Epidemics of obesity, depression and heart disease are steadily on the rise.
Inflammation from our diet is fuelling these conditions and studies are proving this. Yes, inflammation is the underlying flame of many disease processes. We cannot see it inside our body, but we are eating foods that promote it.
“In two large population samples and a pooled analysis of 10 other studies, the researchers found people with high inflammatory diet scores had a 23% higher risk of premature death than those with low scores.’
There is inflammation within the body that is beneficial as it supports the healing process but most of us are experience excessive inflammation that is not the healing kind. A diet with high levels of red meat, processed foods, sugar, trans fats and additives paired with physical inactivity, excess alcohol and/or pharmaceutical drugs are proving a recipe which may lead to a fire of inflammation.
Recently a ground- breaking study – the CANTOS trial – found that an anti-inflammatory drug can reduce the risk of heart disease. But it is costly’. Says Arellano. Drugs are expensive and often come with side effects. Food is something we consume, three to five times per day. Why don’t we eat anti-inflammatory foods?
Evidence supports consuming a diet rich in polyphenols and anti-oxidants prevents inflammation. Salmon, extra virgin olive oil, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices work synergistically to reduce the risk and help prevent diseases.
Reduce inflammation with 6 easy choices:
- A2 protein in dairy. Replace our sweet tooth with a smoothie made with a2 Milk. This type of dairy milk is less inflammatory & eases digestion. Research is investigating the gastrointestinal dysfunction associated with mainstream, supermarket milk brands. Look for a2 Milk in the future in hopefully yogurts, ice creams and lots of our recipes.
- Turmeric. Turmeric is the king of our antioxidant anti-inflammatory spices. In clinical studies, turmeric extracts reduced oxidative stress, inflammation, pain and swelling in inflammatory joint conditions.Turmeric also shows therapeutic potential in many other chronic diseases.
- Tip: – Turmeric is poorly absorbed so add a little to food often. It is best absorbed with black pepper. Add grated turmeric to porridge, soups, casseroles, avocado, humus and whatever else takes your fancy. Try a Turmeric chai almond milk latte instead of a coffee (Bring water/milk to boil add chopped turmeric, ginger, cardamom, cloves, black pepper, cinnamon and add almond milk to taste).
- Ginger. The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger have been known and valued for centuries and are now backed up by modern scientific studies. Ginger works in the body in a similar way to NSAIDs. Ginger has been shown to be helpful in osteoarthritis and menstrual pain. Be mindful that ginger is a blood-thinner, so caution is needed with patients taking anticoagulants.
- Tip: – Grate a centimetre square of ginger into a tea pot or clean coffee plunger, add some slices of lemon, lime or orange. Add hot water and sip – also enjoy cold.
- Tip: – Try a bit of cinnamon, another wonderful antioxidant, on porridge or in buckwheat pancakes instead of sugar to add flavour. It’s also known to help with blood sugar regulation.
- Omega 3 & Extra Virgin Olive Oils. Sources of Omega 3 include extra virgin olive oil (our choice is Cobram) fish, walnuts, flaxseed (linseed), chia seeds. Choose grass-fed meats for a relatively higher level of omega 3 than grain-fed domesticated cattle. Daily omega 3 intake is linked to reductions in inflammation,, pain and could help to maintain cardiovascular health and have a preventative effect in other chronic diseases.
- Tip: – Have at least two serves of small oily fish a week, such as sardines or mackerel. Add two dessert spoons of ground flaxseed and some walnuts to muesli, porridge or smoothies for fibre, protein and omega 3s.
- Celery. Celery preparations have been used extensively for several millennia as a natural therapy for acute and chronic painful or inflammatory conditions. Recently, extracts from celery have been studied in the laboratory and have shown antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties.
- Tip: Try celery and ginger juice with ice and mint for a refreshing, cooling and calming drink.
- Teas (to calm the body and the mind) Mint and fennel tea are soothing to the digestive system.Add liquorice for sweetness. Liquorice is also a great herb with anti-inflammatory effects. Use liquorice with caution if there is a history of hypertension. Chamomile helps with sleep, reduces anxiety and is also anti-inflammatory, especially to the digestive system. Passion flower, valerian, hops and lemon balm are great for sleep and anxiety. Green tea is high in antioxidants and a gentle pick me up.
CREDIT: Innovation Toronto