The Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Use cleaner eating to put out the smoldering fires that are silently making you sick.

Posted December 12,2018 in Natural.

Amanda Lee
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The Anti-Inflammatory Diet

You probably never thought of a splinter in your finger as being similar to a plate of deep-fried chicken wings (and we'd be worried about you if you did). But in some ways, splinters and wings have a similar effect on your body. See, when you get a tiny shard of wood under your skin, your immune system responds to the invader by makingthe surrounding tissue red and swollen. That's inflammation, part of the body's natural healing process.

When you make a habit of eating plates of chicken wings or any fatty, sugary, highly processed foods, your body responds in a similar way—with inflammation. Problem is, that kind of inflammation when chronic is unhelpful. In fact, it's harmful. Unlike the swelling from a splinter, you can't see orfeel the damage of inflammation. It's stealthy. And that makes it particularly dangerous, because it's hard to battle an enemy you can't see—until it manifests itself into a health problem like weight gain, drowsiness, skin problems, digestive issues, and a host of diseases like diabetes, obesity, and cancer.

Avoid or limit these items that stoke inflammation:
Added sugars, Alcohol (overdoing it), Artificial food additives, Dairy, Fast food, Fried foods, Grain-fed red meats, Processed meats, Refined flour and the baked goods that come from it, Saturated fats, Trans fats.

Fortunately, the same steps you can take to lose weight and look hot in a swimsuit can cool the flames of inflammation and improve your health for life. And you can do it all deliciously with food.

Our choices, in many cases, define our health. That's why The Anti-Inflammatory Diet is so exciting. It gives you a chance to take control of your choices for a short period to reverse the cascade of
inflammation in your body.

The journey to a slimmer, healthier body starts in the grocery store. So let's shop for a sampling of the best foods to fight inflammation:

Apples

Apple peels are full of pectin, a natural fruit fiber that a study published in the journal Anaerobe found to be powerful enough to support the growth of the beneficial bacteria bifidobacteria and lactobacillus.

Beets

These dark red root vegetables contain a powerful pigment called betaine, a nutrient that not only fights inflammation but also is known to rev metabolism, positively influence the mechanism for insulin resistance, boost mood, and shut down genes that encourage fat to hang around.

Broccoli

lts anti-inflammatory power could be linked to glucosinolate, which helps prevent unwanted inflammation when converted to l3C—a compound that research has found to decrease the production of pro-inflammatory mediators on a genetic level.

Canned Light White Tuna

According to a 2016 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the most effective omega-3 when it comes to reducing specific markers of inflammation is DHA over EPA. So how do you get more of the powerful fat into your diet? It's easy (and cheap)—just grab a can of light skipjack tuna, which is one of the best sources of the bioactive fatty acid.

Cinnamon

Loaded with antioxidants, cinnamon is a well-known inflammation
fighter. Also, research from the University of Michigan Life Sciences Institute indicates the popular holiday spice can help fight obesity thanks to cinnamaldehyde, an essential oil that gives cinnamon its flavor.

Dark Chocolate

Great news for all you chocoholics! A recent study found that
antioxidants in cocoa prevented laboratory mice from gaining excess weight and lowered their blood sugar levels. And another study at
Louisiana State University found that gut microbes in our stomachs ferment chocolate into heart-healthy, anti-inflammatory compounds that shut down genes linked to insulin resistance and inflammation. And how about this: A study among women with normal-weight obesity (or skinny-fat syndrome) who ate a Mediterranean diet that
included two servings of dark chocolate each day showed a significant reduction in waist size vs. a cocoa-free meal plan.

Herbs

Basil, rosemary, and sage have strong anti-inflammatory properties,
which is terrific news as they have so many uses in the kitchen. Too many food options is never a bad thing!

Pomegranate

Not only is pomegranate packed with fiber (which is found in its edible
seeds) but it also contains anthocyanins, tannins, and antioxidants, which research published in the International Journal of Obesity says can help fight weight gain.

Spinach

This hearty green attacks inflammation from all sides. It's rich in carotenoids and vitamins C, E, and K—all of which have been found to
protect the body from pro-inflammatory cytokines.

Turmeric

Curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, has been found to contain potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. For this
reason, curcumin is touted for a range of beneficial health effects, such as preventing cognitive decline, liver damage, and heart disease, as well as easing joint inflammation and pain associated with arthritis.