Inflammation is a silent killer that affects almost everyone. It is important to reduce levels of inflammation as much as possible. Diet is one of the best ways to do this. Nutrient deficiencies in your diet can be a major contributor to inflammation.
When the body does not get essential vitamins and minerals from your diet, it puts the body in a state of high stress. Therefore, it is recommended that you consume a minimum of 6 servings of vegetables and fruits per day to ensure you receive all the necessary nutrients to reduce inflammation.
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Eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables will ensure you receive your daily minimum of 20 grams of fiber. It is recommended to consume at least 20 grams of fiber because high fiber diets decrease inflammation by providing natural anti-inflammatory phytonutrients.
Some of the best sources of whole-food fiber include Bhindi (okra), onions, eggplant, about (guava) and apples.
It is important to eat real food to nourish the body well. Limit refined carbohydrates and sugar. Forget white bread, pasta and sweets. Opt for nutrient-dense carbs like sweet potatoes, quinoa, lentils, buckwheat, bajrah (millet), rice and fresh fruit.
Switch from white sugar and artificial sweeteners to natural, phytonutrient-rich sweeteners such as gour (unrefined sugar), coconut sugar, honey or maple syrup. These exchanges will help manage blood sugar levels by smoothing out blood sugar spikes. High blood sugar causes major inflammation in the body.
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Eat healthy fats to fuel the brain and hormones. Limit consumption of canola, corn, soy and vegetable oils that contribute to inflammation. Opt instead for olive oil rich in polyphenols or coconut oil rich in lauric acid.
These oils can decrease the risk of cancer and can strengthen the immune system. Another amazing cooking fat is ghee. Ghee has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries and has countless benefits. Nuts, seeds, coconut meat, olives and avocados are also excellent sources of healthy and nourishing fats.
Studies have shown that a high intake of omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce the risk of chronic disease by reducing levels of inflammation. The best sources of omega-3 fatty acids are flax seeds, walnuts, salmon, sardines, mackerel, etc. It is recommended to eat fresh fish at least three times a week in order to receive enough omega-3 fatty acids.
Another important note is to eat if you are hungry. Listen to hunger cues because your body knows best. Skipping meals or pushing back meal times wreaks havoc on your system. If you avoid hunger to lose weight, it could prove very detrimental to your body.
Ignoring your hunger could potentially cause you to cling to fat due to the inflammation it causes in your body. Your body will store fat instead of burning it to protect itself from the stress of starvation.
Incorporating more beneficial anti-inflammatory foods while reducing inflammatory foods in your diet can make a profound difference to your overall health and longevity.
An anti-inflammatory diet can increase your metabolism and help delay the aging process while protecting you from debilitating chronic diseases.
The author is a Certified Functional Nutritionist