How To Benefit From an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Eating healthy and trying to maintain a healthy weight are important for our overall well being. But there is now growing evidence that eating anti-inflammatory foods can reduce symptoms of chronic illness and even prevent heart disease.

This is a diet plan that just about everyone can benefit from. And although this is not a weight loss diet, many people do lose weight simply because they are replacing unhealthy foods with healthier anti-inflammatory foods. The best part is…Many people begin to see benefits (such as reduced pain) within just a few weeks.

Would you consider an anti-inflammatory diet?

From Living A Whole Life – The Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Emerging research is showing that things like stress levels, how much we exercise and what we eat will influence how much inflammation we have in our bodies and therefore our likelihood to suffer from chronic disease. It is possible to eat in ways that decrease inflammation, pain and other symptoms of disease. Many studies have shown that people who eat certain types of foods are less likely to have problems with inflammation.

From Healthy Endeavors – Healthy Eating For Tour De France Competitors

Anyone can benefit from a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods that focuses on the healthiest of eating. Anti-inflammatory foods tend to focus on fresh produce and whole grains and can also help us lose weight.

I’ve been a big proponent of eating less congesting foods — meat, dairy products, sugar, fried foods, anything refined — and more foods that are easy on your system, for ages.

From Catapult Fitness – The Plan

Since Endolymphatic Hydrops is an idiopathic condition (meaning that the cause is unknown), doctor’s simply treat the symptoms, rather than trying to cure the condition itself.

While I have been fully on board with taking a course of steroids and long-term use of a diuretic to help control inflammation, ultimately I need to take it upon myself to try to rid myself of this condition.

The initial course of action I will be taking is focusing on an anti-inflammatory diet as, let’s face it, many diseases are brought on by chronic inflammation.

and Living Low Sodium Recipe

Since arriving home this weekend I’ve spent the better part of the past 2 days food shopping, analyzing/modifying recipes and cooking.

My focus is 4-fold:

1. Re-gain the 9 lbs I lost due to the Endolymphatic Hydrops,
2. Stabilize my blood sugars to limit the possibility of another attack,
3. Keep my sodium intake to approx. 1000 mg/day and,
4. Ensure that I’m adding more anti-inflammatory foods to my diet, while limiting ingredients that cause inflammation.

From Reasonably Well – Busy Fat Cells

I am seeing more and more evidence that adipose tissue – meaning fat – is a major contributor to the inflammation that arises from autoimmune disorders.

From The Conscious Life has a list of the Top 10 Anti-Inflammatory Foods. Here are three of my favorites…

Green Tea

Anti-inflammatory Agent: The flavonoids in green tea are potent natural anti-inflammatory compounds that have been shown in numerous studies to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.

Sidekicks: Water. What can be more cleansing for the body than contamination-free water?

Arch-Enemy: Processed cow’s milk. Non-organic milk carries antibiotics and growth hormone residues that can irritate immune system when they are consumed long-term. Many people, especially those in the East, also cannot digest milk properly, causing disruption in the digestive tract.

Papaya

Anti-inflammatory Agent: Coined by Christopher Columbus as the ‘fruit of the angels’, papaya contains papain, a protein-digesting enzyme. Together with other nutrients such as vitamin C and E, papain helps to reduce inflammation, and improves digestion and healing from burns.

Sidekicks: Pineapple. A tropical fruit worthy of mention, pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme that aids in the healing of indigestion, sports injury, trauma, arthritis, and other kinds of swelling. Extracts of bromelain have also proven to be as effective as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Arch-Enemy: Preservative-laden fruits. Dried fruits can contain high levels of chemicals such as sulphur dioxide, a preservative which has been linked to increased respiratory disease. Eat fresh fruits whenever possible, but if you must opt for the dried form, make sure it’s preservative-free.

Broccoli

Anti-inflammatory Agent: Broccoli is a highly nutritious vegetable that contains anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer phytonutrients, which help the body to get rid of potentially carcinogenic compounds.

Sidekicks: Cauliflower. A close relative to broccoli, this cruciferous vegetable also contain similar goodness as broccoli that aids the body’s detoxification.

Arch-Enemies: Nightshades vegetables. Tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants and others are classified as nightshade vegetables, which contain high alkaloid — a substance that may affect the joints, nerve-muscle function and digestion in some individuals. If you are suffering from any of these problems, you may want to try cutting down on the consumption of nightshades vegetables.

Anti-Inflammatory Diet Tips

  • Limit intake of red meat, dairy, saturated and trans fats, and processed foods.
  • Avoid eating foods made with flour, high fructose corn syrup and sugar.
  • Cook foods with olive oil instead of vegetable oil.
  • Increase consumption of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Limit the amount of animal protein eaten. Eat vegetable proteins instead.
  • Eat plenty of fiber each day by increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables.
  • Eat organically as much as possible and add foods made with soy to your diet.
  • Avoid drinking coffee. Drink tea instead.
  • Drink 8 glasses of water a day.

Also See:

Have you tried eating anti-inflammatory foods to reduce pain or other chronic symptoms? Did it help? I would love for your to share your experience in comments.

Cross-posted at BlogHer

4 comments for “How To Benefit From an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

  1. September 1, 2009 at 5:38 am

    Great information, Catherine. I’d like to add another to your list. Dr. Dwight Lundell, cardiovascular surgeon, who wrote a book, The Great Cholesterol Lie, about inflammation and heart disease. One of the keys to lowering inflammation to healthy levles is Omega-3 and returning to whole, natural foods. Sadly, The Food Pyramid that so many used as a guide to eating, is terribly flawed.

  2. September 27, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    I and several of my clients are beneficiaries of making food choices that reduce or don’t cause inflammation in the body.

    There is an important preliminary step to be taken – first each person must determine which foods cause inflammatory symptoms as the trigger food is unique for each person otherwise you could be ingesting “healthy” foods which cause inflammation in your body. For example organic strawberries would be considered healthy an have high amounts of vitamin C, however you may not be able to tolerate them. Some people break out in a skin rash or hives which is an inflammatory condition.

    The best way to accomplish this is to perform an “Elimination Detection Protocol”. The following link show you how to perform an <a href="http://www.muchkneadedmassage.com/newsletter/JUL2007/index_files/Page336.htm&quot; Elimination Detection Instructions has instructions and the list of foods that can be eaten.

  3. ev
    June 25, 2011 at 12:15 am

    Thanks Catherine for emphasizing the benefits of anti inflammatory foods. As inflammation contributes to many diseases or unhealthy conditions, I think people should start to consider planning their diet based on these foods. Thanks again.

  4. January 9, 2012 at 6:16 am

    Very good work on such topic. When I started to read article I was thinking about the way you present such great topic. By the way could you please post more.

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