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Can You Fight Inflammation With Diet?

anti-inflammation diet

Inflammation is a normal physiological response to injury, toxic agents, and infection characterized by redness, swelling, and pain. It is meant to heal and nourish the affected area through immune activity and increased transport of nutrients and oxygen to the damaged tissues.

However, persistent and chronic inflammation as a result of a malfunctioning immune response can lead to autoimmunity and various illnesses such as heart disease, certain cancers, and Alzheimer’s. Contributing factors to these conditions are poor diet, stress, a sedentary lifestyle, exposure to toxins, and genetic predisposition.

But, can you actually fight inflammation by having a good diet?

Preventing and managing inflammation is one way to elude long-term diseases, and this is possible through positive changes in the diet.

Foods contribute to our immune function and the inflammatory process. Certain foods promote inflammation while others tend to reduce or inhibit inflammation. The anti-inflammatory diet is designed to aid in maintaining optimum health through proper food choices that positively influence inflammation along with adequate calories, nutrients, dietary fiber, and phytonutrients.

What is an anti-inflammatory diet?

An anti-inflammatory diet promotes eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, fiber-rich foods, and reducing the intake of processed foods. Antioxidants from fruits and vegetables fight harmful free radicals that can damage the cells and get rid of toxic substances in the body. Similarly, phytochemicals from these food items are believed to have anti-inflammatory properties.

This diet also recommends minimizing the consumption of wheat flour, sugar, products with high fructose corn syrup, as well as fast foods. Highly processed foods lead to fluctuations in blood sugar and blood fats which result in inflammation.

When it comes to fats and oils, it is suggested to reduce the use of saturated fats (butter, cream, fatty meats, and high-fat cheese) and processed vegetable oils (canola oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, and safflower oil). Most of these oils are rich in omega-6 fatty acids, which stimulate the production of cytokines, a protein that induces inflammation.

In place of these oils, it is better to use olive oil and coconut oil for low heat and high heat cooking, respectively. Eating avocados, nuts, and omega-3-rich sources such as salmon, herring, and black cod while consuming less animal protein is also recommended in an anti-inflammatory diet.

Why are anti-inflammatory foods good for health?

Omega-3 fatty acids counteract inflammatory response and, at the same time, fight depression and improve blood pressure. Moreover, the intake of omega-3 fatty acids along with essential nutrients is highly associated with successful management of autoimmune diseases such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, allergies, certain cancers, COPD, Chrohn’s disease, diabetes, eczema, heart disease, psoriasis, stroke, and ulcerative colitis.

In general, the increased nutritional intake and reduced white blood cell activity linked to the consumption of an anti-inflammatory diet lowers the risk of certain cancers, neurodegenerative conditions, depression, and other chronic illnesses. Compared to Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), which only target the symptoms and not the root cause of the problem, an anti-inflammatory diet is more effective and safe. Whole foods reduce inflammation by eliminating the root causes without any adverse side effects.

As a bonus, the food selection in this diet increases satiety and contributes to eating less, thereby promoting weight loss!

Dr. Dave Recommends Nrf2 for Inflammation

“We have a very good product, another one I use myself, that contains key anti-inflammatory ingredients: Nrf2 Pathway Enhancer (Activator) by IP Formulas,” says Dr. Dave Scheiderer, Director of Education at Integrative Psychiatry, Inc.

Nrf2 regulates the activity of a set of antioxidant and detoxifying genes that protect your body from the ravages of health conditions associated with high levels of oxidative stress, including most of the core conditions Dr. Dave treats most often:  depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and Alzheimer’s.

IP Formulas Nrf2 Pathway Enhancer: 

  • Provides powerful antioxidant activity
  • Supports your body’s natural detoxification pathways
  • “Right-sizes” your body’s response to inflammation and immune challenge

Each ingredient in this formula is backed by extensive research published in scientific journals, which you can learn more about here.

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Meet Dr. Dave

Dr. David Scheiderer MD, MBA, DFAPA, is the Chief Medical Officer and Director of Education for Integrative Psychiatry, Inc. 

An accomplished clinician, educator, and lecturer, Dr. Dave has established himself as a key opinion leader in the fields of both mainstream psychiatry and functional medicine. Dissatisfied with the patient outcomes using only conventional treatments, he began treating his patients by addressing biological imbalances with lifestyle improvements, nutrition and nutraceuticals to get better outcomes. His integrative approach provided much improved results. Dr. Dave is passionate about helping the community he serves by personalizing treatments and educating the public about mental health and healthy aging. He has formulated several of our supplements and sat on the advisory board for many others, ensuring the products we carry are based on science and experience and have the best efficacy rates and highest ingredient quality available.

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