Prevent Illness with the Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Research suggests inflammation may cause illness. Learn what to eat to reduce your body’s inflammatory response.


| May/June 2015



The Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Eat an anti-inflammatory diet to avoid chronic diseases, such as diabetes and cancer, that have been linked to chronic inflammation.

Photo by Veer

Many years ago, in my work as a naturopathic doctor, it became evident to me that many of the foods we eat daily aren’t good for us. When my clients made dietary changes and no longer ate foods to which they were unknowingly sensitive or allergic, they invariably began to feel better. Through years of experience, and with the help of nutrition science, I was able to devise diets that helped most patients. From this evolved my anti-inflammatory diet recommendations.

People often get excited when they begin this diet because nearly everyone who follows it sees some positive change. The diet was developed with the idea of reducing overall inflammation so the body can work more efficiently. As naturopathic physicians, many of my colleagues and I recommend this diet to every patient. I have seen arthritis patients reduce their pain; people with allergies become allergy-free; and sufferers of chronic diseases receive hope—all from health improvements upon beginning this diet. In addition to improving health in general, the anti-inflammation diet can help other treatments work better because overall metabolism and bodily function improve. 

Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Baked Mushrooms Recipe
Cold Asian Noodles Recipe with Smoked Salmon
6 Foods That May Contribute to Inflammation

Inflammation: What’s the Big Deal?

Inflammation is the immune system’s first response to infection or irritation. Acute inflammation is needed to help heal acute trauma, abrasions, broken bones or invasion of a foreign substance such as venom from a bee sting. The body reacts immediately to acute trauma with swelling, redness, pain and heat—important because they keep the body from doing further damage to the injury or wound. For example, if you break your wrist, the inflammation will force you to protect it from further damage that could occur if you used it or moved it too quickly.

On the other hand, chronic inflammation is an ongoing, low level of inflammation, invisible to the human eye, that usually occurs as a response to prolonged acute inflammation or repetitive injuries. We are now finding that chronic inflammation is associated with many diseases. Chronic inflammation leads to necrosis (tissue destruction) by the inflammatory cells and by certain other agents.

Researchers are finding more and more evidence linking chronic inflammation with chronic disease. We have seen a dramatic increase in noncommunicable diseases within the last decade, and that number is still rising. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), seven out of every 10 deaths are attributed to chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease (e.g., heart attack and stroke), all of which may have a direct nutritional connection.

tarapantera
6/2/2015 9:34:56 AM

I'm awfully surprised to see nuts, grains, eggs and legumes on this list...??? Look into http://autoimmune-paleo.com/ Personally, my inflammation kicks up with grains and dairy, but MANY people must avoid nuts, eggs and legumes as well if they have more serious inflammation (or an autoimmune disorder) than I do.


tarapantera
6/2/2015 9:22:13 AM

I'm awfully surprised to see nuts, grains, eggs and legumes on this list...??? Look into http://autoimmune-paleo.com/ Personally, my inflammation kicks up with grains and dairy, but MANY people must avoid nuts, eggs and legumes as well if they have more serious inflammation (or an autoimmune disorder) than I do.






elderberry, echinacea, bee hive

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