Dr Tracey Evans
Inflammation: The Silent Killer
How to manage inflammation through your diet for health and wellness
Inflammation is an important response for fighting infections and preventing illness. Unfortunately, inflammation also occurs in response to stress and anxiety, poor diet and much more. When the root cause of inflammation is left unmanaged and it lingers for too long it can then lead to many illnesses, including heart disease, cancer and diabetes all of which are risk factors for dementia. Here I will explain what changes can be made to the diet to help manage the effects of systemic and chronic low-grade inflammation.
Take charge of your health and wellness by making sure you are eating right!
Tip #1 - Fruit and Vegetables
Whenever you consider healthy options, fruit and vegetables will be on the list. This is because they are packed full of goodness in the form of vitamins and minerals. These micronutrients will provide antioxidants that will help keep inflammation in check!. Try to eat 2-3 portions of fruit and 5 portions of vegetables every day. Berries and red grapes are an excellent source of polyphenols which have anti-inflammatory properties and have been associated with lowering the risk of cancer. and supporting the health of your brain. Not only that your body will thank you for the fibre contained in fruits and vegetables, this helps keep your gut healthy and makes you feel fuller for longer - great if you are watching your weight!
Tip #2 - Whole Grains & Fibre
Whole grains include brown rice, oats, rye and quinoa. They are high in fibre and can contribute to a reduction in inflammation by feeding the ‘good’ bacteria of the gut. These guys are involved in reducing inflammation and should be taken good care of. Other foods high in fibre include onion, garlic, broccoli, beans, lentils, seeds and fruits, including apples and bananas.
You can further help grow the ‘good’ bacteria with probiotics, some foods include probiotics, for example Activia yogurts and Actimel, but they can also be found in fermented milk and vegetable products, including kimchi, sauerkraut and kefir.
Did you know?
Nobel prize-winning Russian biologist Elie Metchnikoff first proposed that bacteria may help people live longer after observing villagers in the Caucasas Mountains who were drinking fermented yogurt every day
Tip #3 - Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Not all fats are bad, in fact omega 3 fatty acids are particularly beneficial in reducing inflammation. You will find omega 3 in oily fish such as mackerel, sardines, pilchards, fresh tuna and salmon. Also good sources include flaxseeds, walnuts and avocado. The added benefit of the omegas are that they are particularly good for brain cells, helping create a nice fluid membrane to allow nutrients to enter the neurons and important signaling molecules to leave.
Tip #4 - Nature's Pantry
Green tea is a rich source of phenolic compounds which can reduce inflammation and act as anti-oxidants. You can also try infusing hot water or your tea with ginger, rosehip or fennel, these are all thought to reduce inflammation. Furthermore, turmeric holds anti-inflammatory properties, for maximum benefit it is best taken with black pepper. You can add turmeric to your cooking; drink warm milk infused with turmeric or make it in a tea with hot water, ginger and lemon - however it takes your fancy!
Tip #5 - What Not To Eat or Drink
If you want to avoid creating an inflammatory environment in your body, manage your alcohol consumption and reduce the intake of processed foods full of refined sugar, salt and unhealthy fats. These foods can also cause bowel irritation, so if you suffer with irritable bowel-like symptoms such as bloating gas, diarrhoea and/or constipation first check in with GP and then chat to me about a gut restoration programme to identify possible trigger-foods.
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