10 December 2008

A – Z of anti-inflammatory eating

Will anti-inflammatory eating extend your lifespan?

Inflammation is a normal immune system function: it’s the body’s response to infections or injuries. But unwarranted inflammation can eventually lead to major health problems.

New research findings
According to new research findings, it is possible to control and even prevent inflammation by reducing the levels of free radicals in your body. This can be achieved by altering your diet and lifestyle. These minor changes will also increase your energy levels and help you to lose weight.

  • Choose olive oil instead of margarine

  • whole wheat bread instead of processed white bread

  • all-bran cereal instead of corn flakes

  • skimmed milk instead of full cream milk and
  • fish instead of red meat.

Notes on specific foods

  • Red meat contains arachidonic acid which will make inflammation worse.

  • Snack on a variety brightly coloured (preferably whole) fruit, vegetables and nuts throughout the day – and eat them to your heart’s content. Blueberries and strawberries are packed with anti-inflammatory antioxidants. Apples and red onions also contain strong anti-inflammatory components.

  • Try to steer away from vegetables such as potatoes and eggplant, though. These vegetables contain a chemical alkaloid called solanine that can trigger inflammation. Although tomatoes also contain this chemical, research has shown that tomatoes play a huge role in the prevention of cancer, particularly prostate cancer, and can almost be regarded as nature’s superfood.

  • Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in cold water oily fish like sardines and tuna, as well as in walnuts and a variety of seeds.
  • Stay away from sugar and high-glycaemic carbohydrates such as white bread and muffins. Low glycaemic index foods include apples, broccoli, berries and citrus fruit.

  • Make sure to top up on water every now and again – it will ease pain and stiffness caused by inflammation.

  • Remember that lifestyle choices are just as important as your eating habits. Smoking, lack of exercise and not allowing yourself proper rest all aggravate inflammation. Try stretching and weight training at least two times a week.

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    The bad foods: The good foods:
    French fries Guavas
    White potatoes Cherries
    Flavoured yoghurt Chillies
    Ice Cream Raspberries
    Full cream milk Strawberries
    Salmon (farmed) Carrots
    Chicken giblets Garlic
    Mango Kale
    Chicken Livers Onions
    Turkey (dark meat) Spinach
    Lamb rib chops Sweet Potatoes
    Veal loin Low-fat cottage cheese
    Corn flakes Low-fat yoghurt
    Papaya Part skim mozzarella
    Pancakes Skim milk
    Popcorn Bluefish
    Bananas Halibut
    Fruit Juices Herring
    Rice Krispies Oysters
    Bagels Rainbow trout
    French bread Salmon (wild caught)
    Muffins Sardines
    White rice Duck
    Coconut oil Goose
    Margarine Flank steak
    Potato chips Lamb shanks
    Pretzels Pork tenderloin
    Cola Pot roast
    Cranberry juice Prime rib
    Lemonade Sirloin tip
    White pasta Muesli
    White bread All-bran
    White rice Oats
    Sugar Rye bread
    Mixed grain bread
    Whole wheat bread
    Pumpernickel bread
    Whole wheat pasta
    Rice noodles
    Almond oil
    Avocado oil
    Canola oil
    Hazelnut oil
    Olive oil
    Melba toast
    Brazil nuts
    Curry powder
    Black tea
    Carrot juice
    Green tea
    Herbal tea

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