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Anti Inflammatory diet - what is it?

Discover why an anti-inflammatory diet could be just what you need to improve your overall health!

Inflammation is your body's normal response to harmful substances that enter the body. It helps fight infection and repair tissue damage. Really useful!

BUT when inflammation becomes excessive and chronic (long term), it can cause pain, swelling, and other symptoms that interfere with daily life.

An anti-inflammatory diet helps keep inflammation under control by limiting the amount of salt, sugar, and processed food in your diet.

What Are The Benefits Of An Anti-Inflammatory Diet?

There are many reasons why an anti-inflammatory diet is beneficial.

  • Reduces the risk of developing major diseases such as cancers, dementia, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer disease and type 2 diabetes.

  • Improves symptoms associated with the diseases listed above. With dementia and Alzheimer disease accounting for the highest level of deaths in the UK in 2018 (12.7%), it’s even more important than ever to make sure you are reducing the inflammation in your brain.

  • Helps improve symptoms from many other diseases including MS, Rheumatoid Arthritis, epilepsy and Crohn's Disease.

  • Promotes weight loss

  • Supports healthy ageing

  • Reduces the risk of infections and improves immune function.

Foods that Fight Inflammation

Eating the right foods can help reduce inflammation in your body. Foods that fight inflammation include whole grains, fruits, veggies, beans, nuts and seeds. These foods contain essential fatty acids (EFAs), antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that work together to reduce inflammation.

What are Antioxidants?

Antioxidants are naturally occurring compounds. They are produced in your body and are also found in colourful foods like fruit and vegetables. Antioxidants help prevent oxidative stress in the body by neutralising free radicals. These are unstable molecules that damage cells and DNA and then cause inflammation in the body.

Free radical damage is caused by ageing when the body’s natural supply of antioxidants is reduced. And also by smoking, drinking alcohol, high levels of exercise, eating processed foods and not getting enough sleep.

10 Foods to eat on an anti-inflammatory diet

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • Cruciferous vegetables including cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and kale

  • Berries

  • Dark chocolate (choose a low sugar brand)

  • Fatty fish - salmon, anchovies, mackerel, herrings & sardines

  • Avocados

  • Green tea

  • Turmeric

  • Walnuts

  • Flaxseeds or chia seeds

Foods that Cause Inflammation

It’s also really important to greatly reduce how often you eat foods that are inflammatory.

A diet high in processed meats, fried foods, sugar, fast foods and refined (white) grains can cause inflammation in the body. Eating these foods on a regular basis is linked to weight gain, obesity and increased risks for diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes.

Top Tips for Implementing an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

To help you implement these healthy habits into your life, here are some tips to keep in mind:

1) Consider trying intermittent fasting. It helps reduce inflammation in the body.

2) Eat more vegetables. Vegetables are packed with nutrients and fibre, so they fill you up while helping you feel full longer.

3) Cut back on sugar. Sugar is highly inflammatory because it spikes blood sugar levels, causing insulin resistance. Insulin resistance leads to increased inflammation.

4) Get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation has been linked to inflammation. Try to get at least 7.5 hours of sleep each night.

5) Drink lots of water. Water keeps your body hydrated and flush toxins from your system.

6) Eat more fibre. Fibre helps keep your gut in good shape.

7) Avoid processed food. Processed food contains harmful fats, sugars, preservatives and additives that cause inflammation.

8) Don't eat too much meat. Meat is high in saturated fat, which raises cholesterol levels and is inflammatory.

To move over to an anti-inflammatory diet, start with small steps. You don’t have to go cold turkey and cut out all processed foods right away. Instead, try eliminating one unhealthy food per week. Replace it with one of the delicious healthy foods listed above. This will give you time to adjust to the new lifestyle without feeling overwhelmed.

If you need support with forming your new health habits or need advice and support to make the dietary changes you need, why not consider booking Nutrition Breakthrough Session with me?

Nutrition Breakthrough includes:

  • comprehensive questionnaire completed before the session. This means you get the maximum benefit from the session. Time isn’t wasted on asking basic questions such as what you eat.

  • 60 minute one-to-one consultation. This can be online, by phone or in person (Crewe, Cheshire)

  • A copy of your personalised recommendations sent by email.

  • Follow up email to check your progress

  • 1 months access to Recipe Vault (online healthy recipes and meal plans)

Book here or check my website for more details.



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