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Inflammation Diet

An inflammation is our body’s natural way of protecting from infections and harmful foreign substances. However, sometimes it so happens that the body’s protective mechanisms set off inflammations even if there is no threat from infections and foreign substances. Such a condition is called an autoimmune disease. Very often it is the immune system that plays a key role in inflammatory disorders. The inflammatory process is essential for the healing of wounds and infections, but at the same time chronic inflammation can also be extremely harmful giving rise to diseases such as arthritis, atherosclerosis, cancer, etc.  Cancer, atherosclerosis and heart diseases are non-immune problems.

For those suffering from excessive inflammation of any sort, an inflammation diet is important.  An inflammation diet consists of those foods that reduce the symptoms of inflammation. Symptoms of inflation include swelling, a warm feeling when you touch the swelling, redness, soreness, joints getting stiff and painful. In some cases inflation is also accompanied by stiffness in muscles, fatigue and weakness, appetite loss, fever, cold and headache. Some of the common causes of inflation are physical injury, burns, toxins, hypersensitivity cause immune reactions and infections by bacteria and viruses. In modern times, the lifestyle and dietary habits of many individuals aggravate inflammatory symptoms. Junk food consisting fried food, food high in trans-fat and foodstuff full of sugar are inflammation foods to avoid. Fortunately, inflammation caused by an unhealthy diet can be reversed. An inflammation diet not only does it do a lot of good to reduce the inflation, but also helps in normalizing the patient’s weight. This in turn keeps health problems like diabetes and heart diseases in check. An inflammation foods list will necessary include high fiber veggies like carrots, cauliflower, cucumber, celery, parsley, onion, garlic, radishes and broccoli. Fruits such as apples, plums, grapes, bananas, citrus fruits, etc are also beneficial. Lean meat from chicken, turkey and fish can also be included to the inflammation diet food list. Olive oil should ideally replace other oils in this diet.

An anti-inflammation diet has good fats and oils, fiber and carbohydrates and proteins and vitamins. For instance Omega-3 fatty acids are strong anti-inflammation substances. Therefore foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids such as walnuts, flax and pumpkin seeds, and oily fish are powerful anti-inflammatory foods. To reduce inflammation, diet should also include good protein from seeds, nuts, fish and poultry. Soy protein sources can also be added to a low inflammation diet. Carbohydrates and fiber from whole grains are also a must and as far as possible green leafy vegetables should be included in this diet. Berries also are extremely efficient anti-inflammatory agents. They are known to have pigments with phytochemicals that fight inflammation. Adding berries to inflammation diet recipes can therefore be a good idea. And finally, one must have plenty of water every day. Very simply put, high inflammation foods are all those foods that are also aggravate other conditions such as heart problems, obesity and diabetes whereas low inflammation foods make a person healthier and fitter. Inflammation diet plans for different types of health problems are essentially the same, with a slight variation depending on the nature of the problem. A stomach inflammation diet involves foods rich in fiber such as whole grains and cereals, fresh fruits and vegetables, sprouts, etc. People with this problem should avoid oily and spicy food. They should avoid caffeine, alcohol and tobacco. Intake of milk and milk products should also be kept to a strict minimum. Each healthy meal should also be had a fixed set time. As for a joint inflammation diet, it should be rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. These are found in salmon, mackerel and other oily fish. Flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, soya beans and olive oil are also rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. Fish oil supplements rich in these fatty acids are also easily available. Fruits and vegetable with a high pigment are also beneficial for those suffering from joint inflammation.

For patients suffering from chronic inflammation, diet can include spices like ginger and turmeric. Turmeric has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties and ginger is an age old treatment for inflammatory conditions. High intake of anti-oxidant is also very important as they help reversing chronic inflammation. An arthritis diet says no-no to red meat, sugar, potatoes, eggplant and tomatoes. An arthritis patient must completely give-up sugar. Dark green leafy vegetables must be included in his diet and so must fruits like pomegranates, pears, plums, pineapples, citrus fruits and apricots. Having a glass of cherry juice also does wonder to fight away the pain caused by inflammation. As for liver inflammation, the diet must include a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. This diet aims to supply the right doses of good fats, proteins, carbs, minerals, vitamins, fiber, the necessary fatty acids and phytonutrients. Similarly, a colon inflammation diet must also be very low in fats, high in fruits and vegetables and balanced meals at regular intervals with healthy-snacking in between meals. Inflammation diet recipes need not be tasteless and boring ones. One can add a zing to these recipes by introducing variety and creativity. Blending different cuisine styles is also an interesting option. For instance, a salad made of citrus fruits mixed with yogurt and ginger can be delicious and healthy at the same. Salmon with orange-herb sauce is another exotic recipe and so is a carrot soup with Indian curry and spices. A typical diet could consist of soya milk, oats, nuts and berries for breakfast.  A lunch and dinner with poultry and fish lean cuts, whole grain bread, brown rice and a vegetable dish made of green leafy vegetables, salads. Snacking in between meals should also be healthy. Vegetables, fruits, nuts can replace cookies. Adequate intake of healthy fluids is also important. For any kind of diet to be effective, it is important to consult a doctor and a dietician. No patient should try to self medicate or “try-out” a diet on his own. More so, in order to reduce the symptoms of inflammation, or to reverse them, it is also important to make lifestyle changes along with dietary changes for effective and long-lasting results.

Submitted on January 16, 2014