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    How an Anti-inflammatory Diet Can Help You Feel Better

    Explore how an anti-inflammatory diet can improve your health. Learn about foods that reduce inflammation and the benefits you can expect.

    Anti-inflammatory foods

    A lot of the major health conditions that affect us have been linked to chronic inflammation.

    The good news is you can reduce inflammation and the harmful effects caused by it by making simple changes to what you eat.

    There are a lot of chronic health conditions that have been associated with increased inflammation:

    • Crohn’s Disease
    • Heart disease
    • High blood pressure
    • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
    • Multiple Sclerosis
    • Obesity
    • Psoriasis
    • Arthritis
    • Diabetes
    • Chronic pain
    • Ulcerative Colitis
    • Hashimoto’s Thyroid Disease
    • Autoimmune conditions

    The term 'anti-inflammatory diet' doesn’t refer to a specific diet regimen, but to an overall style of eating.

    The first thing you can do to reduce inflammation is cutting back on foods that cause it.

    An anti-inflammatory diet is one that includes minimally processed foods. That typically means staying away from anything that comes in a box or a bag, or anything that has a long list of ingredients, especially if the highest concentration of ingredients starts with sugar, salt, processed oil, or ingredients you don’t recognize.

    Examples of processed foods include:

    • Sweets, like commercial baked goods, pre-packaged desserts, ice cream and candy
    • Pre-packaged snack foods, like potato chips and microwave popcorn
    • Processed meats, including bacon, sausage, hot dogs, bologna, pepperoni, and salami
    • Processed cheeses, like nacho cheese dip and American cheese slices
    • Sugary drinks, including soda and sports drinks
    • Fried foods, like fried chicken and French fries
    • Refined carbs, such as white bread or pastries
    • Margarine or dairy products, these include shortening and lard. Plus many people are lactose intolerant and don’t realize it.

    While you think about cutting out processed foods, there are some kinds of food that actually decrease inflammation.

    A whole food is a one-ingredient food so think of things like apples, oranges, cucumbers etc.

    In addition to fruits and vegetables, other examples include:

    • Brown or wild rice
    • Fish (especially oily fish, such as salmon, tuna, herring, or mackerel).
    • Legumes, like dried beans and peas.
    • Nuts and seeds like almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds
    • Healthy fats like olive oil or avocado oil
    • Certain spices such as turmeric or cinnamon
    • Tea, especially green tea 

    You may not notice benefits right away, but some of the good things you will start to see from eating an anti-inflammatory diet include:

    • Clearer skin
    • Decreased muscle or joint pain
    • Decreased swelling in your hands and feet
    • Fewer headaches
    • Improved gastrointestinal symptoms (diarrhea, gas, nausea, stomach pain)
    • Improved sleep
    • Less anxiety, stress and/or brain fog
    • Less bloating
    • Lower blood pressure
    • Less itching
    • Lower blood sugar
    • More energy
    • Weight loss

    What you eat can benefit your health in a lot of ways. You can take control of your health by eating foods that will make you feel better.

    One of our certified Lifestyle Medicine providers can help you find out if an Anti-Inflammatory Diet is right for you.

    Click below to book an appointment with a Lifestyle Medicine provider.

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