An anti-inflammatory diet is ideal for overall good health. That’s because it can reduce the risk of heart disease, keep existing cardiac problems in check, reduce blood pressure, improve cholesterol and soothe tender and stiff arthritic joints.
Chronic or out-of-control inflammation in the body leads to ill health. Especially in people with pre-existing illnesses, like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, certain cancers and Alzheimer’s disease may be triggered by inflammation. Inflammation has often been referred to as a silent culprit of many ailments. You may not have any symptoms until the illness surfaces.
Most American women’s diets include far too many foods rich in omega-6 fatty acids. These are found in processed and fast foods. The average woman eats far too few foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as those found in cold-water fish or supplements. When you have an imbalance of these fatty acids, inflammation can move in and take over, leading to some of the serious ailments mentioned above.
• Eat plenty of fruits and veggies. Especially those containing phytochemicals, super antioxidants found in many plant foods that are believed to help reduce inflammation. A great example is a tomato, paired with olive oil to help the body process it quicker. Yum!
• Eat foods low in saturated fat and reduce or eliminate trans fats from your diet.
• Choose good sources of omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish or fish oil supplements and walnuts.
• Lower the amount of refined carbohydrates that you eat such as pasta and white rice. It’s okay to eat it sometime, but not as a regular staple to your diet.
• Eat plenty of whole grains such as brown rice, bulgur wheat, quinoa or orzo.
• Eat protein at every meal but choose those foods that are lower in saturated fat, chicken, fish, some pork and even beef are great sources of protein. If you are watching your weight, be mindful of your portion size.
• Avoid refined foods and processed foods. Those foods found in a box usually contain a high amount of preservatives and sodium. Choose fresh or frozen foods whenever possible.
• Spice it up. Ginger, curry, and other spices can have an anti-inflammatory effect.