Dr. Dawna Ara, DACM

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5 Simple Tips To Follow An Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Been told you have inflammation? Then try an anti-inflammatory diet for a couple months. You’d be surprised how easy it is and how much better you’d feel after just a couple of days.

What is inflammation?

Inflammation is defined as a localized protective reaction of tissue to irritation, injury, or infection, characterized by pain, redness, swelling, and sometimes loss of function. Acute inflammation is a good thing as our body is doing it’s job at healing an area or fighting an infection. However, when inflammation becomes chronic, it’s like a continuous slow burning fire in your body where not only sick tissues get destroyed, but healthy tissues can get “burned” or damaged as well by the overactive immune system. Having chronic inflammation is kinda like having a low grade infection or fever all the time.

Chronic or “hidden” inflammation has been linked to many diseases such as arthritis, heart disease, obesity, Alzheimer’s Disease, asthma, cancer, depression, anxiety, crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and many other diseases. Some even say inflammation is the root cause of all diseases. Chronic inflammation is silent, most people are not aware they have it. A person can have low grade chronic inflammation for many years without even knowing it!

Will I lose weight on an anti inflammatory diet?

The anti inflammatory diet is not a weight loss diet but excess adipose tissues (fat) is pro inflammatory because fat cells produce inflammatory cytokine proteins. So, following an anti inflammatory diet may help you drop a few pounds.

Many things can cause inflammation but the key here is that we can control it with the food we eat. Some of the foods we eat are pro inflammatory, meaning that they cause inflammation in the body, while other foods are anti inflammatory, meaning they help the body heal and stop the inflammation process.

Here Are 5 Simple Tips To Follow An Anti-Inflammatory Diet
  1. Avoid unhealthy fats
  2. Avoid processed food
  3. Add in more fruits and veggies
  4. Add in healthy fats like omega 3
  5. Add in antioxidant rich foods and supplements

Below you will find my list of anti inflammatory foods and pro inflammatory foods.

Anti-Inflammatory Good Foods List Pro-Inflammatory Bad Foods List
Vegetables: Green leafy vegetables such as kale, collard, chard, romaine, arugula, spinach, broccoli, onions, carrots, sweet potatoes, shitake mushrooms Vegetables: white potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, corn
Fruit: organic pesticide free fruit, blueberries, strawberries, peaches, papaya Sugar: white, brown, agave, maple syrup, sucanat
Fish: wild salmon, halibut Fish: shellfish
Nuts: almonds, cashews, brazil nuts Nuts: peanuts
Beans: black, pinto, mung, adzuki, lentils Canned foods: buy your food fresh
Grains: brown rice, millet, quinoa Refined Grains: white bread, white rice, pasta, gluten, wheat, rye, oats, kamut
Spices: cinnamon, rosemary, mint, basil, cloves, ginger, turmeric, parsley, oregano, garlic, kelp, seaweed Processed foods: breads, pastas, cereals, candy, chips
Fats/Oils: omega 3, flax oil, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, full fat organic butter or ghee Fats/Oils: cooking oils, vegetable oil, peanut, sesame, canola, trans fats
Dairy: clarified butter, ghee Dairy: milk, yogurt, cheese, margarine
Meat: organic hormone free meat Meat: commercial non organic meats and poultry, pork
Beverages: water, sparkling water, green tea Beverages: coffee, alcohol (wine, beer, hard liquor)
Supplements: omega 3, B complex, Vitamin C, CoQ10, alpha lipoic acid (ALA), L-glutamine, N-Acetyl Cystine (NAC), kelp, seaweed Food Additives: MSG, aspartame, excess salt
About Dr. Dawna Ara, DACM
Dawna is an acupuncturist, herbalist, functional medicine practitioner, a mom, wife, writer, nature lover, chef and whole foods advocate. She teaches her patients how to live a healthy lifestyle.