Heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, asthma, depression, and other serious diseases have something in common. Inflammation is at the root of most diseases and can be fatal. This is why you should make sure you’re eating an anti inflammatory diet.
Inflammation is the body’s natural defense against toxins and injury. When you’re injured, or sick, your body’s lymphatic (immune) system goes to work. Your body sends white blood cells to the target area in a rush of blood. This extra attention from the body can result in swelling, redness, heat, and pain or discomfort.
This is a good thing when your body needs to recover, but prolonged inflammation can cause stress on your body doing it a lot of damage. If your body is inflamed it can start to attack healthy tissue, causing more harm than good.
Sugars and carbs are major inflammatory foods, as well as the saturated and trans fats found in processed foods. These foods can cause disorders like leaky gut, which will make it hard for your body to properly absorb nutrients, and will further promote inflammation. Here are some things to add to your daily diet to help alleviate inflammation.
Anti Inflammatory Diet
One of the best ways to keep inflammation down is maintaining a healthy balance of fatty acids. Having a balanced omega-6 to omega-3 ratio will reduce inflammation in your body. Most people are consuming staggeringly high levels of omega-6 but are not getting nearly enough omega-3. This imbalance is a major cause of inflammation. That is why omega-3 needs to be a regular part of your anti inflammatory diet.
A great source of omega-3 is fatty fish like salmon. Wild salmon has a much better ratio than farmed salmon so buy wild when you can. Even with this rich source of omega-3, you probably aren’t eating fatty fish daily, so you will most likely need to take an omega-3 supplement.
Fish or krill oil are your best omega-3 supplements. The important things to have in a fish oil supplement are EPA, DHA, and astaxanthin. This also makes our list of anti aging supplements (one more reason to take it). However, fish oil can become rancid so you have to be careful as to what you take. Good fish or krill oil should have astaxanthin, an important antioxidant that will keep the oil safe and keep you healthy.
Omega-6 is in most foods. It’s excessively high in oils, wheat and grain products, and high sugar foods. To optimize an anti inflammatory diet, reducing the amount of omega-6 that we eat will help us better manage our omega-6 to omega-3 ratio.
Vitamin D is the sunshine vitamin. It is also a great way to reduce inflammation in your gut and bowels. This vitamin should be a daily part of any anti inflammatory diet.
We can get vitamin D in our diet, but 5-15 minutes of sun to skin contact is the easiest way to get all of the vitamin D you need.
Foods like salmon and eggs are good sources of vitamin D, but the majority of people aren’t getting enough Vitamin D. The odds are you need to spend more time in the sun or will need to take a supplement.
Vitamin A is another vitamin to have in an anti inflammatory diet. It is a fat-soluble vitamin that works as an antioxidant. That means it reduces the free radicals in the body, which then reduces inflammation.
Many people think they are getting enough vitamin A from vegetables, but that is a different form Vitamin A, β-carotene. β-carotene needs to be converted to retinol in our body, and it takes a lot of β-carotene to make retinol (good vitamin A). This results in most people not getting as much vitamin A as they think they are getting, and people are becoming deficient.
Liver is a great source of retinol and will ensure you get all the vitamin A you need. You probably aren’t (and shouldn’t) eating liver on a daily basis, so you can also take a vitamin A supplement.
Copper reduces inflammation in joints, relieving joint and arthritis pain. Proper copper levels have many health benefits, but you can run into issues with too much copper in your diet. Still, it is a good mineral to have in any anti inflammatory diet.
Liver is the easiest way to get all of the copper you need. It has very high levels, so you’ll want to be careful how much you eat. You can get healthier levels of copper from sunflower seeds, and almonds.
Turmeric is a spice that contains a powerful anti inflammatory called curcumin. Turmeric is the spice that gives curry its yellow colour, so adding curry to your diet can be one good food for your anti inflammatory diet.
Curcumin targets many of the inflammatory pathways. Curcumin has been shown to blocks NF-kB, a molecule that activates genes related to inflammation in the cell. NF-kB is believed to be a major contributor to many chronic diseases.
Unfortunately, curcumin makes up about 3% of turmeric, so you aren’t actually getting a ton into your body when you eat curry. Also, our body can have a hard time absorbing curcumin. Studies show that eating black pepper at the same time improves the absorption of curcumin by 2000%. This is because black pepper contains piperine, which helps our body absorb this important anti-inflammatory.
You can also add pure turmeric to your diet for a higher concentration of curcumin. You can buy turmeric root or powder and use it similarly to how you would use ginger.
Disclaimer: We are not medical professionals. Please consult with a doctor before adding/changing your dosage of any supplement in your diet. Take any supplements at your own risk.