Last time, we looked at 6 of the top foods that caused inflammation. This is dangerous because inflammation causes a host of detrimental health effects. Let’s look at 6 habits that one can implement to counteract the negative effects of inflammation.
These habits are easily implemented and can offer a whole host of wonderful health effects that will have you feeling at the top of your game. The tips and tricks offered here are not meant to be an exhaustive list but can be helpful in starting the fight against inflammation!
- Phytonutrients – Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables that contain phytonutrients or plant nutrients. Phytonutrients contain substances that decrease inflammation and reduce cancer risk, atherosclerosis, and degenerative diseases associated with aging.
- Antioxidants which are found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains contain anti-inflammatory properties.
- Dietary Fiber – Increasing fiber intake especially in the form of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and legumes can help reduce inflammation and disease risk. A study of 524 adults found that those that ate the most fiber (approximately 22 grams/day) had the lowest levels of C Reactive Protein. As fiber intake fell, CRP levels tended to rise. The daily recommendation for fiber is 20-35 grams; most people get half of that amount. To make sure you are getting plenty of fiber in your diet, include a good variety of fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.
- Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil are the most potent non-prescription substance available to suppress the formation of inflammatory prostaglandins (the substances that increase inflammation). Eating fish like salmon, trout, mackerel, and tuna from wild sources will give you an anti-inflammatory boost.
- Balance foods high in omega 6 fatty acids with foods high in Omega 3 fatty acids. Americans eat a greater amount of foods containing omega6 fatty acids, throwing this balance out of kilter. Omega 6 fatty acids are found in polyunsaturated fat and Trans fat which is used in many processed baked goods, snack foods, chips, processed packaged rice, pastas, and other instant foods.
- Eat more foods rich in alpha-linolenic acid. These foods include walnuts, flaxseed, canola oil and fish containing omega 3 fatty acids. All of these foods have been shown to decrease inflammation.
Terry is a Spokane native and received her B.S in Food and Nutrition from Eastern Washington University. She has worked as a Registered Dietitian for the last 25 years in the field of Nutrition Education and Disease Prevention. Terry began her dietetics career at Holy Family Hospital and served as Chief Clinical Dietitian, she has been on staff with The American Cancer Society, and the Washington State Dairy Council. For the past 15 years she has worked as a Private Nutrition Consultant to the Washington Dairy Farmers, the YMCA, The Wellness Workshop, KXLY television, as well as a local media spokesperson, a featured newspaper columnist, and conference speaker. From 1991-2006 Terry was a Nutrition Consultant in private practice at South Hill Family Medicine, she is now a coordinator for Washington State Universities Food $ense program. Terry is a member of the American Dietetic Association, The Greater Spokane Dietetic Association, and the Nutrition Entrepreneurs Practice Group. She is also a member of The Healthy Families/Active Kids Coalition, a community consortium that works to promote healthy lifestyles for children and families in the Inland Empire.