Anti-inflammatory foods

Is your diet having a negative impact on your health? If you’re eating food that causes inflammation, it very well could be. Inflammation is a natural response to a foreign substance invading your body, but sometimes, inflammation persists even when there’s no threat to your health. When that happens, a normal response of your immune system becomes a problem in and of itself. Chronic inflammation has been linked to many major diseases, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, depression, Alzheimer’s, and arthritis.

There are medications, of course, to combat inflammation. Some of the most effective anti-inflammatories, however, are found in food and beverages. The wrong foods can trigger an inflammatory response, but the right food can help you reduce your risk of illness.

It might surprise you to know that many foods that you probably already think of as unhealthy are the same foods that can create chronic inflammation. Many of these same foods contribute to obesity, which in itself can cause inflammation. Inflammatory foods include:

  • Refined Carbohydrates: These include white bread, white flour, refined sugar, and pastries.

  • Fried foods: Think French fries, onion rings, and other fried foods.

  • Sweetened beverages: Soda is a major culprit, but sweetened coffee, juice with added sugar, and other sugar-sweetened beverages fall into the same category.

  • Certain meats: Red meat like burgers and steaks can cause inflammation, as can processed meats, like deli meat, hot dogs, and sausages.

  • Some fats: We all need some healthy fat in our diets, but things like margarine, shortening, and lard can cause inflammation.

While you’re avoiding unhealthy foods, you can stack the deck in your favor by filling your diet with healthy foods that reduce inflammation. These foods are some of the same ones you’d eat for heart health and weight loss, including:

  • Fruits and vegetables: Tomatoes and leafy greens like kale, spinach, and collards are good anti-inflammatory options. Some of the best fruit choices include strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges.

  • < >: Almonds and walnuts are good choices.

    Fatty fish: Salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines provide many health benefits, including the reduction of inflammation.

  • < > It may surprise you to learn that coffee contains polyphenols and other compounds that may protect against inflammation.

While there are many factors involved in the kind of inflammation that leads to health issues, including joint problems, a healthy diet is a good place to start in creating a healthier lifestyle. At The Knee Institute of Michigan, we believe in helping people achieve a higher quality of life by making healthy lifestyle choices and prioritizing non-surgical procedures that alleviate pain and promote wellness. The only facility in Michigan accredited with the OsteoArthritis Centers of America, we specialize in relieving the chronic pain of osteoarthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions, using treatments that are minimally invasive. The doctors at the Knee Institute of Michigan want to help improve not only your knee pain but also your overall quality of life. Call us at (248) 804-7226, to learn how we can help you.

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