Most things are beneficial to a certain extent. So is inflammation! On the one hand, the body causes inflammation as a part of the immune system response. Without it, wounds, injuries, and infections would not heal. On the other hand, excessive inflammation may put the body at risk of a lot of chronic diseases. This can cause issues with your nervous system, joints, foot, liver, bowel, and heart. To prevent this, see how the anti-inflammatory diet can be effective for keeping you healthy, and what should be included on your anti-inflammatory diet shopping list.
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- Undertaking the Anti-Inflammatory Diet
- What should I Eat on the Anti-Inflammatory Diet?
- Which Food Causes Inflammation?
- Anti-Inflammatory Diet FAQ
- Anti-Inflammatory Diet Shopping list
Undertaking the Anti-Inflammatory Diet
The anti-inflammatory diet is an eating plan intended to reduce inflammation, with the aim of preventing chronic diseases and promoting good health. This diet can also help prevent allergies, diabetes, irritable bowel disease, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and many types of cancer.
If you are considering embarking on this diet, then you’ll need to know which food is best against inflammation. Therefore, you’ll need a shopping list to get you started on this diet, as well as answers to some questions you may have. Regardless, you can skip straight to your free anti-inflammatory diet shopping list template if you wish.
What Should I Eat on the Anti-Inflammatory Diet?
You’ll need to be picky while being on the anti-inflammation diet. The key point behind this diet is to prevent inflammation. Therefore, you’ll need to only add healthy food to your eating plan.
Tasty and healthy, you should make a habit of eating fruit very often in your fight against inflammation.
Because they are a good source of the antioxidant called anthocyanins that have an anti-inflammatory effect. They can reduce inflammation, strengthen immunity, and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Leafy greens should make up the bulk of your plate for any given meal. So, eat plenty of spinach, kale, and broccoli. All of these contain the antioxidant “glucosinolates” which has anti-inflammatory effects. It’s also claimed to lower the risk of developing certain types of cancer.
Tomatoes are also effective thanks to its content of lycopene which may soothe inflammation and defend the body against cancer.
Meat and Fish
Instead of red meat, opt for skinless chicken or turkey. They are good sources of anti-inflammatory Omega-3s.
What’s more, eat Omega-3-rich fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel, 3 times a week.
Dairy and Eggs
Eggs and yogurt are also essential to consume on the anti-inflammatory diet. Yogurt, for example, contains probiotics that reduce gut inflammation.
Given their content of protein, vitamins A and B, eggs can also help reduce inflammation.
Grains and Seeds
Whole grains, including oatmeal and brown rice are plentiful sources of fiber which is an effective element in preventing inflammation levels in the body.
Seeds, such as chia, sesame, and linseed, are also excellent anti-inflammatory foods as these contain Omega-3 fatty acids.
Beans should make up a large part of your eating plan on the diet. That’s because eating plenty of beans will boost your fiber intake and fill you up with inflammation-reducing antioxidants and phytonutrients. Among them, lentils, kidney beans, white, and black beans are the best anti-inflammatories.
Fats and Oils
Olive oil contains antioxidants that fight inflammation. These include the oleocanthal and oleic acid.
As for other healthy fats, consume monounsaturated fats, including sunflower and avocado oils. These are high in monounsaturated fatty acids that help fight inflammation. By reducing inflammation, these acids also help prevent chronic diseases such as cancer, and heart disease.
Drinking a lot of water on the anti-inflammatory diet is a good idea because it flushes out toxins in the body and helps soothe inflammation. If you don’t know how much water you should be drinking, try downloading a water drinking reminder app.
Black and green tea are arguably the best anti-inflammatories as they are packed with antioxidants, theaflavins, and catechins.
Red wine contains an antioxidant called resveratrol that prevents an enzyme “COX-2” from causing pain and swelling in the body. It may also prevent fungal infections.
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Dark chocolate and cocoa have anti-inflammatory effects due to the high content of flavanol. This antioxidant helps reduce inflammation, along with reducing risks of some chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, brain, and immune system disorders.
You should snack on nuts, as well. Nuts, such as almonds and walnuts, are natural anti-inflammatories as they are full of Omega-3 fatty acids.
Which food causes inflammation?
Knowing what to eat on the anti-inflammatory diet is only the first step. The second step is knowing what food you should exclude from your eating plan.
Processed meat includes bacon, ham, sausage, and smoked meat. They contain advanced glycation end products that, when cooked at high temperatures, causes inflammation. What’s more, they are linked with an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, stomach, and colon cancer.
In red meat, such as beef, there are high levels of C-reactive proteins and amino acids that promote inflammation and aging.
Food high in saturated fat, like full-fat cheese, red meat, fries, and pizza, cause fat tissue inflammation. They contributed to heart disease and worsen arthritis inflammation.
As for canned soup, get rid of them. They are full of processed free glutamic acid such as monosodium glutamate (MSG) that correlates with weight gain and liver inflammation.
Are you a fan of sugary cookies and sweeteners? Well, you’re in for some bad news!
Sugar may be hard to avoid, but it triggers inflammation. It causes the body to release cytokines that are inflammatory proteins.
Consuming white flour and white rice lead to the production of advanced glycation end products, the same as processed meat. Sadly, this triggers inflammation in the body.
When it comes to drinks, consuming high levels of alcohol may lead to severe problems. For instance, those who drink heavily may develop a “leaky gut”, where damage to the small intestine causes toxins to leak through the intestine and flood the bloodstream. This, in turn, triggers the immune system and leads to inflammation in the body.
But even if you’re not a heavy drinker, you still need to be cautious of some soft drinks. Sodas often contain artificial sweeteners that cannot be processed well in the body. Substances, like aspartame, are neurotoxins to which trigger inflammation.
Anti-Inflammatory Diet FAQ
What can I eat for breakfast on the anti-inflammatory diet?
Any food from the anti-inflammatory above can be eaten for breakfast while you are on this diet. However, a good breakfast can look like this.
- Porridge with red berries and chia seeds
- Whole grain toast with almond butter
- Coffee or green tea
What are the 5 signs of inflammation?
If you experience any of the following symptoms, you may have high levels of inflammation in your body.
Pain – chemicals released by inflammation stimulate the nerve endings, causing the inflamed area to be painful
Inability to move – people with acute inflammation may have trouble with moving
Redness – as the capillaries are filled in more blood in the inflamed area, the skin becomes redder
Swelling – this happens as due to a fluid buildup in the inflamed area
Heat – as more blood flows to the inflamed area, it will feel warm when touched
Along with the above-mentioned, there are also additional signs that could signal high levels of inflammation:
- Abdominal pains
- Chest pains
- Joint pain
- Mouth sores
What is the link between weight gain and inflammation?
Overeating triggers an immune system response which causes inflammation. People who tend to overeat also tend to develop weight gain because they’re ingesting more calories than they burn. Therefore, while one doesn’t cause the other, they are linked as overeating affects inflammation.
Anti-Inflammatory Diet Shopping list
Anti-Inflammatory Food ListCopy to clipboard
Meat and Fish
Dairy and Eggs
Grains and Seeds
- Brown rice
- Chia seeds
- Sesame seeds
- Black beans
- Kidney beans
- White beans
Fats and oils
- Avocado oil
- Olive oil
- Sunflower oil
- Black tea
- Green tea
- Red wine
Snacks and Nuts
- Dark chocolate