Tips to Reduce Chronic Inflammation
Did you know that inflammation is a common characteristic of most health issues and diseases?
There are many symptoms of chronic inflammation from joint pain, acne, weight gain, obesity, anxiety, chronic fatigue, cardiovascular issues, gut issues, poor immune health, diabetes, even the inability to lose weight and much more! These symptoms can be in isolation or in a variety of combinations.
Ultimately it is a combination of lifestyle factors such as a high glycaemic diet high in sugars and simple carbohydrates, not enough exercise and underlying infections which may be parasitic or bacterial in nature. In fact, poor gut health is a major contributing factor to our level of overall health and wellbeing. Many people with chronic diseases have poor gut health with too many pathogenic bacteria causing havoc in the body and not enough beneficial bacteria to keep the gut in balance.
Shockingly around 60% of Americans have been diagnosed with at least one chronic condition and an estimated 42% have more than one. Statistics show that out of every 5 deaths 3 are caused by chronic inflammatory diseases.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways inflammation can be reduced in the body with dietary changes such as:
- Increase dietary fibre – incorporate chia seeds, apples, berries, pears, artichoke, broccoli, prunes, green peas, lentils and beans. The majority of people are not eating the minimum amount of recommended fibre. Dietary fibre is essential for optimal gut function.
- Eat more healthy fats – such as avocado, eggs, cold pressed olive oil, raw nuts and hemp seeds and oily fish such as sardines and trout. Omega 3, monounsaturated fatty acids and oleic acid are fats that help dampen the body’s inflammatory response.
- Reduce high glycaemic foods such as white rice, white bread, cakes, biscuits
- Avoid gluten and refined sugar
- Correct vitamin and mineral deficiencies – testing is recommended
- Including probiotic rich foods and adding a probiotic for the missing strains in your gut, microbiome testing can confirm which strains are going to help you the most
Incorporating the above foods is important but if you are still eating the below highly inflammatory foods you will not see the results your body needs to heal.
Above all, it is particularly important to avoid:
- Refined seed oils – these oils are popular for deep frying, oils such as canola, soy, sunflower are highly processed and inflammatory
- Sugar – particularly refined sugar in biscuits and cakes, fruit juices and sugary yoghurt
- Gluten – particularly wheat products with no nutritional value. Gluten is highly inflammatory.
Easy Food Swap Ideas
EASY FOOD SWAP IDEAS
Instead of toast or cereal have scrambled eggs with vegetables or Greek yoghurt with berries
Instead of potato chips or crackers have a piece of fruit and a handful of nuts
Instead of pizza or pasta have a baked sweet potato and salmon with green veg or a warm lamb salad with quinoa or brown rice
Instead of soft drink have a kombucha
Ultimately an anti-inflammatory diet is about eating real whole foods that are as unprocessed as possible.
Any questions or additional thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!
If you need personalised support to reach your goals book an appointment with me here. I would be pleased to work with you.
Chen, L., Deng, H., Cui, H., Fang, J., Zuo, Z., Deng, J., Li, Y., Wang, X., & Zhao, L. (2017). Inflammatory responses and inflammation-associated diseases in organs. Oncotarget, 9(6), 7204–7218. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.23208
Furman, D., Campisi, J., Verdin, E. et al. Chronic inflammation in the etiology of disease across the life span. Nat Med 25, 1822–1832 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-019-0675-0
Wang, J., Chen, W., & Wang, Y. (2020). The Relationship Between Gut Microbiota and Inflammatory Diseases: The Role of Macrophages. Frontiers In Microbiology, 11. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2020.01065
By nutritionist Chrissy
Chrissy is a university qualified nutritionist who graduated with honours at La Trobe University in Melbourne. One of her favourite hobbies is to read the scientific literature on how to optimise health. When she’s not reading, writing or working she’s with her 3 children outdoors, practicing yoga, jogging or cooking up a storm in the kitchen. Chrissy has overcome some debilitating chronic health issues (low mood, adrenal fatigue, insomnia, very bad acne to name a few) with the power of nutrients and correcting gut health, at 39 she now feels better than she did in her 20’s.