What is the purpose of an anti-inflammatory diet? When your body senses something alien, such as an invading microbe, plant pollen, or chemical, your immune system is engaged. This often promotes a process called inflammation. Intermittent bouts of inflammation focused on truly dangerous intruders safeguard your health.
However, occasionally inflammation remains, day in and day out, even when you are not confronted by a foreign invader. That’s when inflammation might turn against you. Many main diseases that plague us—including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, depression, and Alzheimer’s—have been related to chronic inflammation.
The term “independent” refers to a person who does not work for the government. If you consistently choose the wrong ones, you may hasten the inflammatory disease process.
Foods that contribute to inflammation
Avoid or minimize the following meals as much as possible:
White bread and pastries are examples of refined carbs.
Fried dishes such as French fries
soda and other sugar-sweetened drinks
processed meat and red meat (burgers, steaks) (hot dogs, sausage)
shortening, margarine, and lard.
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Inflammatory foods’ health hazards
Not surprisingly, the same things on an inflammation diet that are generally regarded as undesirable for human health, such as sodas and refined carbohydrates, as well as red meat and processed meats, are also on an inflammation diet.
“Some of the items that have been associated with an elevated risk for chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease are also connected with excess inflammation,” Dr. Hu explains. “This is not surprising given that inflammation is a key underlying process in the development of many diseases.”
Unhealthy meals also contribute to weight increase, which is a risk factor for inflammation in and of itself. However, even after researchers took obesity into account in other trials, the association between meals and inflammation remained, indicating that weight gain isn’t the only culprit.
“Some food components or nutrients may have independent impacts on inflammation in addition to increased caloric intake,” adds Dr. Hu.
These items should be included in an anti-inflammatory diet:
extra virgin olive oil
spinach, kale, and collards are examples of green leafy vegetables.
Almonds and walnuts are examples of nuts.
Salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines are examples of fatty fish.
Strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges are examples of fruits.
Anti-inflammatory dietary benefits
Dr. Hu recommends beverages and meals that minimize inflammation and, as a result, chronic disease. He specifically mentions anti-inflammatory diet which is fruit and vegetables high in natural antioxidants and polyphenols—protective substances found in plants—such as blueberries, apples, and leafy greens.
Nuts have also been linked to lanti-inflammatory diet and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, according to research. Coffee, which includes polyphenols and other anti-inflammatory components, may also help to prevent inflammation.
Aim for an overall healthy diet to lower inflammation levels. Consider the Mediterranean diet, which is high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, fish, and healthy oils and closely follows the concepts of anti-inflammatory eating.
A more natural, less processed diet can improve your physical and emotional health in addition to lowering inflammation. “A nutritious diet is good not only for lowering the risk of chronic diseases but also for enhancing mood and overall quality of life,” explains Dr. Hu.
People on an anti-inflammatory diet should avoid or limit their consumption of:
unhealthful oils prepared foods with extra sugar or salt
processed carbohydrates, such as white bread, white pasta, and numerous baked products
Chips and crackers are examples of processed snack items.
ready-made treats like cookies, candy, and ice cream
excessive alcohol consumption
Furthermore, some may find it advantageous to decrease their consumption of the following:
Gluten: When some people consume gluten, they develop an inflammatory reaction. Gluten-free diets can be restrictive, and they are not for everyone. If a person feels that gluten is causing their problems, they may want to try avoiding it for a bit to see if their symptoms improve.
Plants from the nightshade family, such as tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and potatoes, appear to cause flares in certain patients with inflammatory illnesses. Although there is limited evidence to support this claim, a person can try eliminating nightshades from their diet for 2-3 weeks to see if their symptoms improve.
Carbohydrates: There is some evidence that a high carbohydrate diet, even if the carbs are healthy, may cause inflammation in certain people. However, some carbohydrate-rich foods, such as sweet potatoes and whole grains, are high in antioxidants and other minerals.
Is it possible to minimize inflammation with a vegetarian diet?
For those trying to reduce inflammation, a vegetarian diet may be an anti-inflammatory diet. A 2019 review’s authors examined data from 40 studies. They concluded that vegetarians are more likely to have lower levels of several inflammatory markers.
A 2017 study examined the data of 268 people who maintained a strict vegetarian, lacto-ovo-vegetarian, or nonvegetarian diet. According to the findings, eating animal products may increase the risk of systemic inflammation and insulin resistance.
According to a 2014 Trusted Source, decreased inflammation levels may be a fundamental benefit of a vegan diet.