Inflammation can cause so many health issues from joint pain and muscle pain to poor digestion and skin issues. Following an anti-inflammatory diet can really help relieve any discomfort caused by inflammation. Today I’m happy to share a guest post on how your diet could help reduce inflammation.
If you suffer from an autoimmune disease or have chronic pain, you may want to spend some time giving your diet a good, hard look. What we eat has a massive effect on how we feel, yet it’s often one of the last things we change when we aren’t feeling top-notch. One of the most direct and noticeable ways our diet can impact our physical health is by causing or quelling inflammation. In this article, we’ll cover how diet can help reduce inflammation and provide some more great tips on how to get back to feeling better.
How Diet Help with Inflammation
If you’ve ever known anyone with a chronic inflammatory disease — such as rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease — you may have heard them talk about their diet like it’s a miracle cure. Indeed, it can do wonders for certain conditions. In fact, studies have shown that an anti-inflammatory diet can reduce painful inflammation in people with rheumatoid arthritis and other diseases characterized by chronic inflammation.
So how, specifically, does this work? To put it simply, certain foods contain compounds that can keep inflammatory compounds in check. For example, omega-3 fatty acids can impact the inflammatory process by changing the composition of cells on a complex cellular level. According to one study published in Nutrients, “Changing the fatty acid composition of cells involved in the inflammatory response also affects the production of peptide mediators of inflammation.”
But controlling inflammation is as much about eating enough good foods as it is about avoiding the bad ones. That’s because some foods contain compounds that cause the body’s inflammatory compounds to multiply and worsen. This happens when your body recognizes harmless nutrients as dangerous foreign invaders and wields an immune response in the form of inflammation.
On top of the direct physiological correlation between inflammation and food, a healthy diet can reduce inflammation by helping to ward off certain conditions that may worsen it. For example, eating a nutritious, plant-based diet will help reduce the risk of diabetes and obesity. These two conditions can worsen inflammation. Indeed, changing what you eat is a smart way to get inflammation in check.
Kicking Inflammation to the Curb Through Food
Now for the million-dollar question. What do you eat to reduce inflammation? You probably won’t be surprised to find that the answer is pretty simple: healthy food! In general, foods that are plant-based and contain “good fats” are great for your anti-inflammatory diet. Getting ample antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients will also help. Here are some specific ways to treat inflammation through food.
Eat Lots of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids — the “good fats” found in fish, plant oils, nuts, seeds and more — are natural anti-inflammatory compounds. They have been shown to reduce the production of natural compounds linked to inflammation, such as inflammatory cytokines and eicosanoids. Eat plenty of salmon, tuna and nuts to boost your Omega-3 intake.
Go Plant-Based Where Possible
With the exception of seafood, you should keep your meat and dairy consumption to a minimum. Plant-based foods are key to any good anti-inflammatory plan because they contain antioxidants and polyphenols. These are compounds that help reduce markers of inflammation and make you feel better. Make sure you get plenty of green leafy vegetables and fruits, especially berries. They are also rich in nutrients that the body can use to boost energy and make you feel all-around better.
Supplements are an excellent way to make sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need each day without having to obsess over your diet. Rather than having to work them into your meal, you can simply take them via a powder, pill or capsule. In some cases, they can also help you feel better and contribute to your overall health and wellness goals. If you’re a picky eater, supplements can help you get enough of your daily required nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.
Anything that’s refined, fried or processed can seriously mess with your body’s ability to manage inflammation. You really want to stick to whole foods wherever possible and kick the processed stuff to the curb. Keep plenty of whole grains, fruits and veggies in the rotation.
Compile a List of Foods to Avoid
Getting inflammation in check is as much about what you do eat as it is about what you don’t eat. Everybody’s trigger foods are unique and different inflammatory conditions require different plans. However, there are some foods that tend to be universally problematic for those who suffer from chronic inflammation. Some of the most common trigger foods include:
- Processed foods, including carbs like bread, pasta and baked goods
- Red meat, including steak and ground beef
- Fried foods, including French fries, fried chicken and doughnuts
- Refined carbohydrates, often found in white flour, white bread, white rice and pastries
- Processed meats, including bologna, hot dogs, sausage, etc.
More Than Just Food
You want to make sure your entire lifestyle is set up to support your body’s ability to ward off inflammation. This sounds more stressful and time-consuming than it seems! What we mean is, in addition to changing your diet, make sure you’re also doing things like soaking in the tub with CBD bath bombs and doing what you can to reduce stress and avoid flare-ups.
If you find that you do all of these things and your inflammation still doesn’t improve, you might want to consider making an appointment with your physician. While inflammation can occur with no impetus at all, it’s closely linked with some more serious conditions. It’s certainly not something you should overlook if you believe it is chronic.
This post on how your diet could help reduce inflammation is a guest post. If you are interested in contributing to JesseLaneWellness.com please email firstname.lastname@example.org.