It seems like everywhere you turn there is a new, trendy diet making news and permeating your brunch-time conversations. Paleo, Gluten Free, Vegan, Whole-30, AIP, and this years’ sometime controversial trend, intermittent fasting. Some of these diets are based in scientific research, while others are merely fad. One popular diet, that is also based in science is that of an Anti-Inflammatory diet.
An anti-inflammatory diet consists of eating foods and beverages that combat and reduce inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation in the body can literally alter the expression of inflammatory genes and lead to the development of many diseases. (Aka – “turn on” genes in the body that cause disease. We are all born with propensities towards getting certain types of illnesses and diseases based on factors such as ancestry, ethnicity, and genetics. Science has been able to prove that these propensities can be “turned on” or remain dormant (and never become a problem) based on a combination of factors such as lifestyle choices, exposure to pollutants, emotional, physical and mental stress levels, and lack of adequate nutrition or sleep, to name a few.)
Eating an anti-inflammatory diet is a nutritional and lifestyle choice that can help mitigate and reduce the risk of these genes being “turned on” in the body because they help reduce overall inflammation. Specifically, a diet that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and polyphenols, and low in omega-6 fatty acids. The goal also being to stabilize insulin and reestablish genetic and hormonal balance within the body. This will ultimately silence the genes involved in the generation of inflammation.
What exactly do you eat when following an anti-inflammatory diet?
The easiest thing to remember is to simply eat REAL foods by avoiding anything processed, fried, or laden with refined sugars. Generally, most green leafy vegetables and specific categories of fruits such as berries are great sources of anti-oxidants (inflammation killers!). Salmon, walnuts, chia seeds, and coconut oil are also excellent sources. You can also cook with anti-inflammatory spices! Turmeric is as excellent spice for reducing inflammation, so much so that it has been shown to reduce chronic arthritis inflammation. Other anti-inflammatory spices include cayenne, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and sage.
Not all inflammation is created equally!
It's worth noting that the goal of eating an anti-inflammatory diet is to help reduce long-term, chronic inflammation within the body, aka the bad kind. There is such a thing as good inflammation within the body as well. Inflammation of the lymph system kicks in when we are fighting infection and swelling around a join or muscle when we sustain an injury helps ensure proper healing.
- By Team Turmerical