I have wrote numerous posts about the detrimental effects of inflammation, and how it is the root cause of many diseases such as arthritic, cancer, obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and heart disease.
A recent article in Today's Dietitian, which is a favorite journal of mine, outlined pro and anti inflammatory nutrients for you to add to your diet and eliminate from your diet to combat chronic inflammation and lead to a healthier you!
Pro inflammatory nutrients
- Excess calorie intake – taking in large amounts of calories stimulates adipose (fat) tissue growth and these cells give off pro inflammatory markers. Also, it promotes abdominal obesity which increases risk for diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. Studies have shown that consuming 20-25% less calories resulted in lower levels of serum inflammatory markers, reduced body fat, increased glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, and improved lipoprotein profiles.
- Low fiber, high sugar starches – These foods which have a high glycemic index stimulate pro inflammatory markers production and increase your risk from death from inflammatory disease by three times.
- Trans fatty acids – By now, you should know not to consume these AT ALL. It is a risk factor for sudden cardiac death and they induce an inflammatory response in cardiac tissue.
- Saturated fatty acids – these fatty acids found in butter, and animal products stimulate macrophage production and secretion of pro inflammatory cytokines and leads to increased body fat.
- Omega 6 fatty acids – found in soybean ,corn, safflower, sunflower oil, and therefore fried foods. It is the precursor to pro inflammatory eicosanoids, and they are active in the inflammatory process. Although necessary for us, the typical American diet provides way more than we need. A good alternative is olive oil.
- Omega 3 fatty acids – Found in fatty fish such as salmon, fish oil supplements, flax seed oil, and chia seeds. They stimulate the synthesis of anti-inflammatory eicosanoids and reduce pro inflammatory cytokines, they also inhibit pro-inflammatory signaling.
- Ascorbic Acid – Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidants that defends cells. It reduces tissue damage at inflammation sites and is negatively associated with pro inflammatory CRP and IL-6.
- Vitamin E – Vitamin E from food, not from supplements, scavenges free radicals, prevents lipid oxidation, inhibits release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and reduces CRP levels. It is also inversely related to plasma levels of pro-inflammatory markers.
- Prebiotics and probiotics - prebiotics found in chicory, Jerusalem artichokes, onions, and as inulin in foods and supplements and probiotics found in cultured dairy such as yogurt and kefir decrease the activity of pro-inflammatory cytokines and increase levels of inflammatory markers. They have also shown to allevita symptoms of IBD and ulcerative colitis.
10 Ways foods can reduce inflammation
- Eat more fruits and vegetables
- Cook with virgin olive oil
- Snack on walnuts instead of chips
- Eat whole grain cereal such as oatmeal, and replace refined grains with wholegrain such as swapping white rice and white bread for brown rice, barley, and whole wheat bread.
- Eat fatty fish such as salmon 2-3 times per week
- Eat less fast food, since they use pro inflammatory oils
- Swap out white potato for sweet potato
- Cut down on sugary drinks sich as juice and soda and increase your water intake
- Eat more lentils and beans, and less red meat.
- Have dark chocolate and fresh berries for dessert instead of baked goods.