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What is the anti-inflammatory diet?

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Quick Answer

Foods that offer natural anti-inflammatory properties, such as the omega-3 fatty acids found in olive oil and flaxseed oil, walnuts, avocados, and phytochemicals found in citrus fruits, tomatoes and leafy greens are emphasized in an anti-inflammation diet, reports WebMD. Red meats, saturated fats and trans fats are avoided.

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What is the anti-inflammatory diet?
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Full Answer

Fish or fish oil supplements rich in omega-3 fatty acids are important components of an anti-inflammation diet, according to WebMD. Whole grains found in oatmeal, brown rice and bulgur wheat are recommended, as well as anti-inflammatory spices, such as ginger and curry. Lean, white-meat proteins are favored over beef and pork, and full-fat dairy products are minimized. Refined, white carbohydrates and processed foods are not included in the diet because they cause cells to release proteins called cytokines that trigger inflammation in the body.

Studies show that daily doses of 3 grams or more of omega-3 fatty acids reduce pain, swelling and morning stiffness in the joints of individuals with rheumatoid arthritis, reports WebMD. Anecdotal evidence exists indicating that an anti-inflammatory diet reduces osteoarthritis pain. Research conclusively indicates that the diet can prevent and treat type 2 diabetes when combined with an exercise plan. Individuals with type 2 diabetes have increased levels of cytokines in their fat tissue that causes inflammation to affect the way their body processes insulin, contributing to the diabetic condition.

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