The Anti-Inflammatory Diet

It is fairly well know that when you have an injury to your skin, muscles or joints your body produces an inflammatory response.  This biochemical reaction is designed to wall off the area of injury, clean out the damaged tissue and direct replacement of new tissue.  What isn’t commonly known is that inflammation also occurs on a cellular level and is a significant contributing factor to many chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.  Fortunately, most of this inflammation can be controlled through proper diet and supplementation.  A healthy anti-inflammatory diet consists of plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean meats and fish, whole grains and healthy oils.  Processed foods and refined carbohydrates should be eliminated from your daily routine.

Refined carbohydrate foods influence the inflammatory process.  In the body, chemical reactions between the sugars and proteins produce pro-inflammatory compounds called AGEs (advanced glycation end products). You can moderate this process by keeping blood sugar low and stable by eating foods with a low glycemic index. That means eating less bread, white potatoes, crackers, chips and other snack foods, pastries, and sweetened drinks, less refined and processed foods, and by avoiding fast foods and products made with high fructose corn syrup. Instead, eat more whole grains, beans, sweet potatoes, winter squashes and other vegetables and temperate fruits such as berries, cherries, apples, and pears instead of tropical fruits such as bananas, pineapple, mango and papaya.

The anti-inflammatory diet gives you a healthy balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Most people consume an excess of omega-6 fatty acids from which the body synthesizes hormones that promote inflammation. These fats are found in oil-rich seeds and the oils extracted from them, which are used in almost all snack foods and fast foods. Omega-3 fatty acids have an anti-inflammatory effect and are found in oily fish, walnuts and flax. In addition it is important to eliminate the consumption of margarine, vegetable shortening and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils - all of which promote inflammation.

While it is always best to eat healthy foods, taking supplements can also reduce inflammation and promote good health.  Omega 3s, ginger, turmeric may all be taken in capsule form.  In addition drink plenty of water and green tea which also reduce inflammation.

For more information about improving your health and nutrition contact Northwest Wellness in Federal Way, WA.