Anti-Inflammatory Diets and Optimal Health
Anti-inflammatory diets and optimal health are directly linked. To experience long-term, optimal health, learning to combat inflammation in the body is key. Inflammation causes many illnesses and diseases to include heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Eating an anti-inflammatory diet helps protect against certain diseases and it also slows the aging process by stabilizing blood sugar and increasing metabolism. This diet also helps people lose weight which in itself can help fight many illnesses from obesity to heart disease.
Here are some tips to help you follow an anti-inflammatory diet and improve your overall health.
- Eat 25 grams of fiber every day. Fiber naturally reduces inflammation in the body. Some of the best sources of fiber are whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Bananas, blueberries, oatmeal, and onions are good examples.
- Eat 9 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Add anti-inflammatory herbs such as turmeric and ginger to vegetables to increase their antioxidant count.
- Eat 4 servings of cruciferous vegetables each week. This includes scallions, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, garlic, and Brussels sprouts. They are super high in antioxidants and they can lower your cancer risk.
- Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and may help lower our risk of chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. Walnuts, beans and cold-water fish like salmon and sardines are also high in omega-3.
- Keep your saturated fat to less than 10% of your daily calories. This means to limit your intake of red meat to once per week.
- Chose extra-virgin olive oil and expeller-pressed canola oils for cooking. These contain good, healthy fats which the body needs to be healthy.
- Snack on healthy foods twice per day. Fresh fruit, low sugar Greek-style yogurt, vegetable sticks, and unsalted nuts are good options.
- Limit or eliminate processed foods and refined sugars. Watch out for high-fructose corn syrup and sodium which are bad for inflammation. Refined sugars to include artificial sweeteners contribute to increased insulin resistance and high blood pressure.
- Eliminate all trans fats. Anything that contains the words “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated oils” should be removed from your diet. Cookies, crackers, margarine, and other processed foods normally contain these trans fats.
- Use fruits such as apples and berries to sweeten foods and use herbs like cinnamon, turmeric, and ginger to flavor your favorite foods. These fruits and herbs are loaded with phytonutrients and have anti-inflammatory properties.
Anti-inflammatory diets and optimal health are directly linked. Making some changes to your diet by adding more whole foods, fruits, vegetables and foods high in omega-3 fatty acids can lower the inflammation in your body and improve your overall health.