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Could You Benefit From an Anti-Inflammatory Diet?

By Karen Heslop

According to recent studies, chronic inflammation could be linked to several illnesses. The list includes arthritis, diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease, and Alzheimer's disease. While there are medical interventions available for these diseases, research suggests that changes in the diet can help as well. It's being called the anti-inflammatory diet and it could be helpful in improving overall health.

Which Foods Are in the Anti-Inflammatory Diet?

The anti-inflammatory diet places an emphasis on fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs that have been shown to fight inflammation. These foods include:

  • Tomatoes contain lycopene that has been found to reduce inflammation
  • Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that contains the antioxidant, sulforaphane, which reduces the proteins that cause inflammation
  • Fatty fish like salmon, herring, mackerel, and anchovies contain omega-3  fatty acids that have been shown to reduce inflammation
  • Extra virgin olive oil is a healthy fat that can significantly reduce inflammation
  • Fruits such as oranges, grapes, cherries, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries contain helpful minerals, vitamins, as well as antioxidants that can work against inflammation
  • Avocadoes contain minerals, fiber, healthy fats, as well as a certain compound that was shown to reduce inflammation in young body cells
  • Bell peppers have a lot of antioxidants that have significant anti-inflammatory properties
  • Green tea is known for its high antioxidant content, including epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) that inhibits inflammation
  • Mushrooms such as truffles, portobello, and shiitake contain powerful antioxidants that protect cells from inflammation
  • Turmeric has high levels of curcumin that is helpful for fighting the inflammation that causes diseases like arthritis
  • Dark chocolate has antioxidants and flavonols that have powerful antioxidant properties

What Foods Should You Avoid?             

To really combat inflammation, there are some foods that should be removed from the diet. These include:

  • Refined carbohydrates like baked goods
  • Fried foods
  • Sugary beverages like soda
  • Processed meats like deli meats and sausages
  • Red meat
  • Fats like lard and margarine

Other Benefits of an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Apart from potentially curbing inflammation in the body, making these changes to your diet could result in better health overall.  The foods that are on the "must avoid" list are generally associated with increased weight gain as well as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Based on the results of several studies, the anti-inflammatory diet could be beneficial to anyone who is interested in adopting a healthier diet. It seems to be especially good for persons who are dealing with the effects of chronic inflammation. How about seeing how many of them you can fit into your diet?

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Duluth, Ga.

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