Inflammation is a localized response of the immune system to an external (infection, allergy, burn, etc.) or internal (cancer cell, etc.) aggression. The classic signs of inflammation are heat, redness, swelling, pain and loss of function.
While medication and other treatments are important, researchers have identified certain foods that can help control inflammation. The anti-inflammatory diet is similar to the famous Mediterranean diet. Even if you're not suffering from inflammation, adopting such a diet can be benefic for your health as it encourages you to eat lots of fruits and vegetables as well as whole grains and plant-based proteins.
Meet a registered dietitian during your annual Medisys preventive health assessment and receive healthy advices adapted to your lifestyle.
Objectives of the anti-inflammatory diet
- Protect the immune system.
- Reduce the risk of diseases with an inflammatory component (cardiovascular disease, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, cancer, autoimmune disease) or reduce symptoms. This diet does not reduce inflammation that normally occur after an injury, but chronic inflammation.
- Live longer in good health.
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- Include more fresh food and vary one’s diet.
- Minimize the amount of refined foods and junk food.
- Limit intake of concentrated sugars (sweet desserts, candies, soft drinks, etc.) as well as foods made from high fructose corn syrup.
- Limit foods that are high in saturated and trans fats (animal fats, coconut oil and palm oil, shortening, cooking oil, etc.).
- Limit consumption of foods that are high in omega-6 (sunflower, soybean, corn and safflower).
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables in bright colors. Fruits and vegetables are packed with antioxidants, which support the immune system, the body’s natural defense system. A woman should consume 7-8 servings of fruits and vegetables a day and a man, 8-10. Fruits and vegetables richest in antioxidants are berries, oranges, tomatoes and dark green vegetables.
- Consume enough Omega-3. It is recommended to have 2-3 servings of fish per week and focus on fatty fish such as: salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring and trout. Other interesting sources of omega-3 that should appear regularly on the menu are: walnuts, flax seeds and pumpkin seeds.
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- Choose olive oil for cooking and salad dressings.
- Consume more protein from plant sources. Examples include legumes, soy products and nuts. Consume a moderate fish and low fat dairy products. Limit consumption of red meat.
- Have a high fiber intake. It is recommended to consume 28 g to 35 g of fiber per day. To achieve this quantity, it is important to consume 7-10 daily servings of fruits and vegetables and choose whole grains such as cereals high in fiber, whole wheat, brown rice, bulgur, quinoa, barley, oatmeal, etc.
- Focus on foods with a low glycemic index.
- Include regular turmeric, garlic, ginger, onion and cayenne pepper as ingredients in your recipes! These foods are known to have anti-inflammatory properties.
- Drink a glass of red wine on occasion. A moderate amount of wine may provide an anti-inflammatory due to resveratrol it contains. Red grape juice also contains a good amount of resveratrol.
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