What Does An Anti-Inflammatory Diet Look Like?Published Date::
A well balanced anti-inflammatory diet plan, along with exercise & good sleep provide many benefits such as: decreased depression, reduction of inflammatory markers in your blood, better blood sugar & cholesterol, & a clear mind. Because who doesn’t want to start every day with a clear mind?!
What Is Inflammation?
Inflammation happens in our bodies, when the immune system notices that something is wrong, such as bacteria or viruses. As a result, chemicals from the body’s white blood cells enter the blood or the tissues to protect them from whatever is causing the inflammation.
Although inflammation is a protective mechanism for our body to fight off diseases, too much inflammation in the body can be harmful. Inflammation results as pain, swelling, bruising or redness, for example. It can also affect the systems of the body that we cannot see.
Inflammation can also be caused by lifestyle factors, such as smoking and drinking alcohol. This is why it is important to know what an anti-inflammatory diet looks like, to know what is the best for your body and health. And just to clarify, an anti-inflammatory diet is more like a lifestyle, not a diet. It focuses on nourishing the body from the inside out, in the best way possible.
Benefits of Anti-Inflammatory Foods
What you put in your body (& what you don’t) has a direct correlation to your body’s inflammatory response. A diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods, specifically foods high in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, are very effective at diminishing inflammation.
Studies show that a mediterranean diet, which is high in vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains and healthy oils, is known to reduce the inflammation in the body. It contains foods that contain natural antioxidants and polyphenols. These are protective compounds that are found in plants.
On top of lowering inflammation, a less processed, clean and healthy diet can have massive effects on physical and mental health as well. It is also shown that fermented foods, such as pickles, kimchi and tempeh are great for anti-inflammation and also for the function of the brain.
One thing to always remember is that consuming more fruits, veggies, and plant based foods is the easiest way to ensure you’re following an anti-inflammatory lifestyle!
Here are some foods that we suggest:
- Leafy Green Vegetables (Kale, Broccoli, Spinach, Detox Greens, etc.)
- Berries and vibrant fruit (The Quench)
- Turmeric/Ginger (Sunrise and Gingersnap)
- Fatty Fish
- Green Tea
- Olive Oil
- Fermented Foods
Inflammatory Foods to Avoid:
- Food & Beverages with Added Sugar
- Junk Food, Fried Food, & Processed Meats
- Refined Carbs (things that the nutrients have been bleached out of - yikes)
- Artificial Trans Fats
- Excessive Alcohol
- Dairy, specifically cow's milk
Juicing for Inflammation
As you can see from the list above of the anti-inflammatory foods, it contains a lot of greens, veggies, fruits and berries. Cold-pressed juices are a great way to consume these nutrients from vegetables and fruits. Because of the cold-pressed method, they are like a concentrated bottle of vitamins and minerals that help you fight against inflammation.
For example, The Clover (12 oz bottle) contains actually 2-3 pounds of raw produce (kale, celery, cucumber, spinach etc.) in every bottle! You can always start your morning with eating this amount of greens, but we think it might be easier with delicious cold-pressed anti-inflammatory juices. Cold-pressed juices from Little West are also easy to carry and enjoy on the go.
Anti-Inflammatory Diet Tips
In addition to a healthy anti-inflammatory diet plan and anti-inflammatory juices, we have a few more tips that can help you fight against inflammation:
Exercise regularly & sleep enough
On top of improving metabolism and weight control, studies show that exercise can also improve the body’s anti-inflammatory response by activating the sympathetic nervous system. Disrupted sleep is also associated with inflammatory responses, which is why sleeping enough is extremely important for the body to rest and heal.
Cut off excessive alcohol and smoking
Both alcohol and smoking cause inflammation in the body, by affecting the tissue, intestines and even causing inflammation in the joints. Heavy alcohol consumption can also lead to systemic inflammation, which happens when the immune system has to constantly defend the body.
Did you know that stress can cause inflammation as well? A study shows that stress can result in gut inflammation by altering intestinal physiological function. If you feel stressed or overwhelmed, try relaxation techniques like meditation, which is known to relieve stress.
Don’t know where to start? In our house we swear by starting each day with a veggie packed anti-inflammatory juice! If you’re thirsty for more info - click here to learn more about how to reduce inflammation & check out our Anti-Inflammation Juice Kit