04 Apr Keep Inflammation Down
For some patients, just changing to an “anti-inflammatory diet” makes a huge difference in their health; others need more help. Diet will go a long way toward helping your body reduce systemic inflammation and help deal with heart disease and mitigate – even reverse – it’s progression.
Avoid or reduce the “pro-inflammatory” foods, such as sweets, fruit juices, wheat and other grains, grain-fed meats, processed foods, especially ones with hydrogenated or “trans” fats, and vegetable oils.
Stick to grass-fed or wild animal meats, eggs and milk (also from grass-fed critters, which causes the foods to have more Omega 3 oils), minimal white sugar and flour, lots of vegetables (preferably lightly steamed, not canned or in soup or juice form), as well as some fresh fruit.
Eating grains and refined carbohydrates causes the inflammation that leads to heart disease. Excessive carbohydrates make you age faster than you should. And they also help cancer grow. Eating them can leave you feeling depressed.
Doctors are learning that one of the best ways to quell inflammation lies not in the medicine cabinet, but in the refrigerator.
Your immune system attacks anything in your body that it recognizes as foreign—like invading microbes, plant pollen, or chemicals. The process is called inflammation. Intermittent bouts of inflammation directed at truly threatening invaders protect your health.
However, sometimes inflammation persists, even when you are not threatened by a foreign invader. That’s when inflammation can become your enemy. Many major diseases that plague us—including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, depression, and Alzheimer’s—have been linked to chronic inflammation.
Try to avoid or limit these foods as much as possible:
- Refined carbohydrates, (white bread, pastries)
- French fries, fried foods
- Soda, sugar-sweetened beverages
- Processed meat (hot dogs, sausage)
- Margarine, hydrogenated fats, trans-fats
Some foods associated with an increased risk for chronic diseases2 such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease are also associated with excess inflammation. Fact: inflammation is an important underlying mechanism for the development of these diseases.
Unhealthy foods contribute to weight gain, which is itself a risk factor for inflammation. Even after researchers took obesity into account, the link between foods and inflammation remained, which suggests weight gain isn’t the sole driver
Include plenty of these anti-inflammatory foods in your diet:
- Olive oil
- Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, and collards
- Nuts like almonds and walnuts
- Fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines)
- Fruits like strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges
Fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, apples, and leafy greens that are high in natural antioxidants and polyphenols—protective compounds found in plants.
Studies show nuts having reduced markers of inflammation and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Coffee, containing polyphenols and anti-inflammatory compounds, may protect against inflammation.
Consider the Mediterranean diet4, which is high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, fish, and healthy oils.
TAGS: heart disease, inflammation, anti-inflammatory diet