Inflammation is the body’s response to harmful substances and damaged tissues, but sometimes we can get stuck in cycles of chronic inflammation which do more damage than good. In the long term, remaining stuck in these cycles can lead to illnesses such as arthritis, cardiovascular disease, some cancers, and even dementia.
Lately we’ve seen an uptick in interest in “anti inflammation” diets, aimed at reducing the signs of aging and the risk of chronic disease. Before you get started, here are five things you need to know.
Yes, you will probably need to cook more often. An anti-inflammation diet places emphasis on whole foods, and you will need to cut out most convenience foods. In many cases that means you need to cook more often. However, it is still possible to enjoy restaurant meals. Just look for vegan and vegetarian restaurants, or review restaurant menus before you venture out. Some other options such as Thai food often work well, too.
You might experience fewer cravings. Because an anti-inflammation diet reduces added sugars in your eating regimen, you might actually find that you break the cycle of sugar cravings. A whole food diet helps your blood sugar levels to adjust, so that you no longer experience sharp spikes and crashes (and therefore no more cravings and energy slumps).
You might feel happier. Inflammation and stress go hand in hand, often “feeding” each other. As you reduce inflammation in your body and experience healthier digestion, you might find that your mood improves.
You will eat more fiber. An anti-inflammation diet is typically high in fiber, so you will feel full for longer between meals. Adequate fiber intake is also linked to a lower risk of certain cancers and other chronic diseases.
An anti-inflammation diets is not necessarily a weight loss plan. Due to the emphasis on whole foods and absence of junk food, some people do lose weight on anti-inflammation diets. But since these eating plans are not calorie-controlled, that won’t always be the case. Make an appointment to discuss a weight loss plan with us, if that’s your goal, and we can help you drop pounds while also fighting age-related diseases.