Normal inflammation hurts.
For example, when you have a cut or a bruise you have swelling, redness and pain. Silent inflammation is not painful and can be found in the internal tissues and organs. Silent inflammation can be reversed with a change in diet. Increased refined carbohydrate consumption and vegetable oil causes silent inflammation. Also, if there is not enough Omega-3 consumption silent inflammation occurs.
Managing your glycemic load is very important to reduce inflammation. This can be achieved by eating foods that slowly distribute their sugars into your blood stream.
Foods to introduce to your diet to decrease inflammation:
Make good fatty choices such as using olive oil, olives, macadamia nuts, almonds and avocados. Increase fish consumption and poultry as meat choices. Increase your intake of Omega-3 fats to a level of 7.5-10 grams a day. Remember – when you purchase fish oil capsules there are two measurements. One is the Omega-3 and the other is Omega-6 so you want to focus on the Omega-3s.
Foods that increase inflammation:
Reduce your consumption of trans-fats and saturated fats by cutting back on highly processed foods, red meats, and high-fat processed meats such as bacon and sausage. Cut back on refined white flours in bread and pasta (look for 100-percent whole-grains instead). Eliminate added sugars by decreasing your consumption of sugary sodas, pastries, candy, rich desserts and pre-sweetened cereals.
Another possible source of irritation comes from the nightshade family of plants, which includes potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplant. These vegetables contain a chemical alkaloid called solanine, which can trigger pain in some people.
An example diet plan:
Choose fresh foods more often and choose fewer heavily processed foods. For breakfast, try oatmeal served with fresh berries and walnuts. Snack on whole fruits, nuts, seeds, and fresh vegetables instead of cookies and candy. Eat more fish and less fatty red meat. Have a salad with lots of fresh vegetables as your meal. Stay away from deep-fried foods; bake, broil, poach or stir-fry instead. Choose dark green or brightly colored vegetables as side dishes -- they should fill half your dinner plate.
Here is the food pyramid created specifically for an anti-inflammatory diet:
In many cases, herbal anti-inflammatories provide the same kind of relief as pharmaceuticals — without the scary side effects. Here are some of the best-known herbal anti-inflammatories:
- Cayenne (Capsicum annuum, C. frutescens)
- Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)
- Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
- Sage (Salvia officinalis, S. lavandulaefolia)
- Tea (Camellia sinensis)
- Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
- Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
Vitamins and Minerals
In addition to fish oils, supplement your diet with the following antioxidant cocktail:
- Vitamin C, 200 milligrams a day.
- Vitamin E, 400 IU of natural mixed tocopherols (d-alpha-tocopherol with other tocopherols, or, better, a minimum of 80 milligrams of natural mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols).
- Selenium, 200 micrograms of an organic (yeast-bound) form.
- Mixed carotenoids, 10,000-15,000 IU daily.
- The antioxidants can be most conveniently taken as part of a daily multivitamin/multimineral supplement that also provides at least 400 micrograms of folic acid and 2,000 IU of vitamin D. It should contain no iron (unless you are a female and having regular menstrual periods) and no preformed vitamin A (retinol). Take these supplements with your largest meal.
- Women should take supplemental calcium, preferably as calcium citrate, 500-700 milligrams a day, depending on their dietary intake of this mineral. Men should avoid supplemental calcium.
Clean out your kitchen!
Remove any breakfast cereal, flour, crackers, cookies, breadsticks, bagels and other high glycemic foods. It may be hard to do…but just get a trashcan and do it! Next, remove Crisco, lard, corn oil, candy and other fats.
What can you add to your kitchen?
Try to stay away from canned fruits and add fresh fruits to your grocery list. If fresh vegetables are not available you can certainly use frozen vegetables. Add low fat cottage cheese, canned tuna, salmon and protein powder to give a love fat protein boost to your diet. Try using extra virgin olive oil on your meats and vegetables and also on your salads. Snacking on almonds, pine nuts and cashews can help relieve any salty cravings and have low inflammation impact. But, if you only remember one thing to decrease inflammation it is to take your fish oil! If the changes seem overwhelming just make small changes a little bit at a time and soon you will find that you have revitalized your health and your lifestyle!