Inflammation is the body’s immune response to remove harmful pathogens, irritants, and damaged cells in order to start the healing process. Inflammation does not mean infection rather a sign or symptom of the body trying to heal itself. It acts as a self-protecting natural defense that helps wounds heal. Although inflammation is a good sign, our initial reaction is to bring it down especially if the condition has become persistent. Studies have revealed that chronic inflammation can be a cause of serious illnesses like cancers, and heart disease.
There are factors that can contribute to having chronic inflammation like stress, genes, lack of exercise, and exposure to toxins. So if your body is stressed, anti-inflammatory foods can reduce the chance of disease risks.
Eating specific types of foods can slow down aging, make weight loss easier, and even prevent diseases. Depending on the person’s diet, existing conditions can be made better or worse. This is the concept behind the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Since food is important in controlling inflammation, nutritionists prescribe an anti-inflammatory diet to help patients with inflammatory diseases not only heal but also stay healthy.
What is Anti-Inflammatory Diet?
The Anti-Inflammatory Diet is way of selecting and preparing certain types of food based on the scientific knowledge that they can help a person maintain his or her optimum health. This type of diet promises enough vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, essential fatty acids, protective phytonutrients and steady energy.
Basically, this diet is composed of healthy, wholesome and unprocessed foods. Specifically, it includes foods high in omega-3 fatty acids (e.g. wild salmon, sardines, herring, anchovies, flax and walnuts), colorful, antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables (e.. berries, broccoli, carrots, and spinach), oils that provide monounsaturated fats (e.g. extra-virgin olive oil, avocado oil, flaxseed oil, hempseed oil and walnut oil), herbs and spices that are hot and flavors like curry, ginger, garlic, and chili peppers.
Who can benefit from Anti-Inflammatory Diets?
Take note that the Anti-Inflammatory Diet is not really a diet but an eating plan to reduce the risks of having diseases sand becoming healthier. Although some individuals use this diet to lose weight only for a limited period of time due to their own goals, not all people can be in this diet.
Why Anti-Inflammatory Diets?
Physicians and clinical professors that studied the anti-inflammatory diet suggest that the general concept behind this is the fact that diseases are due to persistent or out-of-control inflammation and that eating healthy promotes better health which can ward off serious diseases.
According to a study published in Psychosomatic Medicine, eating a diet high in omega-6 and low in omega-3 is associated with increasing levels of cytokines, which are the proteins released from cells that trigger inflammation. Another research on omega-3 fatty acids and health in American Family Physician suggested that taking at least 3 grams of Omega-3 per day has been found effective in reducing morning stiffness and the number of joints that are tender or swollen among patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
Aside from a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, polyphenols in colorful fruits, quercetin in in some fruits and vegetables, oleic acid in almonds, and antioxidants in fruits and vegetables, spices, particularly turmeric contains the circumin, one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory compounds in nature long been used in both the Chinese and Indian systems of medicine. One of the most comprehensive summaries of 700 turmeric studies by Dr. James A. Duke has shown that curcumin’s anti-inflammatory effects are comparable to hydrocortisone and phenylbutazone as well as over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pharmaceuticals in its effects against several chronic, debilitating diseases, and with virtually no adverse side effects.
While anti-inflammatory diets are becoming popular these days, practitioners suggest that eating the right food is not the only element in becoming a healthier you. Maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle is also important to reduce inflammation and that is eating a balanced diet, getting exercise, having enough sleep, maintaining a healthy weight and setting regular appointments with your health practitioner.