Fight Inflammation with Food
By Sarah Axtell, ND • September 10, 2016
Inflammation is a healthy immune response to bacteria, viruses, and injuries. In an acute situation, such as a sprained ankle, inflammation is an important healing process. If left unchecked, however, inflammation can lead to chronic pain and swelling and even chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s.
Diet is one of the most powerful ways you can reduce inflammation to thus reduce musculoskeletal pain, excess weight, headaches and also your risk of chronic disease.
A great place to start is to do a 4-6 week Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Eliminate the foods that are pro-inflammatory and add in anti-inflammatory foods (see below). Then after the elimination phase, add each food group back in one at a time to see what food(s) is your trigger food. Another approach I frequently do with patients is to test for individual food sensitivities. Avoiding your food sensitivities will significantly reduce your overall inflammation.
Foods to avoid on an Anti-Inflammatory Diet:
- Grain-fed meat (grass-fed meat ok)
Foods to include on an Anti-Inflammatory Diet:
- Green leafy vegetables- kale, spinach, collard greens, rainbow chard, arugula. Aim for at least 2 servings of green leafies per day.
- Ground flaxseeds, chia seeds, and hemp seeds
- Salmon, sardines, mackerel
- Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower.
Herbs or supplements to reduce inflammation:
- Curcumin (best absorbed when bound to a phospholipid)
- Wobenzyme (a proteolytic enzyme)
Blood Tests for Assessing Inflammation: C-Reactive Protein (CRP), Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR), and Homocysteine. If these levels are elevated, your doctor can recommend a strategy to reduce inflammation, which absolutely should include diet recommendations!
Don’t give up after just 1-2 weeks on the diet. It can take up to 6 weeks to see results. Plan ahead and make a menu and know that you may experience a remarkable turnaround in your pain symptoms.
Interested in doing this Anti-Inflammatory Diet in a supportive group setting? We are offering a Fall Cleanse starting October 4. Space is limited so call today to sign up- 414-939-8748.
Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health practitioners with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.