6 AMAZING Benefits of an Anti-Inflammatory Diet — Not Just for Pain and Chronic Illness
(AscendHealthy.com) – More and more we are finding that food not only sustains us but can also help to heal us. We know we should be eating well, but it can be easy to put blinders on when a craving for something unhealthy strikes. But at what price?
Some foods, like those that contain sugars, trans-fats, refined carbohydrates, MSG, gluten and omega-6 fatty acids among other things, can exacerbate inflammation. If you suffer from any number of conditions that involve inflammation, your benefits from following an anti-inflammatory diet could include pain and symptom relief, improved health and immunity, and decreased risks of obesity, heart disease and certain cancers.
What is an Anti-Inflammatory Diet?
Every food you eat is going to have some kind of effect on you, whether it’s to nourish your muscles, give your cells energy or make you sick. Anti-inflammatory diets suggest foods that avoid inflammation triggers.
You should plan on including plenty of vegetables, fruits, high-fat fruits (like avocados and olives), fatty fish (like salmon, herring and sardines), lean meats, nuts, whole grains, peppers, spices (especially turmeric, black pepper, cinnamon, ginger, clove, sage and paprika), green tea and dark chocolate. One example of a popular anti-inflammatory diet is the Mediterranean Diet.
Foods to avoid include saturated and trans fats, processed foods, excessive alcohol, red meat, fried foods and soda. Cutting out some foods is healthy, but don’t go overboard: Talk to a dietician before striking dairy, eggs, soy or any one food group.
The Benefits of an Anti-Inflammatory Diet
An anti-inflammatory diet can improve your health by cutting the inflammatory triggers caused by your foods. Over time, this reduced inflammation may offer numerous health benefits:
- Protects your heart. An anti-inflammatory diet can reduce heart attack risks in current and former smokers. It may also reduce your chances of developing an abdominal aortic aneurysm.
- Helps you heal faster. A study on mice revealed an anti-inflammatory diet can have profound effects on the body’s ability to heal. Conversely, mice fed a standard U.S. diet sustained inflammation and injury.
- Fights autoimmune disease. Research on the effects of diet on autoimmune diseases like psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis has been promising. The Arthritis Foundation recommends trying the Mediterranean diet to minimize inflammation in the joints and reduce arthritis symptoms.
- Improves gum health. What you eat can affect the balance of microbes throughout your body, including in your mouth. An anti-inflammatory diet could reduce the damaging effects of gingivitis.
- Protects your liver. People who eat an anti-inflammatory diet are less likely to develop nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. People who drink daily and sufferers of metabolic syndrome may also see some protective effects.
- Reduces certain cancer risks. A meta-analysis examining the connections between diet, inflammation and colorectal cancer showed diet to be an excellent indicator of a person’s cancer risk.
You may be able to prevent a slew of future health problems by making a few adjustments to your diet. Change can be hard, but isn’t your health worth it?
Sticking to It
The positive effects of an anti-inflammatory diet can take a couple of months, so it’s important to stick with yours long enough to see if it’s helping. Shifting your diet means adopting new eating habits as lifestyle changes. This might be difficult to stick to, especially if your favorite junk food is calling.
Go in with a plan, determining meals and snacks ahead of time if you need to. Choose your start date carefully; for example, starting right before the holidays could set you up for failure. Have nuts available instead of chips; eat an apple instead of a candy bar. If you have enough of the right foods on hand, you’re less likely to be tempted by the unhealthy ones.
If you have one of any number of chronic inflammatory diseases, your diet could be contributing to your suffering. At the very least, you might want to see what a switch to an anti-inflammatory diet could do to improve your health. The change might be difficult at first, but there might be healthier you just waiting to be discovered.
~Here’s to Your Healthy Ascension!
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