When you’re unwell, feeling low and wretched, it can be hard to prepare a thoughtful, healthy meal for yourself.
It’s easier and sometimes more satisfying to reach for comfort foods.
If you’re on a mission to get well again, you need to avoid foods that can cause or worsen inflammation and instead fill your pantry with those foods that reduce inflammation.
Chronic inflammation is at the root of many human diseases including those of the heart and veins (cardiovascular), diseases of the lungs (pulmonary), auto-immune conditions when the body attacks its own cells and degenerative diseases like cancers, diabetes and Alzheimer's
Some foods contain ingredients that can either trigger or worsen your existing inflammation.
Immune cells are constantly circulating through our tissues acting as surveillance in case any damage is occurring. There are special immune cells around our digestive tract which monitor the food we consume. So, when we eat, there is an inflammatory response as they search for anything that may harm us. For a healthy person, eating a healthful meal, this ‘surveillance inflammation’ will subside soon after eating. On the flip side though, some foods contain ingredients that can either trigger or worsen your existing inflammation.
You’ll find the same old culprits that we’ve been warned about time and time again
Several studies suggest that people with high sugar diets have more inflammatory markers in their blood so may be increasing their risk of chronic inflammation. The same is true for diets high in saturated and trans fats. These foods can lead to a higher risk of chronic inflammation.
According to the Arthritis Foundation (USA), foods that could trigger or inflame chronic inflammation include sugary foods, that is, desserts, pastries, chocolate, and sugary drinks (Yes, that absolutely includes diet Coke and energy drinks!), saturated fats, such as in red meat, full fat dairy products, and rich desserts, trans fats, including in fast food, fried foods, sweet biscuits, and donuts, excess omega-6 fatty acids that are in corn oil, sunflower oil, and vegetable oil, refined carbohydrates, including some breads, white rice, and white potatoes and…an excess of alcohol! They’re all the same culprits we’ve been warned about time and time again.
If you want to follow an anti-inflammatory diet, you should avoid, or at least limit, your intake of:
- processed foods
- foods with added sugar or salt
- unhealthful oils
- processed carbs, which are present in white bread, white pasta, and many baked goods
- processed snack foods, such as chips and dry biscuits
- premade desserts, sweet biscuits, sweets, and ice cream
- excess alcohol
Fresh, simple, unprocessed ingredients are best.
So, if you want to make a real difference and give your body the best chance of recovery from chronic inflammation, you will need to make some significant changes to your diet. Your anti-inflammatory diet will ideally contain fruits and vegetables, foods containing omega-3 fatty acids, whole grains, lean meats, healthful fats, and spices. We all need food rich in nutrients and full of antioxidants, but for those suffering from chronic inflammation, the need is vital.
Foods that may help to manage chronic inflammation include:
- oily fish, such as tuna and salmon
- fruits like blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and cherries
- vegetables, either raw or moderately cooked, including kale, spinach, and broccoli
- legumes like alfalfa, clover, beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils, lupins, mesquite, carob, soybeans, peanuts, and tamarind.
- nuts and seeds
- olives and olive oil
- spices, such as ginger and turmeric
- probiotics and prebiotics
Include a variety of colourful and healthful ingredients in your diet because no one food will boost your health.
Depending on your condition, you may find it worthwhile limiting your intake of:
- Gluten: Some people experience an inflammatory reaction when they consume gluten.
- Nightshades: Plants belonging to the nightshade family, such as tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and potatoes, can trigger flare-ups in some people with inflammatory diseases.
- Carbohydrates: Some carb-rich foods, such as sweet potatoes and whole grains, are excellent sources of antioxidants and other nutrients, but for some people these may promote inflammation.
Turmeric Plus for Inflammation
Remember that inflammation, especially chronic inflammation has been associated with many human diseases. The turmeric spice, and the curcuminoids extracted from it, are widely used for the treatment of disorders associated with inflammation.
Traditional herbal medicine is based on the premise that the medicinal activity of herbal products is not due to a single chemical but the combined effect of all its parts. Turmeric Plus is a full herbal extract, so all 235 known phytochemical parts of the turmeric root are used in the extraction, not only the three well-known curcuminoids.
Added to this liquid extraction is ‘Curcumin C3 Complex’, a patented, standardised turmeric extract, used in many Turmeric supplements around the world.
Turmeric Plus also contains pure lemon oil, ginger extract and alcohol. Ethanol is used in the herbal extraction process and is considered by herbalists to be the most effective method of extracting and stabilising the phytochemicals. Don’t be alarmed by the ethanol. When a 5ml dose is diluted, it’s hardly detectable to the palate and is the alcohol equivalent of eating a ripe banana!
Information in this article was accessed through:
The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
Medical News Today
The American Arthritis Foundation
The Herbal Extract Company of Australia