Do you know what Crohn’s disease, fibromyalgia, and rheumatoid arthritis have in common? Well, chronic inflammation is a characteristic symptom of each of these medical conditions. Basically, inflammation is the primary defense mechanism of the body against harmful invaders like microorganisms and allergens. It is a localized reaction by the immune system to infection, injury, or irritation. The major symptoms of inflammation are redness, swelling, and pain. Chronic inflammation can put one at an increased risk of developing serous medical conditions, and can adversely impact the quality of life of the affected individual. Generally, inflammation is treated with different anti-inflammatory medications like steroids or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). However, there are certain foods that possess anti-inflammatory properties. The inclusion of such food items to one’s diet can certainly have a positive effect on one’s health.

Anti-inflammatory Diet

When starting with anti-inflammatory diet, always remember that there certain food items can promote inflammation. Therefore, such food items need to be excluded from one’s diet. On the other hand, your diet should be rich in foods that have anti-inflammatory properties. Fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, and fish are known to reduce inflammation, which is why consuming them will have a beneficial effect.

Foods to Avoid

First of all, one should avoid junk food or cut down on the intake of processed food. Processed meats contain chemicals like nitrites, which increase the risk of inflammation. Foods that are rich in sugar should also be avoided. Vegetables belonging to the nightshade family of plants can worsen the pain from inflammation, which is why it’s advisable to cut down on their intake.

◆ Sausages
◆ Hotdogs
◆ Burgers
◆ Pork
◆ Red meat
◆ White bread
◆ Pasta
◆ Pastries
◆ Candies
◆ Soft drinks
◆ Pre-sweetened cereals
◆ Frozen and canned food
◆ Artificial sweeteners
◆ Eggplant
◆ Tomatoes
◆ Potatoes
◆ Peppers

Anti-inflammatory Foods

Your daily diet should include the right balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, fiber, and essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. You can get all these nutrients through fresh vegetables, fruits, oils, grains, meats, fish, dairy products, seeds, and nuts. Always include healthy fats like monounsaturated fats in your diet. Anti-inflammatory diet recommends fats like coconut oil, flaxseed oil, extra-virgin olive oil, and omega-3 fish oil.

Certain types of fish are a riich source of omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory fats. So, include fish in your diet rather than red meat. Include the following types of fish in your diet:

◆ Salmon
◆ Cod
◆ Tuna
◆ Sardines
◆ Rainbow trout

Here’s a list of anti-inflammatory vegetables that you can include in your diet:

◆ Broccoli
◆ Cabbage
◆ Fennel bulb
◆ Brussels sprouts
◆ Green beans
◆ Garlic
◆ Spinach
◆ Kale
◆ Leek
◆ Sweet potatoes
◆ Asparagus
◆ Kelp
◆ Mushrooms

These vegetables and fruits are rich in antioxidant, as well as vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E. Here’s a list of anti-inflammatory herbs that you can include in your diet:

◆ Cinnamon
◆ Basil
◆ Cloves
◆ Parsley
◆ Rosemary
◆ Mint
◆ Turmeric
◆ Thyme

The following fruits are known to reduce inflammation:

◆ Apples
◆ Avocados
◆ Papaya
◆ Grapes
◆ Oranges
◆ Strawberries
◆ Blueberries

Certain nuts, seeds, and grains are also known to alleviate inflammation. These include:

◆ Almonds
◆ Walnuts
◆ Hazelnuts
◆ Flaxseed
◆ Sunflower seeds
◆ Buckwheat
◆ Oats
◆ Whole grains

Besides including the aforementioned food items, do consume at least 6-8 glasses of water everyday. You can also have fresh fruit/vegetable juices, low-fat milk, and herbal teas. An anti-inflammatory diet provides a number of benefits and improves general health and wellness. By switching to this diet, you will experience improved digestion, pain relief, decreased levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, and relief from the symptoms of bipolar disorder and depression. Also, make sure that you stay active by following an exercise regimen regularly. Maintaining a healthy body weight will lower the risk of a host of medical conditions.

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