Fight the Flame! The Benefits of an Anti-Inflammatory Diet
You’ve noticed that something is off. Your energy is lower than normal, you have a hard to sleeping every night and your appetite is pretty much non-existent. With symptoms so vague, it may be hard to put your finger on the problem. First and foremost, consult your physician anytime you are experiencing significant changes in appetite and sleep patterns. The root of your problem could very well be inflammation. Over 2.5 million Americans are living with chronic inflammation and don’t even realize it!
An inflammatory response following an injury is completely normal. It is your body’s natural response to healing and repairing itself. But it can also occur when the immune system goes into action without an injury (or infection) to fight. With nothing to heal, the immune system can begin to destroy healthy arteries, organs and joints. So why is this happening? When you don’t have a healthy diet, lack exercise, experience too much stress (hello, 2020?), your body can respond by triggering inflammation. If ignored, inflammation can lead to larger issues like depression, heart disease, obesity and even cancer.
If you discover that you are dealing with underlying inflammation issues, one of the best weapons you have to fight it can be found in your fridge—not the medicine cabinet. Altering your diet to include anti-inflammatory foods can be your best course of action. Much like the Mediterranean diet that we have promoted in the past, an anti-inflammatory diet is rich in fatty fish like salmon, tuna and sardines. Stock up on green leafy vegetables (like kale and spinach), olive oil, tomatoes, nuts and fruit (strawberries, blueberries, cherries, etc.).
Make sure to steer clear of inflammatory foods like red meat and anything with trans fats, such as margarine, corn oil, deep fried foods and most processed foods. For additional tips on healthy eating, let Wilmington’s leading personal trainer, Matt Johnson, help you put together a plan.