Thank you so much to our guest blogger this week, Certified Nutrition Specialist, Courtney Carpenter! We really appreciate you sharing your knowledge of anti-inflammatory diets with us.
Creating an Anti-Inflammatory Diet
By Courtney Carpenter, Certified Nutrition Specialist
Inflammation is at the core of all tissue damage and disease processes. Your food choices are either reducing or promoting inflammation each day. Since there is no neutral diet, why not choose foods that work for you, instead of against you?
Inflammatory control results from these dietary characteristics:
- Low glycemic load.
- Processed foods are absent.
- All foods help the immune system retard tissue damage and reduce stress at the cellular level.
Clearly, creating this diet involves making different choices and leaving some choices behind; it is a recognition that not all foods are of equal value and some, even in small amounts, are just not good at all.
Low Glycemic Load
First, a diet with lower glycemic load is a diet with no excess fat and carbohydrate to store. Glycemic load translates into how much sugar is getting in the way of normal function of organs, systems and tissues.
Functionally, meals with 15 to 20 grams of protein and vegetables that exclude green peas, white flesh potatoes and all flour-based products will have a significantly lower glycemic load. Overeating whole grains, beans and fruit can also create higher glycemic load.
Processed Foods Are Absent
Processed foods are any foods that have been modified from their natural origin. They include just about all “convenience foods” in the grocery and all restaurant foods from fast and fast casual chains, because all of these have excess starches, food additives and sugars that are burdens to our cells. These small but constant burdens are using up nutritional resources and over-stimulating the immune system in various ways. This leads to the promotion of an “inflame first and ask questions later” response, because this is the best way to limit ongoing damage.
Cooking your own meals with a great variety of the highest quality ingredients you can afford is a central tenet of this or any healthy diet.
A Diet That Reduces Stress
Finally, a diet that reduces stress at the cellular level contributes protein, carbohydrates and natural fats, as well as vitamins and minerals that help the body repair structures. This diet also acts to detoxify and keep the immune system from being overworked.
A diet that includes a range of animal and vegetable protein sources, a minimum of 8 half-cup servings of vegetables (not counting beans) daily and a rotation of so called “super foods,” like green tea, pomegranate, spices and cocoa powder, can contribute resources for repair and keep the immune system balanced.
Emphasizing organically grown foods helps limit cell damage. Supportive supplements include a multi-vitamin with 1000 to 2000 units of Vitamin D3 and separate highly soluble turmeric, resveratrol, green tea extract or other botanical treasures.
Food is 50% of the healing equation. It always has implications, positive or negative. Whether you have pain limited to recent injury or a more general interest in healthy aging, an anti-inflammatory diet can promote your health over a lifetime.
Would you like to learn more about establishing an anti-inflammatory diet or managing pain? Contact us today.