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What You Need To Know About Inflammatory Diets

April 20, 2021

It’s no secret that your diet can have a detrimental effect on your health. The key to developing a healthy eating plan is to know an inflammatory diet from an anti-inflammatory diet. The critical factors are the food choices you make.

The food we eat gives our bodies the information and fuel it needs to properly function. If it does not get the right information, our metabolic processes can suffer and our health can decline. That’s why good nutrition is essential.

So, let’s take a look at the difference between inflammatory and anti-inflammatory diets and make sure the food choices you’re making are the right ones.

Inflammatory Diet Foods

The foods you eat can significantly affect inflammation in your body. And chronic, sustained inflammation is linked to an increased risk of diseases like diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

Foods with a higher pro-inflammatory potential include:

You should also try to limit refined carbohydrates such as white bread, white rice, many types of dessert, and sweetened beverages including colas and sports drinks.

Inflammation can be triggered by many responses. Things like stress, pollution, injury or sickness can all be tied to inflammatory responses in your body. However, you have much more control over factors like your diet, and there are foods that can create an anti-inflammatory response.

Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Foods that have a higher anti-inflammatory potential are green leafy vegetables. They include:

  • Kale
  • Collard greens
  • Spinach

They also include dark yellow vegetables such as:

  • Winter and summer squash
  • Yellow peppers

An anti-inflammatory diet also includes whole grains like:

  • Wheat berries
  • Quinoa
  • Whole-grain bread
  • Oatmeal

If you’re piecing together an anti-inflammatory diet, make sure it also contains fruits, tea, coffee and wine. These foods contain specific anti-inflammatory compounds such as carotenoids, flavonoids, vitamins and fiber.

Here’s a printable anti-inflammatory diet you can try. Researchers at the Department of Nutrition at Brigham and Women’s Hospital put it together.

Category

Foods

Fiber

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Beans, nuts and seeds
  • Packaged foods containing more than 5 grams of fiber per serving

Phytonutrients

  • Red, orange and yellow vegetables and fruit
  • Dark green leafy veggies like kale
  • Spices like turmeric, curcumin, peppers, cinnamon, garlic, ginger, onions, etc.
  • Green tea and black coffee

Healthy Fats

  • Mono-unsaturated fatty acids (olive oil, canola oil, sesame oil)
  • Omega-3 fatty acids (fatty fish like salmon and mackerel)
  • Flaxseeds and walnut

Adopting an anti-inflammatory diet, along with getting regular exercise may provide you with an effective strategy for cardiovascular disease prevention. This includes the Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes many anti-inflammatory foods and limits pro-inflammatory foods such as red meat and refined carbohydrates.

What’s The Takeaway?

By choosing the right anti-inflammatory foods, you may be able to reduce your risk of illness. Consistently pick the wrong ones, and you could accelerate the inflammatory disease process.

To help you decide which foods to include in your diet and which ones to avoid, we put together a guide that will help you pull the pertinent information from the updated U.S. Dietary Guidelines. Download our “Guide To The Dietary Guidelines” today and start eating healthier. Your body will thank you for it.

U.S. Dietary Guidelines