Tuesday, September 22, 2015


"Prolonged inflammation can damage your body’s healthy cells and tissue, and weaken your immune system,” says Stephanie Maxson, senior clinical dietitian at MD Anderson’s Integrative Medicine Center. 

Causes of chronic inflammation can include obesity, smoking, stress, lack of exercise, exposure to secondhand smoke and poor dietary choices. Chronic inflammation often shows no signs and many people are unaware of the health risks.

An anti-inflammatory diet can help avoid diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s. This type of diet can also help with cancer, arthritis and fibromyalgia.

Some TIPS for changing your food choices include:

Include more plants and whole grains:
  1. Add more plant-based foods to your meals. Make one-half of your plate non-starchy vegetables and fruits of all colors.
  2. One-quarter of your plate should include whole grains or starchy vegetables.
Limit processed foods:
  1. Choose whole, fresh foods and do your own preparation and cooking. Nutrients and phytonutrients keep us healthy in many ways including reducing inflammation.
  2. Skip fast or instant foods as they have less nutrients and more refined sugars, flours, fats and artificial ingredients. 
  3. Avoid processed meats such as sausages, bacon, lunchmeat and pepperoni.
  4. Choose water over soda and sports drinks.
Add Omega-3 fatty acids:
  1. Omega-3 fatty acids are contained in healthy foods which protect your body from chronic inflammation. These include salmon, tuna, halibut, flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, pecans and avocado.
  2. Omega-6 fatty acids are included in refined snack and processed foods such as cookies, crackers, sweets and frozen entrees. Read labels to avoid oils such as corn, sunflower, peanut and soybean.
Limit RED meats:

By limiting pork, beef, lamb, deer and buffalo to 18 oz. or less per week, you reduce many healthy risks.
  1. Choose high protein foods like skinless chicken, turkey and fish to reduce chronic inflammation.
  2. Replace some animal proteins with plant proteins such as legumes, beans and lentils.
  3. Choose grain and pasture fed animals which supply eggs, cheeses and milk.
Eat fermented foods:

Fermented foods contain probiotics which help reduce inflammation in the body. One small serving per day can assist in a healthy diet.
  1. Choose low-fat, plain organic yogurt or kefir.
  2. Eat sauerkraut or kimchi with a sandwich or salad.
  3. Add a cup of miso or kombucha tea before a meal.
Chronic inflammation needs the effort of your healthcare team to help you heal your body. Be proactive in contacting your doctor for further information and help.

Thanks for taking the time to read this article and I encourage you to learn more about healthy foods and exercise either from this blog or other articles on the web. Take care and see you again soon!