Anti-Inflammation Diet: We are What We Eat

Anti-Inflammation diet begins with what foods we buyAn Anti-Inflammation diet will help reduce the inflammatory effects in our bodies caused by what we consume. Inflammation is defined as; a protective tissue response to injury or destruction of tissues, which serves to destroy, dilutes, or wall off both the injurious agent and the injured tissues. The classical signs of acute inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function.

Internal inflammation is starting to get a lot of attention in the health/medical community. There seems to be a causal effect between inflammation in the body and overall health in general and some diseases in particular. As part of our body’s immune system, inflammation is a response which enables our body to begin to heal.  However, sometime it goes wild, as with Rheumatoid Arthritis, and can actually cause damage to our body. Inflammation likely is connected to Obesity, Cancer and Heart Disease and even some neurological diseases.

According to Dr. Scott Zashin; Foods high in sugar and saturated fat can spur inflammation. “They cause over activity in the immune system says Scott Zashin, MD, clinical professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

Logically, what we eat affects how we feel and some foods are more pro-inflammatory while others have anti-inflammatory properties. For Elder senior parents, a lifelong way of eating will have its effects but change is possible. For Boomers, the time to switch to anti-inflammation diet is now so that you may reap the benefits  in older age.

Of course as one of the wealthiest countries in the world, our diets consist of a lot of things which aren’t particularly healthy. Unfortunately the American diet tends to be heavy on processed, packaged foods. Who knows what hormones and pesticides are added to our foods? We achoose what we buy and eat. We should start trying to help ourbody be healthier by eating a more anti-inflammation diet.

Try to decrease the “white” foods – flour, bread, sugars, starches, fats.  These include cookies, cakes, candy, and ice cream. Start by adding healthier foods to your diet and decreasing the size of portions and frequency of these foods which act against your own organs.

What should be in Our Diet?

Eat more fruits, vegetables, nuts, leaner meats, extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil, beans, lentils, whole grains, teas, Steel cuts oats, brown rice, salmon and sardines.  You know this – and YES it takes will power and desire to change eating habits. Do the possible first! It doesn’t have to be an ALL or Nothing… ease your way into a better diet and feeling better. You aren’t too old to change or at least modify what you shop for and bring into your home.

Who Should We Consult?

Check with your doctor and a nutritionist to find what foods are best for you and your health condition. A nice by-product of a healthier diet is also weight loss. It is recommended to enlist the help of a Nutritionist, especially if you are on some medications, such as Coumadin which have dietary limitations. It can be very confusing to think you need some types of foods but they may interfere with a health problem.  A Nutritionist can help build a personalized menu for you and teach you how to shop healthy.

Many older adults live alone and may no longer cook as much as they used to. It may also be harder for them to shop and prepare meals. A home health aide will assist with driving to the supermarket, push the cart, carry the groceries and make meals. A caregiver, even a few hours a week can have a positive impact on nutrition very quickly which leads to feeling better.