Nutrition Video Series: Anti-Inflammatory Diets

An anti-inflammatory diet involves eating certain foods & avoiding others in order to minimize the risk and symptoms of chronic inflammatory diseases. Probably the most popular and most researched type of anti-inflammatory diet is the Mediterranean diet. The emphasis is on eating whole, minimally processed foods, and avoiding added sugar and refined grains in an effort to reduce chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is considered a major contributor in several diseases such as cardiovascular disease, IBD, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, alzheimer’s, & certain cancers.

  • Risk factors associated with chronic inflammation: Obesity, poor diet, stress & sleep disorders

  • Research: Research has linked this way of eating to reduced risk of heart disease, obesity, and improved symptoms of IBD & rheumatoid arthritis. The Mediterranean diet has been shown to reduce the effects of inflammation on cardiovascular system. A recent study found women with PMS symptoms were also significantly more likely to have elevated levels of C-reactive protein (sign of chronic inflammation), suggesting another group that may benefit from adjusting their diet to incorporate more anti-inflammatory foods.

  • What anti-inflammatory diets INCLUDE: large amounts of vegetables and fruit, followed by fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and other monounsaturated fats such as olive oil, avocado, nuts & seeds. Also includes whole grains (such as quinoa, brown rice) and legumes (such as beans, lentils.) Incorporates herbal teas and herbs/spices like garlic, ginger, and turmeric. Lean cuts of meats, dairy, red wine may be consumed in moderation (few times a week)

  • What anti-inflammatory diets LIMIT: added sugar, refined grains, trans fats, hydrogenated oils. May also exclude foods that you have an intolerance to, which should be determined by an allergy test not self-diagnosis.

  • Cons: I personally don’t see any cons to eating this way and feel more people should adapt an anti-inflammatory way of eating – while also incorporating other methods to reduce chronic inflammation such as getting enough sleep & finding ways to reduce stress.