Inflammation is a natural process that helps your body heal and defend itself from harm. However, inflammation is harmful if it becomes chronic. Chronic inflammation may last for weeks, months, or years — and may lead to various health problems. That said, there are many things you can do to reduce inflammation and improve your overall health. You may be able to reduce and prevent inflammation by choosing certain foods and drinks while avoiding others. Anti-inflammatory foods can include fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats.
General Anti-Inflammatory Diet Tips:
- Eat an abundance of fresh, fibrous, whole foods to include:
- Whole grains
- Nuts and seeds
- Incorporate Omega-3’s and healthy fats such as:
- Olives and olive oil
- Wild caught fish such as Salmon
- Minimize your consumption of excess alcohol, processed foods, added sugars, and fast foods
Making The Shift:
Don’t try to suddenly switch to a new eating style. Start by slowly making changes so that these become more of a lifestyle shift rather than “going on a diet”. Incorporate the concept of “crowding out.” By prioritizing putting nutrient-dense foods on your plate, you’ll have less and less room for nutritionally void foods. When choosing foods to add to your diet, try eating fewer foods that come from packages and more that come from the ground. Ask yourself, was this made in a plant or from a plant?
Apply that approach to each meal. For breakfast, you might have a fruit smoothie or oatmeal with a few berries; for lunch, a salad of dark leafy greens with colorful vegetables topped with beans, nuts, and seeds; for dinner, a lean protein, more colorful vegetables, and a fiber-rich starch. The more color and variety you add to a meal, the more natural inflammation-fighting compounds you’ll consume.
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