The Immune System
The human body's immune system does an excellent job taking care of our health, as it is made of chemicals, cells, and biological systems that work together to protect us. The immune system recognizes foreign substances like viruses and bacteria easily, and works to stop their potentially harmful effects on the body. To function, the immune system is divided in two parts and each part plays an important role in the life of a person.
The first part of the immune system is the innate immune system, which you are born with. It's main job is to protect you completely from outside threats and dangers by making use of protective barriers such as stomach acid and mucus. The innate immune system can handle the body reflexes such as fevers and cough.
The second type of immunity is the adaptive immune system. It keeps developing constantly and consistently. Every time you face a health problem, the immune system keeps a record of it and keeps making the defense system stronger. It makes the body ready to face the similar situation next time and helps more efficiently when you face it.
The immune system and the inflammation work together, almost hand in hand. Every time there is a health issue which is created by the inflammatory condition, the immune system responds to it and fights back against the virus or bacteria creating the problem.
What is Inflammation?
Inflammation is one of the functions of the body which is normally controlled by the immune system the moment there is some attack on the body from outside by the biological viruses. Immune system stimulates the body cells and proteins and it controls the white cells and uses it while eliminating the threat from outside and also protects and repairs the damaged body. Inflammation is mainly caused because of the chemical mediators which are called as cytokines, which help in getting more cells to protect and to heal the damages.
Inflammation plays a vital role in the healing process. It works during the damages and it helps in repairing the part of wound which is healing.
There is no definite diet for the people suffering from inflammation, but researchers have found out certain food products which can definitely help in overcoming this issue with the help of the Mediterranean diet, which is very common and highly effective in everyday life.
To overcome the problem of inflammation, one can consult their doctor and plan an inflammatory diet plan which will help in the future. The main aim should be to reduce the unwanted food products slowly by removing them from the diet list, and instead adding food items which can help in overcoming the problem of inflammation.
Setting the Goals
One should work towards setting goals regarding which food products should be reduced and which foods should be stopped completely.
Here are a set of steps that one should follow while planning the diet.
- Limit sugar intake to 20 grams per day.
- Stop buying processed foods such as milk, can of beans, etc.
- Stop consuming the various baked items which are common in everyday life. Also limit the intake of baked goods made of wholegrain flavors.
- Slowly cut out all the different types of fried foods and refined oils. The refined oils are full of inflammation, but contrarily, mono-unsaturated oils such as olive oil, avocado oil, and grape seed oil are highly beneficial in everyday cooking. Avoid canola oil too because it is so heavily refined and all its health benefits have been reduced to nil.
- Increase the consumption of fresh fruits and green vegetables which are full of natural vitamins that help to gain the required strength and energy easily.
Anti-Inflammatory Diet – Plan 1
- Every morning start with a breakfast which should include a smoothie which is full of fresh fruits and fresh green vegetables. Make use of green vegetables in the main part of the breakfast as well.
- Make use of turmeric and ginger which are the best anti-inflammatory food items.
- Make use of organically raised meat and eggs, and choose the free-range, antibiotic-free, hormones-free food items which are more natural and full of proteins. Avoid eating meat everyday, but you should eat it once or twice during the week. Meat is expensive, so instead of buying a cheap and unsafe meat on daily basis, you can buy the most natural and organically made available meat once in a week. The good quality meat will help in getting energy and it will be economical too.
- The diet which you plan should be followed for a few days so that it helps in changing the food habits completely. The change in food habits brings a positive change in the body and it makes a person active and energetic.
- One should also start doing exercises which is an essential part of life. It is recommended to start certain physical activities which can help in gaining the body control well. Physical exercises like yoga can be very effective as it not only activates the metabolism of the body, but also helps a person to have a healthy lifestyle.
Anti-Inflammatory Diet – Plan 2
- Wheat and other grains which contain gluten should be eliminated from the diet list.
- Corn and corn products should also be eliminated completely.
- Dairy products should also be eliminated from the diet list.
- Nightshade vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, white potatoes and eggplant in their whole forms, as well as anything containing ground pepper or potato starch should be reduced completely.
Factors to Keep in Mind in an Anti-Inflammatory Diet
There are certain factors which we have to keep in mind while deciding the anti-inflammatory diet.
- Consume Fiber everyday (25 gms /day) - Daily consumption of fiber helps to reduce the effect of inflammation by utilizing the naturally available anti-inflammatory phytonutrients found in fruits, vegetables and many other food products. To get enough fiber, try having a fiber-rich diet with whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. The best sources include whole grains such as barley and oatmeal; vegetables - okra, eggplant, and onions; and fruits like bananas and blueberries.
- Have Fruits and Vegetables everyday - The fruit or vegetable that you eat should be cooked or raw. Include a lot of raw leafy vegetables. You can add anti-inflammatory herbs and spices such as turmeric and ginger which can increase their antioxidant capacity.
- Have Alliums and Crucifers every Week - Make a habit of having alliums including garlic, scallions, onions, and leek. Crucifers are vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, greens, and Brussels sprouts etc. These vegetables have powerful antioxidant properties and these should be consumed on a weekly basis asit helps in lowering the risk of many diseases, including the dreaded disease of cancer. Garlic is also highly effective and if you like the taste, then you can have one clove of garlic every day.
- Limit Saturated Fat to your Daily Calories - You have to restrict the saturated fat in your daily diet and this will reduce the risk of heart attack. The fat should be reduced to 10 percent - that's about 20 grams per 2,000 calories. Make a habit of having herbs, spices, and tart, unsweetened fruit juices.
- Use Omega-3 Fatty Acids - According to a survey, it is found that the omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation effectively and can control the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, arthritis and heart disease. Fishes like salmon, oysters, herring, trout and sardines, which are mainly cold water fish, are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Consume Fish few times a Week - Consume fish two to three times a week. Fishes low in fat like sole and flounder which are always fresh to eat and cold water fish are highly nutritious and have healthy fats are highly recommended in the diet list.
- Prefer to use Oils with Healthy Fats - Fats are required for the body, but while choosing the fat, make sure to choose fat with benefits. The oil should be organic and expeller pressed, high-oleic such as sunflower and safflower oil as they have anti-inflammatory benefits.
- Have Healthy Snacks - You can have healthy snacks twice a day. The snacks should be food items that contain more proteins and also the items such as fruit, yogurt plain or unsweetened, nuts, almonds, walnuts and celery sticks with carrots.
- Processed Foods and Refined Sugars should be avoided - The products which consist of refined sugar should be completely avoided because it can easily contribute to inflammation throughout the body. Refined sugar as well as artificial sweeteners should be avoided completely. It can increase the insulin resistance and leads to diabetes. It also raises blood pressure, increases the risk of fatty liver diseases creating dangerous health situations.
- Never have Trans Fats - According to Food Development Authority, it is required that companies offer the description of the packed food over the packet along with a label and details. Most of the people who prefer to eat trans food should know about the products and it is easy if the labels are written with the words such as “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated oils.”
- Well-Controlled Diet - Opt for flavorsome, delicious meals with nicely prepared healthy food items, fruits and green vegetables. You can also add spices and herbs such as rosemary, ginger, sage and clove with cinnamon as they have anti-inflammatory properties.
Result of the Anti-Inflammatory Diet
By eliminating the unwanted food items, the person will feel energetic and young. The also diet helps in gaining lost strength and confidence. The person becomes more flexible, and it also increases their stamina.
The anti-inflammatory diet is the best solution for people who suffer from a number of problems in everyday life. The diet not only helps to rejuvenate and regenerate the lost energy, but it also makes a person feel happy and healthy all the time.