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Inflammation Control with Foods!


1. Using Food to Reduce Inflammation

Special Thanks to Janice Davidson, MPH, RD for her contributions to this article.

Although most people understand the general importance of eating a healthy diet to prevent cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer, many people are unaware that the foods they eat can also affect joint health and inflammation. Specifically, some foods can increase inflammation in the body and decrease healing, while others can have an anti-inflammatory effect and promote healing.

The ability of a food to either increase or decrease inflammation is dependent on its nutrient makeup. A significant amount of research has been done in the last decade examining the anti-inflammatory benefits of nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, lycopenes, bioflavanoids and anti-oxidants. Eating foods that supply these nutrients can decrease inflammation, support the immune system and promote healing.

This seems simple enough, but the general public doesn't necessarily know which foods contain these healing, anti-inflammatory nutrients. To assist you in determining which foods help decrease inflammation and which increase inflammation, we have prepared a list of foods to include and foods to avoid. The foods in the “Foods to Include” list are high in anti-inflammatory nutrients. Those in the “Foods to Avoid” list have components, such as saturated fats which increase the inflammation in the body.

Foods to Include in the Diet

  • barley
  • buckwheat
  • dark leafy greens (Swiss chard, collard greens, kale, spinach, beet tops, parsley)
  • green drinks: fresh vegetable juice, green superfood concentrates)
  • fish (anchovies, bluefish, halibut, herring, lake trout, mackerel, salmon, sardines, shark, sturgeon, albacore and blue fin tuna)
  • flaxseeds
  • fruit (limit citrus), especially fresh pineapple a natural anti-inflammatory
  • legumes
  • millet
  • oats
  • vegetables, (especially tomatoes, which are high in lycopenes - a natural anti-inflammatory) high in antioxidants for healing.

Foods to Avoid in the Diet

  • alcohol
  • aspartame (NutraSweet)
  • butter
  • caffeine
  • carbonated beverages
  • citrus (limit to 2 / day)
  • coffee
  • dairy products
  • meat (especially red meats)
  • monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • nuts (except almonds and walnuts)
  • parmesan cheese
  • sugar, (white, brown)
  • tea (caffeinated)
  • white flours (English muffins, enriched white flour, French bread, bagels, instant oatmeal)

Oils to Include in the Diet

  • black current
  • borage
  • flaxseed
  • olive
  • primrose

Oils to Avoid in the Diet

  • hydrogenated oils (mostly found in processed and baked goods)
  • margarines
  • corn oil
  • shortening and lard

Consult your health practitioner on all medications, herbs and supplements you are taking. Consult your health professional before beginning The Enzyme Diet or any other diet or exercise program. Some herbs can react with medications, both prescribed and over the counter, and some herbal combinations can cause serious side effects.

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Jeffrey T. Maehr, D.C. (Ret.)
Certified Nutritional Microscopist
Wholistic Nutritional Consultant

Email: drhealth (at) purehealthsystems (dot) com

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The information given within these pages is designed to help you make informed decisions about your health. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice or treatment that may have been prescribed by your physician. Please remember that true health involves addressing all the systems of the body, and not just using one particular product as your hope for good health. Before adhering to any of the information or recommendations, you may want to consult with your personal health care professional. Understand that you are solely responsible for the way that this information is perceived and utilized, and do so at your own risk. In no way will Pure Health Systems or Jeffrey T. Maehr be responsible for any injuries or problems that might occur due to the use of this web site, the advice contained within or the products offered. IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS, PLEASE ASK YOUR HEALTH CARE PRACTITIONER!

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