The photo above is one of the meals we typically eat when we are wanting to reduce inflammation – well ignore the butter on the sweet potato… it is, after all, still the holidays. Wild salmon, broccoli, sweet potatoes, and the olive oil on the salmon are on every list of anti-inflammatory foods I have ever seen. My husband and I try to eat foods to reduce inflammation regularly, but sometimes we slip up… like recently during the holiday season. The goal is to eat that way more often than not. We are not trying for perfection.
So, what is inflammation and why should we want to reduce it? Well, think about what you know of inflammation. For example, when you twist your ankle, and it swells. It is kind of like that only not so dramatic and more all over. A lot of what we think we know about inflammation had not been proven yet, but scientists are trying to do just that. It is thought that inflammation can contribute to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other illnesses.
Why do I try to eat for low inflammation? A couple of years ago, my husband and I went on a low inflammation diet suggested to us by our chiropractor for twenty-eight days. Honestly, we were just trying to lose weight. He did lose quite a bit, and I, ever the slow loser, lost a little. But, the weight loss was not what keeps me eating this way. Since, I had gotten pregnant with my son, at that time it had been fourteen years, I had heartburn… everyday. Let me say that again, heartburn everyday for fourteen years. Sure, I kept it from being horrible with acid inhibitors, but I kept wondering what they were doing to me in the long run. About a week after I began the diet, the heartburn went away. And even after I went off the diet, it stayed gone. Now, when I eat really badly for a few weeks (vacation, holidays, etc.), it will come back, but a strict anti-inflammatory regime for about a week makes it go away again. Additionally, I have a lot fewer visits to that chiropractor when I am eating a low inflammatory diet. The usual aches and pains just seem to disappear. I don’t have any scientific evidence to prove this, but I eat an anti-inflammatory diet because I feel better when I do.
What is an anti-inflammatory diet? An anti-inflammatory diet consists of plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It is low in saturated fat, trans fat, and refined carbohydrates (sugar the first to give me problems). You should however get enough of the “good” fats such as olive oil, fish oil, nuts, and avocados. Proteins should consist of legumes, fish, chicken, and low fat dairy products.
As always, I am not a physician and this is not intended to replace the medical advice given by a physician.
Sources: Web Md