Chronic inflammation is something that both Madison and I have dealt with over the years paired with our autoimmune diseases. In an effort to be transparent about our lives and share parts of our story, we are beginning this chronic inflammation and anti-inflammatory diet series to help share our knowledge and experiences with the hopes that we will be able to help you along your health journey.
What causes chronic inflammation?
Many things can cause chronic inflammation. Keep in mind though that what causes chronic inflammation in some will not cause inflammation in others. Sometimes, chronic inflammation doesn’t have a clear underlying cause and you may have to try several different avenues to reduce inflammation. However, we do know that the following things certainly do cause chronic inflammation:
– Untreated acute inflammation, such as injury or an infection
– Autoimmune diseases, which means that your immune system is mistakenly attacking it’s own healthy tissues
– Exposure to chemicals, pollutants or irritants
What are some ways to reduce inflammation?
There are many diets that tout being the top anti-inflammatory diets but they are not going to fit everyone that needs to reduce chronic inflammation.
1. MEDITERRANEAN DIET
The Mediterranean diet is considered to be one of the healthy eating plans recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans as an anti-inflammatory diet that promotes good health. The diet is based on eating fresh fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, beans and whole grains. The meals are plant based with a moderate amount of dairy, poultry, eggs and seafood. This whole food diet is nutrient-dense and full of the essential minerals and fatty acids that our bodies need.
However, if you have an intolerance or allergy to gluten, shellfish or nightshades, this diet likely won’t work for you. Which, instead of being an anti-inflammatory diet choice, it would create more inflammation in your body.
2. DR. WEIL’S ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DIET
Another well-known anti-inflammatory diet is Dr. Weil’s Anti-Inflammatory Diet is less a diet and more a scientific approach to choosing foods in order to help maintain your optimum body health. By following the guidelines and lists of foods and supplements you must take, this approach is intended to reduce the inflammation and improve your vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and phytonutrients you need.
However, experts have a different opinion on Dr. Weil’s Anti-Inflammatory Diet. There are long lists to follow and an exorbitant amount of supplements in order to ensure the anti-inflammatory approach taken in this diet is a success. In addition, you may be dealing with some higher than normal sodium levels and too much fat intake.