Chronic inflammation - What does it mean? How do we know if we have inflammation? How can we reduce inflammation? What are some anti-inflammatory foods? Pro-inflammatory foods? + Anti-inflammatory/balanced meal ideas & Activity options for anti-inflammation!
What are some signs you may have inflammation?
Skin concerns - Rosacea, acne, eczema, psoriasis
Edema/swelling of the limbs
Poor digestion - Bloat, constipation, loose stools, heartburn/indigestion
Recurrent sinus infections, UTI's, bladder infections, etc.
Anxiety/depression or poor mood regulation
What are some chronic diseases related to systemic/chronic inflammation?
Metabolic diseases - Type 2 Diabetes, Fatty liver disease, Heart disease, PCOS, Alzheimer's disease
Autoimmune diseases - Rheumatoid Arthritis, IBD, Hashimoto's
Chronic fatigue syndrome
Cognitive dysfunction including mood disorders
What are some causes of chronic inflammation?
A diet high in processed/refined foods - including processed/nitrated meats
A diet low in plant-based whole foods & colourful fruits and vegetables
Sedentary lifestyle - inactivity
Dysbiosis (poor gut bacteria balance) caused by some medications including PPI's & NSAID's as well as long-term use of antibiotics, also caused by poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle
Nutrient deficiencies including Vitamin D, Vitamin A, zinc, magnesium & more!
Low stomach acid production caused by poor diet and the use of PPI's
Intestinal permeability (leaky gut)
Pollution/poor air quality/high toxic load
Excessive alcohol intake
Stress - Poor stress management
Poor sleep* - Less than 6-8 hours/night & poor sleep quality
*Poor sleep is linked to an increased production of proinflammatory cytokines (markers) such as CRP and a decreased production of anti-inflammatory cytokines.
Foods that are linked to chronic inflammation:
Foods that prevent/reduce chronic inflammation:
Anti-inflammatory sample day:
Yogurt bowl with plain yogurt, 1/2 tsp maple syrup, 1⁄2 cup blueberries/blackberries, 2 tbsp ground flaxseeds, 2 tbsp hemp seeds, 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds, 2 tbsp shredded coconut (optional) + 1 scoop protein and/or collagen powder (optional) - Add spices such as cinammon for increased anti-inflammatory properties.
Sandwich on spelt/sourdough bread with sliced tomatoes & sprouts with chicken or boiled eggs (mixed with olive oil mayo and/or avocado) and a side arugula or kale salad with olive oil vinaigrette (homemade or good quality when possible). Add sunflower seeds to the salad & vegetables of choice + sauerkraut for improved anti-inflammatory properties.
Spiced roasted vegetables + lamb chops (or protein of choice) & sauteed greens/vegetables:
1 cup of mixed roasted vegetables including celeriac, squash and parsnip –roasted with butter, olive oil & herbs & spices such as cumin, turmeric, paprika, etc. With sautéed greens & vegetables of choice with olive oil, garlic (or garlicoil) and citrus. Add a protein – chicken, lamb, steak, tofu, etc. ***Marinating or adding herbs and spices such as mint to lamb (for example) improves the anti-inflammatory properties.
Anti-inflammatory diet - Recipe websites:
What about physical activity to prevent/reduce inflammation?
Thank you for reading!
Nicole Marchand, RD.
Interested in learning more? Don't forget to sign-up to your preferred Eat Well Nova Scotia wellness subscription package for more recipes/meal ideas, newsletters & videos related to a healthy dietary lifestyle for improved wellness.