Inflammation is a silent killer that affects almost everyone. It is important to decrease inflammation levels as much as possible. One of the best ways to do so is through nutrition. Nutritional deficiencies in your diet can be a major driver of inflammation.
When the body does not receive essential vitamins and minerals from your diet it puts the body in a state of high stress. Therefore, it is recommended to consume a minimum of 6 servings of vegetables and fruits a day to ensure you receive all the necessary nutrients in order to reduce inflammation.
Eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables will ensure you receive your daily minimum of 20 grams of fiber. It is recommended to consume at least 20 grams of fiber because diets rich in fiber decrease inflammation by providing naturally occurring anti-inflammatory phytonutrients.
Some of the best whole-food sources of fiber include bhindi (okra), onions, eggplant, amrood (guava) and apples.
It is important to eat real food to properly nourish the body. Limit refined carbs and sugar. Skip the white bread, pasta, and candy. Go for nutrient dense carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes, quinoa, lentils, buckwheat, bajra (millet), rice, and fresh fruit.
Switch from white sugar and artificial sweeteners to natural phytonutrient-rich sweeteners such as gur (unrefined sugar), coconut sugar, honey, or maple syrup. These swaps will help manage blood sugar by mitigating blood sugar spikes. Elevated blood sugar causes major inflammation in the body.
Consume healthy fats in order to nourish the brain and hormones. Limit the consumption of canola, corn, soy, and vegetable oils that contribute to inflammation. Instead, opt for polyphenol-rich olive oil or lauric acid-rich coconut oil.
These oils may decrease risk of cancer and can boost the immune system. Another amazing cooking fat is ghee. Ghee has been used in ayurvedic medicine for centuries and has countless benefits. Nuts, seeds, coconut meat, olives, and avocados are also great sources of nourishing healthy fats.
Studies have shown that high consumption of omega-3 fatty acids may aid in decreasing risk of chronic diseases by lowering inflammation levels. The best sources of omega-3 fatty acids include flax seeds, walnuts, salmon, sardines, mackerel, etc. It is recommended to eat fresh fish at least three times a week in order to receive enough omega-3 fatty acids.
Another important note is to eat if you are hungry. Listen to hunger cues because your body knows best. Skipping meals or pushing back meal times wreak havoc on your system. If you’re staving off hunger in order to lose weight, that could prove quite detrimental for your body.
Ignoring your hunger could potentially make you hold on to fat because of the inflammation it leads to in your body. Your body will store the fat instead of burning it as a way of protecting itself from the stress of starvation.
Integrating more advantageous anti-inflammatory foods while reducing inflammatory foods in your diet may make a profound difference to your overall health and longevity.
An anti-inflammatory diet may increase your metabolism and aid in delaying the aging process while also protecting you from debilitating, chronic illnesses.
The writer is a certified functional nutritionist