Anti-inflammatory diets and foods are receiving a lot of attention. The basic theory is that reducing inflammation in the body by eating foods that are anti-inflammatory will reduce pain, heart disease and cancer. We are all looking for ways to prevent illness and live longer healthier lives, and so intuitively the anti-inflammatory diet makes sense and we want to believe it completely. However, we have to remember that inflammation is not caused just by what we eat, but can be caused by injury, viruses and illnesses, auto-immune disorders, smoking, pollution, stress, etc. We do know however, that certain foods reduce inflammation in the body, and we know that eating certain foods labelled as anti-inflammatory leads to positive health effects. So it is important to read about anti-inflammatory foods, and incorporate them in to our diet. Simple changes like including omega-3 foods, eating more fruits and vegetables, following a Mediterranean diet, and reducing consumption of refined carbohydrates reduce inflammation and therefore should be healthier.
Studies of inflammatory/anti-inflammatory foods and health have linked:
– Vitamin K, canola oil (which contains omega-3 and Vitamin E), Vitamin D, Omega-3, avocados and ginger (in separate studies) reduced inflammation indicators
-Lower colon cancer rates for those consuming anti-inflammatory foods vs. inflammatory diets
-Reduced inflammation in the body reduces the risk of heart disease
So, on the surface, it seems like anti-inflammatory eating should be a good thing. There are so many more studies on this subject available to read, and it’s always a good idea to discuss your diet with your physician.