Is inflammation a key to your problem?
Until recently, inflammation was associated with health conditions such as arthritis, sore joints, and broken bones. New research is showing that the effects of inflammation are far more wide spread. Research is showing inflammation may be one of the key contributors to diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, certain cancers, inflammatory bowel disease, Alzheimer’s, and chronic fatigue syndrome. Preliminary research suggests that diet can help reduce inflammation within our bodies, lowering our risk for these disease processes. As chiropractors, we are always looking for ways to prevent disease. As you continue to read, you will see how choosing the right foods can stop inflammation.
What foods will help me reduce inflammation?
Veggies are a fantastic way to stop inflammation. Vegetables are packed with nutrients and phytochemicals that can help fight inflammation and even stop it from forming in the first place. Luckily, there are tons of options when it comes to veggies. Green vegetables, such as kale and spinach, are a great start. If you really cannot stand those green vegetables or are looking to add more green to your diet, Chlorella and Spirulina are two great ways to supplement. If you are looking for more flavor, garlic and onions have great anti-inflammatory benefits. If you crave a starch, choose a sweet potato over a white potato.
Not all fruits are created equal when it comes to anti-inflammatory foods. Researchers are not quite sure of why, but fruits such as bananas and mangoes, which are rich in nutrients, are not recommended when trying to reduce inflammation. However, there are many options you can reach for in the fruit aisle. Raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries all contain anti-inflammatory phytochemicals. If you are not a berry person, try pink grapefruit, cantaloupe or apples as part of your daily regimen.
We are not suggesting loading up on breads and pasta. When it comes to food, the less processing the food goes through, the better it is. So when we discuss whole grains, we are talking brown rice and bulgur wheat. These healthier options can help lower that unwanted inflammation.
Legumes & Nuts:
If you are looking for protein but want to avoid pro-inflammatory foods such as red meats, some great alternatives are soybeans, lentils, and kidney beans. Nuts such as almonds and walnuts are loaded with essential fatty acids that reduce unwanted inflammation.
Curry, turmeric, and ginger are great ways to spice up your anti-inflammatory diet. They all have proved to have anti-inflammatory benefits.
The number one anti-inflammatory food is fish. Fish are loaded with Omega 3 fatty acids which stop inflammatory producing proteins, known as cytokines. When you are selecting your fish, look for wild caught fish instead of the popular farm raised fish. Some great options are salmon, halibut, sardines, herring, and rainbow trout. Supplementing your diet with fish oil can also give you the Omega 3 fatty acid benefits you may be looking for. Be careful when selecting your supplements. Always look for whole food supplements. If you have questions ask Dr. Veera or Dr. John for brands they recommend.
We have all heard of red wine’s anti-inflammatory benefits, but remember this is only red wine in moderation. No more than one to two glasses daily. Non-alcoholic inflammation busters include tea, especially green, white, or herbal, and pure fruit and vegetable juices.
Remember diet is not a fad, but rather a lifestyle.
So look for the lifestyle that best fits you and your family. There are great resources out there to help you on your journey. A couple of lifestyle diets include: The Paleo Diet, The Mediterranean Diet and the Okinawan Diet. Dr. Veera and Dr. John also want to remind you that a healthy body weight and regular exercise are also key factors in preventing excessive inflammation.