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Allergies, Inflammation, and Diet

August 28, 2014

food-like-you-ve-never-seen-it-before-sarah-illenbergerAllergies and Inflammation

Inflammation is the body’s response to the invasion of foreign particles. In case of autoimmune diseases, the body’s immune system triggers off an inflammatory response even in the absence of any foreign particles. This chronic inflammation leads to other severe health conditions like heart diseases, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, etc. In order to prevent this, it is essential to treat inflammation as early as possible. There are various anti-inflammatory drugs and medications available in the market.

However, some people are allergic to these anti-inflammatory drugs. Most doctors will leave them to their own devices. So, an effort is made to help those who are left to fend for themselves. There are several anti inflammatory foods that also effectively help in reducing inflammation.

Diet

Foods that cause inflammation are known as pro-inflammatory foods. Most of the times, foods rich in vegetable oils, spices, and sugars lead to inflammation. Most of the junk and processed foods like chips, fried foods, soft drinks, baked foods, etc. fall in this category and hence, lead to inflammation. Also, red meat and certain milk based products that are high in fat content result in inflammation. Therefore, it is essential to limit or avoid consumption of these foods.

There are several other foods that contain anti-inflammatory agents that help in reducing inflammation in the body. These are known as anti-inflammatory foods. Foods containing essential omega-3 fatty acids are very beneficial in treating inflammation due to its anti-inflammatory properties. It is mostly found in sea foods and fish. Secondly, curcumin (found in turmeric) and oleic acid (found in nuts like almonds) are other components found in certain foodstuffs which reduce inflammation. Also, several foodstuffs in the anti inflammatory diet contain antioxidants that inhibit reactions caused by oxygen.

People suffering from inflammation should plan their diet such that maximum anti-inflammation foods are included in the diet everyday. Anti-inflammatory foods also contain vitamins, proteins and other essential minerals. Most of the vegetables and fruits are rich in fibers and carbohydrates; fish and eggs contain good amounts of proteins; and nuts and seeds contain the essential oils and fats. It is recommended to have a cup of green tea everyday, as it also helps in reducing risks of heart diseases.

A simplified list of the anti-inflammatory foods which a diet menu should contain:

•Fruits and Vegetables – Try to include as much fresh fruit and raw vegetables as possible. These should constitute a major part of your diet. Go for red, yellow and green vegetables and fruits; the more colorful your plate, the better for you. While cooking the vegetables, avoid too much oil and prefer to steam or boil them to make a soup or spicy curry. Try to always use organically grown fruits and vegetables.

Vegetables
Bell Peppers, spinach, sweet potatoes, green beans, spring onions
olives, cauliflower, collards, mushrooms, asparagus
broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, fennel bulb
kale, kelp, leeks, turnip
Fruits
plums, watermelon, grapes, strawberries
Apples, oranges, black currants, blueberries, raspberries
papaya, guavas, kumquats, rhubarb, mulberries
Hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, advocados, peaches, kiwifruit, lemons

•Whole grains – Whole grain wheat (or spelt in case of wheat intolerance) and rice should be a part of the daily carbohydrate intake. Whole grain help in regulating blood sugar levels, as they are digested slowly and are absorbed gradually and completely by the body.

•Legumes – Legumes should also be included in the diet as they contain a high amount of necessary nutrients, such as potassium, folic acid and magnesium. They are also a good source of fiber, which helps to improve digestion.

•Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids – The essential omega-3 fatty acids are present in certain fish (oils), avocados, (extra) virgin olive oil and canola oil, nuts and whole soy foods. They are different from the usual unhealthy omega-6 fatty acids that are present in a lot of the common junk and fried foods that we eat. The omega-6 fatty acids should be avoided, replaced instead with the foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

•Meat and Fish – Salmon, tuna, cod, white fish, sardines.

•Low Fat Dairy and Poultry Items – These should be taken in moderate amounts but must be included in your daily diet, as they contain numerous essential nutrients. Always choose low fat organic milk and cheeses. Prefer lean meats such as free range chicken. Avoid fatty food, wherever possible.

•Soy Foods – Soybean is an excellent source of protein that should be included in your diet. Soy products contain antioxidants and help prevent cancer. Foods that could be had are tofu, soy milk and the soybeans themselves.

•Healthy Spices – Healthy spices like turmeric, ginger and garlic with herbs like oregano, parsley, basil, rosemary and thyme can be used to add flavor to your diet and also help you fight inflammation.

•Teas: Teas such as green tea, oolong tea and white tea are known to contain a number of antioxidants and other cancer fighting compounds.

•Supplements – You could use some supplements to make sure that you are not missing any necessary nutrients. You could take multivitamins or minerals as supplements to get complete nutrition. Also if you don’t eat fish, you could take fish oil supplements.

•Red Wine and Dark Chocolate – These are a few indulgences you can allow yourself. If you need to drink, then choose red wine and if you desperately crave chocolate, then prefer the ones with up to seventy percent cocoa for the most benefits.

More tips:
•At least for the first two weeks, stick to organic foods for maximum results.
•Avoid dairy products, fried foods, processed foods, alcohol, citrus fruits and red meat.
•Eat a lot of raw foods like fresh fruits to provide the body with essential fibers.
•Stick to (virgin) olive oil for cooking oil; extra virgin olive oil is used for cold foods, like salads.
•Eat 1 – 2 cups of cooked grains daily. Some of the grains allowed in an anti-inflammatory diet menu are brown rice, basmati, barley and millet.
•Steamed vegetables will help reduce the irritating matter present in the gut.
•Try to eat a variety of deep sea fish, like salmon, cod and tuna.
•Eat a lot of nuts, but avoid peanuts. Eat as much variety of legumes, as you can. Legumes include kidney beans, soybeans, mung beans, split peas, lentils, aduki and azuki beans.
•No sugar or sweeteners are allowed, only small quantities of rice or maple syrup can be consumed.
•Drink plenty of water (around 3 liters) on a daily basis.
•Herbal tea is a good source of antioxidants, so drink 2 cups of herbal tea everyday.

Source: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/anti-inflammatory-foods.html

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