Using Food to Help Fight Inflammation

I workout and eat healthy as often as I can. It’s because I enjoy it and value how it makes me feel from the inside, out, but it is also because I have grown up not being so healthy.

It can be so easy to rely soley on what your doctors have prescribed to you, thinking if you take the medication you will be “cured”. However, I know from personal experience that you are your own doctor. Medication can surely help your symptoms and can often times cure certain ailments but sometimes the best medicine comes from you owning your own health. This can be done in several ways and one way is through being conscious of what you are feeding your body.

According to Dr. Frank Hu, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, “Many experimental studies have shown that components of foods or beverages may have anti-inflammatory effects.”

If you are living off of your favorite fast foods (Hey, I live in LA, I know about the abundance of burgers and late night taco trucks), you may be doing yourself more harm than you might think. If you are consistent about this, the results will show and they may not be pleasant. You may experience, the most obvious, an increased waistline, but the more dehabilitiating outcome, is an acceleration of inflammation in your body.

There are certain scientifically proven foods that either promote or fight off inflammation. A few of which are listed below:

Foods that promote inflammation

  • Refined carbohydrates such as white bread and pastries
  • Fried foods (this includes french fries!)
  • Soda and other sugary drinks
  • Red meat and processed meat (hot dogs, sausage)
  • Margarine and any type of shortening or lard

Foods that fight off inflammation

  • Tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Green, leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach
  • Nuts such as almonds and walnuts (unsalted, please :))
  • Fatty fish (that contain your omegas) such as salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines
  • Fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges

In essence, if you aim for an overall healthy diet (one that looks similar to the Mediterranean diet – which is high in fruits, veggies, nuts, whole grains, and fish) you can not just reduce levels of inflammation but can see the byproducts of this healthy diet in your skin, weight, mood, and overall quality of life.

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