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What is the Anti-Inflammatory Diet?

All of us benefit from an anti-inflammatory diet, but those with chronic inflammation caused by certain foods and ongoing stress benefit immediately and dramatically.  Here is a place to start:

Eat lots of vegetables and fruits.  Focus on adding vibrant color to meals and snacks.  Bright orange carrots and sweet potatoes; green leafy vegetables like arugula and watercress, lettuces, spinach, kale, broccoli; red and blue and black berries; orange and yellow citrus; orange and yellow winter squash and pumpkin.  Fresh and dried herbs add not only flavor, but powerful antioxidant protection.

Eat wild seafood.  Avoid Atlantic varieties which are high in mercury and PCB’s.  Wild Pacific and Alaskan salmon are good choices, along with low food-chain varieties like shellfish, anchovies, and sardines.

Add essential fatty acids.  A fish oil supplement that has been tested for and shown to be free of mercury and other contaminants helps rebalance the omega-3 to omega-6 ratio.  Our American diet is typically very high in omega-6 fats, which cause inflammation when out of balance with omega-3’s.

Eliminate sugars and refined carbohydrates that cause inflammation in our systems.

Avoid processed foods that are full of additives and preservatives, most of which are non-food ingredients.

Add anti-inflammatory ginger and turmeric to your diet.

Get some exercise 5 days a week, even if it’s only a 20 minute walk.

Get a good night’s sleep!  Our bodies heal during sleep!

While some of this may sound difficult to implement, it’s really not hard at all.  We have to give up some of our addictions, such as wheat and sugar, but we don’t have to give up flavor or feel deprived.  Feeling good is the best result of the anti-inflammatory diet, having good energy and a sense of well-being.  Try it. and see the difference in how you feel!

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