What is the Anti-Inflammatory Diet?

Harriette Halepis

The anti-inflammatory diet is based upon the premise that certain foods cause inflammation. In addition, these foods are also believed to further irritate parts of the body that are already inflamed due to arthritis, injury, or chronic disease. Many dietary experts also believe that certain foods can cause disease and illness.

Nuts are rich in protein and Omega-3s.
Nuts are rich in protein and Omega-3s.

The notion behind sticking to an anti-inflammatory diet is that by avoiding certain foods, people will also be able to avoid inflammation. Foods that are considered to cause inflammation include fried foods, foods that contain a large amount of salt and sugar, and foods that are high in trans and saturated fat. All of these foods are thought to further irritate any portion of the body that is inflamed, while also causing a great deal of inflammation.

Widely viewed as one of the healthiest types of cooking oil, canola oil is high in monounsaturated fats.
Widely viewed as one of the healthiest types of cooking oil, canola oil is high in monounsaturated fats.

While it may be common knowledge that the foods mentioned above do not contribute to a healthy body, there are also some fruits and vegetables that many people believe cause inflammation. Vegetables that can be placed within the nightshade category are thought to further irritate parts of the body that are presently inflamed. Some nightshade vegetables include eggplant, tomatoes, and potatoes. Even though these vegetables are loaded with important nutrients, they also contain a chemical called solanine.

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Fried foods should be avoided on an anti-inflammatory diet.
Fried foods should be avoided on an anti-inflammatory diet.

Though the effects of solanine have yet to be scientifically proven, many people believe that this chemical causes irritation. Thus, people who suffer from inflammation of any sort may want to steer clear of any vegetable that is considered part of the nightshade group. Just as there are foods that can contribute to inflammation, there are also some foods that are thought to decrease inflammation.

Fish is an important part of the anti-inflammatory diet.
Fish is an important part of the anti-inflammatory diet.

The anti-inflammatory diet is often rich in protein, olive oil, and Omega-3 fatty acids. These foods include fish, nuts, flax seed, canola oil, and proteins that are not part of the red meat category. When it comes to carbohydrates, those following an anti-inflammatory diet should gain carbohydrates from fruits, vegetables, and grain sources. Fibrous foods, such as leafy vegetables and berries, should also be included in the anti-inflammatory diet.

People on the anti-inflammatory diet should avoid eggplants, tomatoes, and any other member of the nightshade family of plants.
People on the anti-inflammatory diet should avoid eggplants, tomatoes, and any other member of the nightshade family of plants.

This diet also includes plenty of liquids such as water and pure fruit juice. Any drinks that contain alcohol, caffeine, or an excessive amount of sugar are not part of this diet. By following the anti-inflammatory diet, many people have found that inflammation decreases. Furthermore, this type of diet leads to a healthy lifestyle, since it de-emphasizes junk foods that are high in trans and saturated fat. Anyone can follow the anti-inflammatory diet, though speaking with a medical doctor before embarking on a new diet is always a wise idea.

Eating foods like mushrooms can prevent inflammation in the body.
Eating foods like mushrooms can prevent inflammation in the body.
Flax seed oil contains Omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for an anti-inflammatory diet.
Flax seed oil contains Omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for an anti-inflammatory diet.
Nightshade vegetables are not recommended for those on an anti-inflammatory diet.
Nightshade vegetables are not recommended for those on an anti-inflammatory diet.

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