Benefits of an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Benefits of an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Acupuncturists treat many patients with inflammation – for example, arthritis – but did you know that inflammation is also a component of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and strokes?

Inflammation itself is not a bad thing – it is a normal part of the body’s healing system, needed to repair injuries or defend against infection.  The problem is when we get generalized or uncontrolled inflammation in the body.  Many people believe that our diet may be a major factor in this.

The inflammatory process in our body is regulated by hormones, which can either increase or reduce the level of inflammation.  However, the foods that we eat can dramatically affect these hormone levels, and thus activate or inhibit inflammation in the body.

Fortunately there is a growing understanding of how different foods can affect inflammation in the body.  The leading proponent of this is Dr. Andrew Weil, who has developed the Anti-inflammatory Diet.  This diet is designed to reduce inflammation in the body and promote good health.

If you are interested in the full details of the diet, I recommend that you visit his website (www.drweil.com).  What follows is a brief overview.

The first principle of the anti-inflammatory diet is that we need a balance of foods.  That means eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and as little processed food as possible, and that each meal should contain a mix of carbohydrates, protein and fat.

By getting a full range of vitamins, minerals and nutrients from fresh food, and eliminating the unhealthy elements that are typical in most Americans’ diets you will go a long way to improving your health.

This means eating less of the following:

Other features of the diet include:

Overall this is a diet that will promote good health.  Inflammation plays a role in many age-related diseases (including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease), so by following this eating plan you will be reducing your chances of falling victim to most of the biggest killers in our society.

Author
Adam Learner, L Ac. Adam Learner, LAc, provides functional medicine and acupuncture for the residents of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, at Family Acupuncture & Wellness. In his practice, he uses a holistic approach to medicine and emphasizes addressing causes, not symptoms.

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