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5 Steps To Follow an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

June 9, 2023

Inflammation is a natural response of our immune system to fight against infection and injury. However, when inflammation becomes chronic, it can lead to various diseases such as arthritis, heart disease, and cancer. Eating an anti-inflammatory diet can help reduce chronic inflammation and improve overall health. Here are five steps to follow an anti-inflammatory diet to get you started.

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Step 1: Focus on whole, plant-based foods

One of the primary components of an anti-inflammatory diet is consuming whole, plant-based foods. This means eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes. These foods are rich in antioxidants, fiber, and other nutrients that help fight inflammation. They can also help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.

Step 2: Minimize processed and high-sugar foods

Processed and high-sugar foods can increase inflammation in the body. These include foods such as processed snacks, sugary drinks, and desserts. Eating a diet high in these foods can lead to weight gain and increase the risk of chronic diseases. To minimize inflammation, it is best to limit these foods and focus on whole, nutrient-dense options instead.

Step 3: Incorporate healthy fats

Healthy fats, such as those found in fatty fish, nuts, seeds, and olive oil, can help reduce inflammation in the body. They contain omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to decrease inflammation and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. It is important to include these healthy fats in your diet while minimizing saturated and trans fats found in processed and fried foods.

Related: What Are the Essential Fatty Acids, and How Can You Get Them?

Step 4: Choose anti-inflammatory herbs and spices

Herbs and spices have been used for centuries to treat various health conditions, including inflammation. Some of the best anti-inflammatory herbs and spices include turmeric, ginger, garlic, and cinnamon. These can be added to meals or consumed as teas to help reduce inflammation in the body.

Step 5: Stay hydrated

Drinking enough water is important for overall health, but it can also help reduce inflammation. Dehydration can lead to increased inflammation in the body, so it is important to consume enough water throughout the day. Other hydrating beverages such as tea and coconut water can also be consumed to aid in hydration.

Additional tips

Here are some additional tips to help you follow an anti-inflammatory diet:

  • Eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables to get a range of antioxidants and other nutrients.
  • Choose whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat bread instead of refined grains.
  • Limit your intake of red meat and instead focus on lean protein sources such as chicken, fish, and tofu.
  • Avoid or limit alcohol consumption, as it can increase inflammation in the body.
  • Consider adding probiotics to your diet, such as in the form of yogurt or kefir, to support gut health and reduce inflammation.

By following these steps and incorporating anti-inflammatory foods and habits into your diet, you can reduce chronic inflammation and improve your overall health. It is important to remember that small changes can make a big difference, so start by making a few changes at a time and gradually work towards a healthier diet and lifestyle.

Read next: 9 Food Swaps to Make to Heal Inflammation in Your Body, Say Dietitians

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