Inflammation, a marker for heart disease and the cause of pain in our bodies, impacts millions of people. Not surprisingly, there is a strong link between inflammation and your diet. For example, a 1989 study found that foods like animal products, sugar, fat, salt, caffeine, and night shades (like tomatoes and eggplant), all worsen inflammation. Research has also found that the inflammatory part of dairy is protein, not the dairy fat. Do not despair, though. Thankfully, we can take control of our lives and fight inflammation with anti inflammatory foods.
In this post, I am going to briefly go over what inflammation is. Then, I’ll discuss the difference between acute and chronic inflammation, and which diet helps fight chronic inflammation best. I will also provide my favorite recipe for a combination of anti inflammatory foods: an anti inflammatory juice recipe.
What is Inflammation?
Inflammation is a part of the body’s biological response to harmful stimuli. These include pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants. It is the body tissues’ protective response in the immune cells and blood vessels. Inflammation is meant to eliminate the cause of cell injury, clear tissue damage, and begin tissue repair.
Acute Versus Chronic Inflammation
Inflammation can be either acute or chronic. Acute inflammation is the body’s first response. It starts quickly and becomes severe very fast. Symptoms include bronchitis, sore throat, cut on the skin, sinusitis, and more. Exercise can also result in acute inflammation.
Prolonged, or chronic inflammation, lasts for several months or years. It leads to a change in the type of cells at the site of inflammation. It can result from not removing whatever was causing the acute inflammation, an immune system attack on healthy tissue, or a chronic irritant that is not removed. Asthma, Rheumatoid arthritis, Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are all examples of diseases that include chronic inflammation.
As you can see, the body’s inflammatory response is extremely important and necessary. But when it turns into chronic inflammation, then there is something wrong.
Anti Inflammatory Foods: the Vegan Diet
Research has shown that the vegan diet is a very anti-inflammatory diet. A 2002 study found that in just one month, consuming a low-fat vegan diet severely reduced rheumatoid arthritis-related pain. Another study found that a raw vegan diet reduces join pain in rheumatoid arthritis patients.
In addition, obesity is strongly related to inflammation in the body. Since a health whole-food vegan diet keeps us thin, it is a great way to ward off chronic inflammation. Obesity is also linked to altered bacteria that reside in the gut and produce chronic inflammation. This can interfere with insulin signals and eventually lead to Type 2 diabetes. Studies have found that a certain type of bacteria is more commonly found in vegans and vegetarians. This bacteria plays a critical role in disease prevention, such as intestinal disorders, obesity, and inflammation.
Anti Inflammatory Foods: the Spices that are Research-Proven to Fight Inflammation
Dr. McDougall sites several studies that have been conducted since the 1920’s showing a vegan diet to be an effective treatment for inflammation-cased arthritis. Anti inflammatory foods include vegan foods that are high in carbohydrates, and low in fat. Vegetable oils, and all oils, are extremely damaging to the intestines, and suppress the immune system.
There are also particular anti inflammatory foods that have extra inflammation fighting capabilities.
4 amazing anti-inflammatory foods that can fight inflammation often better than drugs are:
- and turmeric
Now the cool thing is that you don’t need to use mega-doses of these incredible spices. These anti-inflammatory foods can work with just 1 small pinch in your salad, pasta, or even juice! That is what a recent study has found, and you can listen to more about it here.
But, if you want a powerful shot of anti inflammatory foods, this juice I am about to show you would be it. Quick, easy, and powerful, right in your home juicer. I have started using it lately to see how it would impact my menstrual cramps, since this recent study found that cramping during the monthly period is related to acute inflammation in the body. I will let you know of the results soon!
Anti Inflammatory Foods: Ginger Shots
This juice recipe is a wonderful way to get some turmeric and ginger into your system, two powerful anti inflammatory foods.
If you want to include turmeric in another format, or don’t have a juicer, you can download my incredible salad dressing recipe that also includes turmeric with black pepper, for maximum absorption.
- 3 pieces of turmeric (about 4 cm in length)
- 2 pieces of ginger (about 5 cm in length)
- 2 oranges
- 2 lemons
- A few shakes of black pepper
- Juice all ingredients in your slow-speed juicer. Make sure to switch between a piece of each for most efficient juicing.
- Add a few black pepper shakes at the very end, and drink quickly, on an empty stomach if possible.
- “Which Foods Fight Inflammation?” http://nutritionfacts.org/video/which-spices-fight-inflammation/
- Sobel D. Arthritis: What Works. New York, St. Martin’s Press, 1989.
4. Skoldstam L, Larsson L, Lindstrom FD. Effects of fasting and lactovegetarian diet on rheumatoid arthritis. Scand J Rheumatol. 1979;8:249-255.
- McDougall, J., et al., Effects of a very low-fat vegan diet in subjects with rheumatoid arthritis, J Altern Complement Med, 8, 71, 2002. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11890437
- “Divergent changes in serum sterols during a strict uncooked vegan diet in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.” Agren JJ, Tvrzicka E, Nenonen MT, Helve T, Hanninen O. British Journal of Nutrition, 2001 Feb; vol. 85, pp. 137-9.
- Glick·Bauer M, Yeh M·e The health advantage of a vegan diet: exploring the gut microbiota connection. Nutrients. 2014:6(11):4822-4838. Available at www.mdpi.com/20726643/6/11/4822/htm. Accessed March 25, 2015.
- Spices that help fight inflammation: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/which-spices-fight-inflammation/
- Inflammation and menstrual cramps: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/behindtheheadlines/news/2016-06-23-study-suggests-that-inflammation-is-behind-period-pain/
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