Anti-Inflammatory Diet is good or bad?
Note: PLEASE READ MY MEDICAL AND HEALTH DISCLAIMER FOR MORE INFORMATION.
You have heard of Anti-Inflammatory Diet very often from TV show or magazine. However, most of us do have any clue about it. What is Anti-Inflammatory Diet? Why should you eat it? Do you really have to eat it? How should you eat it right? Many question marks would jump out of your head. First of all, you have to know what “Inflammatory” means so as to know why we need Anti-Inflammatory Diet.
Inflammation: Immune System Process
Inflammation is a kind of the body’s immune response to disease. When you get cut, have a beard scratch, or an unknown worm bites you, the wounded part turns out to be red or a little bit of pain. It is because inflammation is working and healing your body. It defenses your injured skin, protects and makes it healed. Then it removes harmful substances from the injured part of your body, such as damaged cells and bacteria, and increases the healing. Feeling pain and red is correct and good because it means that your body is fighting off the infection or injury and healing.
Inflammation: acute or chronic
Maybe you would think that inflammation is a bad thing because it brings you pain. However, it is a kind of protection system and healing process. It is just the way it is to get healed and healthy back no matter you suffer from allergies, burns, cuts, and so on. How come would you have the idea that it is bad for your health?
There are two kinds of inflammation, acute or chronic inflammation. Acute inflammation takes a few days to get healed, within a week mostly. If it is not healed completely, it may turn out to be chronic inflammation which could last for weeks or months. The problem is that inflammation doesn’t disappear and causes damage in your body little by little and unconsciously. Then it becomes a health issue in the long run. That is the main reason that it scares you. Even more, it has something to do with serious health issues and diseases such as arthritis, obesity, Heart disease, dementia and etc.
What food causes chronic inflammation?
There are various kinds of factors that lead to chronic inflammation. Diet is the main factor. What you can do is to eat anti-inflammatory food rather than pro-inflammatory food. Anything too greasy or sweet is not good at all. Here are NG food lists:
- Meat with high-fat and over processed red meat (like hot dogs) is not good at all to your health. Its saturated fat could cause a lot of health issues and inflammation if you eat too much of them every day.
- Avoid high sugar, such as desserts, ice cream, colorful candies, juice, soda or soft drinks, baked goods, and any sweet treats. Sugar causes not only a weight issue but also releases inflammatory messengers.
- Avoid deep-fried food or at least limit the number of fried foods you eat such as French fries, fried chicken and donuts even you cook them with vegetable oil. Try another way of cooking food and keep it slow like steaming, grilling and boiling so that you maintain the much more original flavor of food. Then you can keep your omega-6s and omega-3s balance in your body so as to prevent inflammation.
- Butter, whole milk, and cheese all have saturated fat.
- Trans fats (partially hydrogenated oils) is widely around you. What you can think of has trans fats is processed snack foods and baked or packaged foods like photo chips and crackers, margarine, Coffee creamers and etc. Why is trans fat bad? Is trans fat not natural Because adding hydrogen to vegetable oil makes the oil solid at room temperature and makes food have a longer shelf life. Any amount is not safe and you had better read the label of ingredients before you buy it.
- Refined starches like white bread and pasta are less nutrition and over carbohydrates. You would overeat them very easily and have high blood sugar, gain weight, and high cholesterol.
What food avoids chronic inflammation?
If you want to know how to maintain a healthy diet, stay away from diseases and keep yourself out of an inflamed state. One of the best ways you can do is to change your diet to an anti-inflammatory diet. That is why having an anti-inflammatory diet is getting more and more popular. Here is some suggestion:
Beans contain fiber, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory substances like black beans, chickpeas, red kidney beans, and etc. They are cheap and easily obtained. If you are vegetarians, they are a good source of protein and a low-glycemic carbohydrate.
Fruit is mainly carbohydrate. Watch out for fruit with too much sugar and limit how much you eat. Berries and cherries can assist to support your immune system and contain antioxidants which are anti-inflammatory. The whole fruit is better than processed juices and dry fruits. The darker the color is, the more antioxidants a fruit has.
- Fat and oil
Your body needs proper fat to function normally and well. Especially your brain needs fat, no less and no more, just in certain amounts. The most anti-inflammatory oil includes avocado oil, nut or seed oil and olive oil.
Fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and fat. Cold-water fish are better such as anchovies, herring, tuna, sardines, and salmon. It is also a good option for anti-inflammatory diet
- Nightshade vegetable
Nightshade vegetables are eggplant, potatoes, tomatoes, and red bell peppers. They are fewer calories and anti-inflammatory. However, if you get arthritis, you should ask your doctor if it is appropriate for you to eat them.
- Tea and coffee
Tea and coffee contain polyphenols and anti-inflammatory substances. Drinking them moderately is good unless you have troubles sleeping at night.
- Herbs and Spices
What is the good thing about herbs and spices are natural flavor and contain antioxidants? You can have them both at the same time when you add them to your food or drinks like tea. They can be rubbed and added directly in salad dressings, marinades, and sauces. They include ginger, cinnamon, chilies, garlic, turmeric, and etc. For example, curry powder contains turmeric which has anti-inflammatory effects and antioxidant. It has been widely used in India for a long time. So is garlic.
- Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are good choices for adding in cereals as breakfast or in a salad and tea time snack. They have lower carbohydrate but has fiber and monounsaturated fats. Try to eat them in moderation as they are rich in saturated fat and has more calories.
Vegetables contain carbohydrates and protein and vegetable fat. Raw leafy greens like collards, kale, and spinach should be included because they have vitamin-K to lower inflammation. So are broccoli and cabbage. You should consider eating vegetables every day.
- Whole grains
Whole grains contain fiber and can cause inflammation. They are good sources of vitamins and minerals such as folate, iron, niacin, and zinc. Whole grains include brown rice, quinoa, and oats except the gluten-intolerant.
Adjust your diet to a healthy way, do not stay up and get too tense, you would be able to reduce chronic inflammation in your body. Moreover, taking exercise routinely, getting enough sleep, and having yoga or meditation are definitely plus to your health as well.