30 Days of an Anti Inflammatory Diet
Inflammation, friend or foe? Well, the answer is, it depends. This blog series is going to be a week by week breakdown of an anti inflammatory diet I will follow for 30 days. This diet is not a specific plan I’m following along with like Whole 30 last month, but I will frame out some guidelines I will be following (in sections below).
Please note that I am undertaking this endeavor purely for experimental purposes. I am in generally good health, and I am not attempting to use diet as a therapeutic approach for a chronic inflammatory condition. Diet as a therapeutic approach for a chronic condition requires help from a professional, a food could be “healthy” or anti-inflammatory, but also cause allergy or sensitivity for certain people (for example).
All Content on this site is written for informational purposes only. Under no circumstances should this blog be used as replacement for professional medical, exercise, or nutritional advice. All information or ideas should be discussed with a licensed Physician, Healthcare Provider, Personal Trainer, or Nutritionist prior to implementation.
What is Inflammation?
There are two main types of inflammation the body can experience, acute and chronic inflammation. Examples of acute inflammation are swelling or bruising as a result of trauma, this is a natural and important bodily function for healing. A fever is another example of acute inflammation.
Chronic inflammation happens when an inflammatory response lingers for a prolonged period of time. Food allergies or sensitivities can be a source of chronic inflammation, if someone keeps consuming the particular food group they have the allergy or sensitivity to.
Autoimmune disorders can also be a source of chronic inflammation. Autoimmune disorders are conditions in which the body’s immune system mistakes cells and tissue as foreign invaders which need to be neutralized/eliminated. More information about chronic inflammation can be found here.
Foods Which Can Cause Inflammation
As mentioned above, any foods a person has an allergy or sensitivity to can cause an inflammatory response for that person. Below are foods that have been shown to contribute to inflammation, and therefor I will be avoiding as part of my diet:
- Added Sugar/High Fructose Corn Syrup.
- Transfatty Acids (spot these on a label by seeing the term “Partially Hydrogenated”).
- “Vegetable Oil”/processed seed oils. Please see my previous blog post for information on how to spot these oils.
- Processed Grain Products. (I will be entirely avoiding grain)
- Processed Meat Products (Bacon, Sausage, Lunch Meat, etc.)
- Fried Food.
Here is an article on some of the reasons why the foods above can cause inflammation.
Foods with Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Below are examples of foods and beverages which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. My plan for this diet is to consume at least 4 servings of foods from this group per day as part of my plan.
- Fatty Fish (Salmon, Sardines, Mackerel, Herring, others). Fatty fish are high in omega 3 fatty acids, which help offset inflammatory effects of high levels of omega 6 fatty acids contained in processed oils.
- Green Tea.
- Ginger, Garlic, Turmeric, Cinnamon.
- Leafy Greens.
- Hot Peppers.
- Cherries, Grapes.
- Dark Chocolate.
Please take a look at this article for more information on the specifics of why/mechanisms of these food’s anti-inflammatory properties, I am keeping it simple for the post in list format.
Let’s Talk About It [Video]
I will have a blog post each week, usually on Saturday, with a summary of my meals, exercise, challenges, tips, and benefits noted for that week. I am excited about incorporating more of these anti-inflammatory foods into my diet, look forward to providing updates as I go along!