Because chronic low-grade inflammation is the root of many health problems, we want to eat foods that are anti-inflammatory and helps calm the body's inflammation response. In addition, we want to avoid pro-inflammatory foods.
The inflammation that we are talking about here is not the acute localized inflammation that occurs when we get a cut or stub our toes. We are referring to the chronic inflammation that is systemic to the whole body. This type and level of inflammation is sometime measured by a blood test called the C-Reactive Protein (CRP) test.
Vegetables and Fruit
The basic principal for deciding what anti-inflammatory foods to eat is based on Dr. Weil's anti-inflammatory food pyramid.
At the base of the pyramid are the foods that you should eat the most, which are the vegetables and fruits. Both these category of foods contain whole array of flavonoids that help control inflammation. They also provide antioxidant properties. It is these flavonoids that give the vegetables and fruits their bright colors.
As the pyramid shows, you should eat a little bit more vegetables than fruits. This is because fruits in general has greater amounts of sugar. And sugar promotes inflammation.
The glycemic index tells us how fast the food raises our blood sugar levels. You want low-glycemic vegetables and fruits. Potato for example is a rather high glycemic food and is not a good choice (even though it technically is in the vegetable category). Instead eat leafy green vegetables such as kale and spinach.
The sugar in the fruit comes with the fiber which slows the rate of sugar release into the bloodstream. That is why the whole fruit with the fiber is fine and has a lower glycemic index than juice made from that fruit (which is not fine).
Onions and Apples for their Quercetin
Onions are an allium vegetable with a flavonoid called quercetin. Apple is a fruit high in quercetin.
Quercetin is both anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant. Onions contain a whole host of other flavonoids including the anti-inflammatory anthocyanins.
Many other fruits and vegetables contain quercetin. They include capers, red grapes, tomato, broccoli, and some leafy green vegetables (including kale and spinach).
Green and chamomile tea also contains quercetin. Green tea also contains epigallocatechin-3-gallate, or EGCG, which reduces the expression for interleukin-8 to causes inflammation.
Spices - Garlic and Ginger
There are some herbs that have anti-inflammatory properties. Garlic and ginger are both anti-inflammatory. They are easy to remember because they both start with "g" and they are among the most commonly used herbs. Other high anti-inflammatory spices include curry, turmeric, cinnamon, and parsley.
Although hot peppers may give you a burning sensation on your tongue, they are anti-inflammatory to your system.
The phytochemicals in spices inhibits an transcription factor that is linked with inflammation. This transcription factor is known as nuclear factor kappa-beta. Here is what a paper on PubMed has to say about that ...
"The activation of nuclear transcription factor kappaB has now been linked with a variety of inflammatory diseases, ... the pathway that activates this transcription factor can be interrupted by phytochemicals derived from spices such as turmeric (curcumin), red pepper (capsaicin), cloves (eugenol), ginger (gingerol), cumin, anise, and fennel (anethol), basil and rosemary (ursolic acid), garlic (diallyl sulfide, S-allylmercaptocysteine, ajoene), and pomegranate (ellagic acid)."
Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory while omega-6 fatty acids are pro-inflammatory. Although both types of fats are essential. Our western diet is too high in omega-6, and we need to consume more omega-3 fats. An ideal ratio for omega-6 to omega-3 fats is 3:1. But some Western diets are as high as 30:1. Read more about the benefits of omega-3 fats.
You get omega-3 fats from fish and seafoods, especially wild salmon, sardines, and cod. You also get some omega-3 in pastured grass-fed meats and eggs. These animal produce better fat profiles with higher omega-3 fats because they are eating grass and roaming the pastures as they should be doing.
However, you want to avoid the feed-lot commercially raised animals because their fats are higher in inflammatory omega-6 due to the grains that they are being fed as well as the stress of the tight confinement.
In the video below, Jeanne Wallace talks about reducing inflammation as one of the nutritional strategies to reducing cancer potential. She talks about some anti-inflammatory foods in the video.
-  "Integrative Diet & Nutrition to Complement Cancer Care" with Jeanne M. Wallace
-  The Unhealthy Truth: Food Allergies and Inflammation | Gaiam Life
-  Celiac Disease Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment by MedicineNet.com
-  Top 10 Inflammatory Foods to Avoid Like the Plague | The Conscious Life
Stay clear of these inflammation-causing foods to instantly upgrade your health
-  Dr Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet Food Pyramid
-  Is Green Tea An Anti Inflammatory? | LIVESTRONG.COM
Is Green Tea An Anti Inflammatory?. Green tea, which is derived from the leaves of the plant Camellia sinesis, contains active antioxidant compounds called polyphenols, which are responsible for most of its health effects.
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