Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Recommended Diet to Reduce Inflammation

Inflammation is a normal part of a healthy immune response but it is also plays a role in a number of illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer's disease and stroke.

Dangerous chronic inflammation occurs when the immune system continues to attack healthy cells and tissues which may cause mutations and auto-immune diseases. 

Certain foods reduce inflammation, while others increase it so what one eats determines how much inflammation will happen.  In the book "Dr. Ann's 10-Step Diet", these recommendations were given.

Go for:
Omega-3 fats.  These are among the most potent anti-inflammatory foods.   Best sources:  fatty fish like salmon and tuna, walnuts, flaxseed and canola oil.

Colorful produce:  Red onions, tomatoes, broccoli, red grapes, berries and oranges.  They contain flavonoids.

Herbs and spices:  Ginger, turmeric and rosemary are among the healthy spices.

Chocolate and wine.  Red wine has resveratrol which has anti-inflammatory actions.  Dark chocolates are anti-inflammatory, too.

Cut back on:
Omega-6 fats:  Oils rich in omega-6-fats include corn, safflower and vegetable oils.  Mayonnaise and salad dressings also have a high content.

Trans fat.  Trans fats are edible fats that are chemically altered to remain solid at room temperature. They do not exist in nature and are also known as partially hydrogenated fats. This manufacturing process makes them more stable than natural fats, better for higher frying temperatures and longer shelf lives. They're found in many processed and commercially baked foods, such as doughnuts, cakes, crackers, cookies, and other baked goods.  Trans fats are used for deep-frying in restaurants.  Unfortunately, partially hydrogenated trans fats are very "heart unfriendly." They can raise LDLs (bad cholesterol) and lower HDLs (good cholesterol) and increase inflammation in blood vessels which makes plaque stickier and damages the cardiovascular system.

White starches.  Flour, sugar, white rice cause spikes in blood sugar levels and cause the production of advanced glycation end products that spur inflammation.

Animal fats.  Egg yolk, red meat, poultry skin, whole-milk dairy products contain high levels of arachidonic acid, a chemical that is used by our body to create inflammation,