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Chronic Inflammation- Foods to Avoid and Anti-Inflammatory Foods

May 12, 2016

Inflammation is one of the things that causes us to heal. We have all had minor cuts from time to time. When a cut starts to heal, the redness, swelling and tenderness that can develop around the scab is inflammation. When inflammation is controlled, it heals and repairs the body. It is one of our first defenses against infection. When inflammation is out of control, and we are in a pro-inflammatory state, we are setting the stage for chronic and autoimmune diseases such as arthritis, cancer, heart disease, multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease. Just being inflamed will lead to more pain if you have an injury. A sprained ankle would swell more and be more painful than if our body’s immune system is not overreacting. Trying to eat correctly and supplementing with the basics may help contribute to a faster recovery time and prevent some chronic diseases.

Are you inflamed?

  • Do you eat inflammatory foods?
  • Do you feel tired all the time?
  • Are you overweight?
  • Do you have aches & pains?
  • Does exercise seem too stressful?
  • Do you easily get cold & flu symptoms?
  • Do you look older than you are?

Answering Yes to any of these questions would mean you are at risk for chronic diseases.

Inflammatory Foods

  • Sugar
  • Grains
  • Any animal that eats grains
  • Dairy
  • Legumes and Soy
  • Trans-fats (Anything partially hydrogenated… ; Margarine, processed foods)
  • Oils from seeds (Canola, Sesame, etc.)
  • Packaged Foods (Processing is not natural obviously)
  • Potato chips
  • Delayed Onset Food Allergies (Toxicity)

Anti-inflammatory Foods

  • Fruits (organic if eating skin)
  • Vegetables (organic if possible)
  • Nuts (in moderation)
  • Cold Water Fish (Choose Alaskan or Wild Salmon; Atlantic Salmon is farmed and fed grains!)
  • Grass-Fed Animal Products
  • Potatoes (in moderation)
  • Eggs
  • Herbs/Spices
  • Garlic, Ginger or Tumeric (Curry Spice)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Butter
  • Coconut Oil
  • Green Tea
  • Lots of Water
  • Dark Chocolate (At least 60% Cocoa; Consume in moderation because it is high in calories)
  • Red Wine
  • Stout Beer

Again, the foods listed above increase the level of chronic inflammation in your system. That does not mean that you need to give up eating them completely. It means decreasing consumption of some of those foods, like not having spaghetti as the main meal but as a side. Ideally, your diet should consist of mostly vegetables and some protein from lean animal meat. Nutrition is one of the issues that I work with patients on when they come into the office. In order to help someone get out of pain, one needs to approach the issue from multiple different points of view. Chiropractic adjustments are extremely powerful but they work best when done with proper stretching and strengthening exercises and myofascial work. Choosing the right food is a major part of getting better and by making choices to deflame your diet, you will improve your health and decrease your aches and pains.

For more information, please take a look at the following resources:

Grass fed meats can be found at Fresh Market in Toledo, OH. Even though grass fed beef is still a red meat, it is actually better for you than most chicken available at the grocery store. You can find bison at the House of Meats (usually in the freezer at the Anderson’s) and that is typically grass fed as well.

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