Inflammation is an intrinsically beneficial event that leads to removal of offending factors and restoration of tissue structure and physiologic function. It is our body’s first response to injury and disease. Over time, inflammation can harm the body and may cause disease. Poor habits and lifestyle including smoking as well as poor exercise, sleep and eating habits can increase risk of inflammation. You must have heard that abdominal fat is worse for you than hip and thigh fat, more likely when we see someone carries a lot of extra weight around their waist, a lot of it is on the inside, around our abdominal organs. These abdominal fat cells, or adipocytes, are not just sitting there being fat! They are metabolically active, especially when they are over-nourished which causes them to act like injured tissue, and release a lot of damaging hormones, like tumor necrosis factor, IL-6 and free radicals. These hormones can cause tissue damage elsewhere in the body, like the inside of your blood vessels, hence the anti-inflammation diet should include increased efforts to reduce belly fat such as weight loss for an overall effectiveness. Mention below foods can help you fight inflammation in different parts of your body.
- Phenolic acids-protect against oxidative damage. Found in tea, coffee, berries, plums, cherries, apples.
- Flavonoids-work as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. Flavones, flavanones, isoflavones, anthocyanins, flavonols and flavanols.
- Stilbenes- anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory agent; resveratrol is the most common, found in grape skins, blueberries and cranberries.
- Lignans-decrease inflammatory markers and are phytoestrogens. Found in flax, sesame; and small amounts in algae, grains, legumes and some vegetables and fruits.
- Adequate intake of antioxidant vitamin C and E decreases pro-inflammatory effects of free radicals. Vitamin D has anti-inflammatory effects in the gastrointestinal tract and elsewhere.
- Whole grains such as brown rice, whole/ cracked wheat, quinoa, buckwheat, millet and farro helps you improve your digestive system and in turn reduces inflammation.
Diets which has Legumes in the form of: black, pinto, navy, adzuki, kidney, garbanzo, mung, lentil, split pea, fermented soy, Vegetables as: carrots, celery, cucumber, kale, spinach, arugula, beets, winter squash, yams, broccoli, cauliflower, parsley, cilantro, collards, mushrooms, radish, bok choy, onions, garlic, tomato, peppers, Fruits as : berries, apples, peaches, pears, grapes, plums, cherries, persimmons, figs, dates, avocados, olives, citrus, Grains: millet, rice, quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, oats, barley, rye, wheat, Meats as: cold water fish, grass-fed lamb and beef, pastured poultry and eggs, Nuts and Seeds as: almonds, walnuts, pecans, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, sunflower, flax, pumpkin, chia, sesame and Spices as: turmeric, ginger, pepper, saffron, black cumin (nigella), Also the Dairy products such as : yogurt, kefir, artisanal cheeses and herbs in the form of green tea, coffee or chocolate are all good inflammatory diet intake.
Several nutrients have an anti-inflammatory effect, such as fiber (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes), healthy fats (avocado, olive oil), omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, walnuts) and antioxidants (colorful fruits and vegetables). This type of diet lowers the risk of overweight/ obesity, heart disease, diabetes, stroke and other chronic diseases.