9/15/11

Are there foods that can reduce my inflammation?

Question: I know there are great foods on the market that help reduce inflammation. In your opinion, what are some of the best ones?

Caffeine and sugar can
contribute to inflammation
Answer:
There are several dietary contributors to inflammation in the body:
  • sugar and refined carbohydrates
  • saturated and trans fat
  • caffeine
  • alcohol in excess
  • insufficient intake of micronutrients and antioxidants
  • a low fiber diet
  • overweight

 To minimize inflammation in the body:
  • limit sugar and refined carbohydrates; choose at least 3 servings whole grains per day
  • eliminate trans fats and minimize intake of saturated fats (saturated fats come primarily from animal food sources and tropical oils such as coconut and palm oil)
  • eliminate or reduce caffeine
  • alcohol in moderation or not at all
  • boost consumption of while plant foods to maximize intake of fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients (veggies, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and beans)
  • meet recommended intake of omega-3-fatty acids (include at least 2 fish meals per week of oily fish such as tuna or salmon; also flax seeds, walnuts)

Colorful fruits and veggies offer fiber, antioxidants,
and phytonutrients to reduce inflammation.
 Trying to focus on a plant-based diet is beneficial. Your mealtime plate should be 50% vegetables, 25% whole grains, 25% protein. Along with this, include a serving of lowfat dairy and a serving of fruit.

 
Specifically, dark green leafy vegetables daily, deep blue and purple food such as blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and pomegranates are beneficial.

 
Lifestyle factors also play a role in inflammation: do not smoke, get regular aerobic exercise, practice good oral hygiene, aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night, and find productive ways to cope with stress in your life.

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