fish oil supplements-as well as certain seeds and nuts-provide antioxidants that protect from free radicals which are constantly circulating in our bodies. Antioxidants attach to the free radicals and “neutralize” them preventing damage to our organs and tissues. In turn, this may decrease symptomatic inflammation, and ultimately, the chance of heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, and cancer.
Guidelines for the anti-inflammatory food plan:
- Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables (organic if possible)
- Choose foods rich in omega
- 3 fatty acid (cold water fish, flax and chia seeds, and nuts)
- Eat plenty of whole grain foods (brown rise, quinoa, bulgar, wheat, and whole grain breads and cereal)
- Choose lean protein sources (fish, chicken, and grass-fed beef)
- Minimize intake of saturated fat (animal fats) and trans-fats (in processed foods)
- Avoid refined and processed foods (white bread and artificial sweeteners)
- Minimize alcohol intake
- Add anti-inflammatory spices and herbs (cinnamon, turmeric, cumin, paprika, parsley and ginger)
Be well-nourished, be healthy, and be active
For more information on how eating an anti-inflammatory meal plan can help you, contact Lori at: