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Why Should I Choose an Anti-Inflammatory Diet?

Category: Blog, Uncategorized

When it comes to our diets and nutrition, we all know that there are “good” foods and “bad” foods. There is no doubt that we want to nourish our bodies with the healthiest food at hand – foods that promote growth, development, and functionality. One food category that we suggest avoiding is inflammatory foods. Inflammatory foods are associated with a variety of diseases and conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease. So why is inflammatory food “bad” for you, and why you should you choose an anti-inflammatory diet instead?

Tell me About Inflammation

Inflammation is your body’s inherent response to fight off infection and protect the body. For example, if you are preparing dinner and slightly cut yourself, the area around the cut becomes mildly red and swollen. This response is the body’s attempt to guard the open wound against any harmful stimuli, like bacteria or damaged cells.

In instances like this, inflammation is beneficial. However, chronic inflammation can also manifest as a result of a poor diet, excess sugar intake, consuming processed foods, stress, as well as environmental pollutants.  This chronic stress is detrimental because it may cause weight gain, digestive problems, and other functional issues; it may also lead to certain cancers, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s.  Chronic inflammation, in studies, has been linked to autoimmune diseases such as lupus and inflammatory bowel disease, or degenerative conditions like osteoarthritis.  Since diet plays a huge role on inflammation we should know what foods are going to cause or induce inflammation and which foods are gong to reduce inflammation.

 What are Inflammatory Foods?

Inflammatory foods aggravate the natural inflammatory response. Essentially, they are “irritants” to the body. Foods with glucose-containing sugar, refined flour, gluten, artificial sweeteners and additives, and saturated and trans fats are all notable irritants.

This includes:

  • Dairy
  • Fried food
  • Wheat/grains
  • Processed meat
  • Alcohol

What are Anti-Inflammatory Foods?

There are foods you can enrich your diet with to manage inflammation. Foods such as fatty fish, dark leafy vegetables, nuts, beets, whole grains, garlic and onions, berries, and bok choy are all great food choices to fight inflammation. These foods can restore your health from the inside out.

The best way to approach a new diet (and maintain it!) is to introduce the foods into your diet gradually. Instead of cutting out inflammatory foods altogether, slowly pull back on these “bad” pro-inflammatory foods and slowly increase your intake of “good” anti-inflammatory foods. This slight change in conjunction with regular physical activity can steer you away from chronic inflammation and promote a natural and healthy lifestyle.

For more information on healthy eating and living, please contact us at 212-737-9000. We can get you on the right track for success – whether it’s for weight loss, fitness or a specific nutrition-related condition!