Inflammation is your body’s way of protecting itself from infection. When we think of inflammation we think redness, swelling, and pain, but sometimes inflammation can go unseen. Gone untreated, inflammation can cause long term damage on the body putting your overall well-being at risk. Major diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis are all associated with chronic inflammation.
Research shows that what we eat may help prevent and keep chronic inflammation under control and changing your food habits to accommodate an anti-inflammatory regimen is much easier than you’d think.
So what’s an anti-inflammatory diet, anyway?
Anti-inflammatory diets are similar to the heart-healthy Mediterranean Diet that is heavy on vegetables, fruits, whole grains and with less dairy and meat consumption. Here are some of GEM’s top tips to anti-inflammatory eating.
- Embrace plant-based foods. Try incorporating at least 7 servings of fruits and veg daily.
- Healthy fats in every meal. Think olive oil, avocado, and nuts staying away from margarine and shortening.
- Do what the mermaids do. Incorporate seafood twice a week, but avoid fried options.
- Reduce your red meat. If you’re a meat-eater consider substituting your weekly rib eye with fish, poultry or beans. When you do eat meat, go lean and skip processed meat options like hot dogs or sausages.
- Don’t be afraid of dairy. You can still eat cheese in moderation and incorporate dairy products like yogurt in your daily diet should you want to.
- Whole grains, always. Hearty, filling, and plain old good for you, whole grains are better sources of fiber and other important nutrients, like B vitamins, iron, folate, selenium, potassium, and magnesium.
- Natural flavor is your friend. Aside from making food taste great, herbs and spices like rosemary, turmeric, cayenne pepper, and sage have anti-inflammatory properties.
How do these foods protect you against inflammation? Well, things like berries and leafy greens contain protective compounds, like antioxidants, phytonutrients, and polyphenols. Plant-based foods, like the 13 ingredients in our nutrient-dense bites, are packed with this stuff!
Who should opt for this type of diet?
This diet is one of the most sustainable and easiest to abide by. Whether you suffer from chronic inflammation or not, adopting this mostly plant-based lifestyle offers a multitude of benefits unrelated to inflammation including the prevention of chronic diseases. If you are already living with a chronic disease you might want to seriously consider this lifestyle change.
Don’t let your diet impede you from feeling your best. Choosing the right anti-inflammatory foods can significantly reduce your risk of illness and it just so happens that GEM is chock full of them. If you’re unable to get your dose of whole food goodness regularly (a struggle for many of us), try incorporating something like GEM into your daily routine!