Written by Marni McNiff
Perhaps the term "diet" isn't appropriate here. There are no portions to worry about, and you're not counting calories. Instead, you're loading up on foods that are naturally good for you and have the added benefit of reducing inflammation. No, this is no diet; this is a life plan.
Anti-inflammatories are among the most commonly prescribed medications. They are used for many different chronic ailments including arthritis, heart disease and hypertension. While these medications may provide quick relief, long-term use of some anti-inflammatory medications such as NSAIDs and steroids can actually weaken our immunity or cause unwanted side effects.
Maintaining a diet high in anti-inflammatory foods can ease the adverse reactions to medications, but it also adds a healthy (and tasty) mix of foods into your meals. On top of their anti-inflammatory properties, these foods also supply us with essential vitamins and minerals that help boost our immune system.
Using Common Sense With Your Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Chances are if you are suffering from an auto-immune disease like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, eating an anti-inflammatory diet may not be a substitute for medication. It can, however, ease day-to-day symptoms of inflammation that accompany those diseases. The foods listed in this article are a healthy addition to any meal plan.
So you're looking to start an anti-inflammatory diet, but don't know where to begin, the following foods have an abundance of anti-inflammatory properties.
- Wild Alaskan Salmon: It's no secret that salmon contains omega-3s and has been known to help numerous ailments. It is important to note that wild-caught salmon has a much higher omega-3 content than farmed-raised. For those of you that are not fans of fish, there are many non-fish-oil and omega-3 supplements that will provide these important nutrients, including flax and hempseed oil.
Foods to Avoid
It's pretty basic knowledge that it's best to try and limit processed foods, sugar, and trans-fats, and this is especially important if you're looking to reduce inflammation. With inflammatory issues, dairy is also tough on the body. It has a common allergen that can trigger inflammation as well as breathing and stomach issues.
Aspartame and MSG are two common food additives that can trigger inflammation responses. There's no time like now to give up those diet soft drinks and foods with these additives.
Choose grass-fed meats when possible. Feed-lot animals consume large quantities of corn and soy, which may aggravate inflammatory issues. These animal are also injected with hormones and antibiotics, which can cause a whole range of other issues.
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