You’ve probably heard a lot about “inflammation”, and your impression is that it’s a bad thing. Actually, when the body’s immune system activates to fight off an invader (such as a virus or bacteria), inflammation can be a good thing! But when the immune system fails to “switch off”, chronic inflammation can definitely become a problem and cause serious damage. That’s the type of inflammation you’ve probably heard about, and the type that our medical weight loss plan seeks to address.
Yes, chronic inflammation can lead to health conditions such as weight gain, arthritis, heart disease and even cancer. If chronic inflammation has taken hold, we definitely want to take steps to support proper immune system function and to reduce inflammation in the body. One way we do that is through eating the right foods and avoiding the wrong ones.
So, which foods can reduce inflammation? Try to incorporate the following into your diet on a regular basis:
- Berries – like blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries
- Broccoli – raw or steamed is best (not so much when covered with cheese)
- Fatty fish – such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring, or anchovies
- Bell peppers and chili peppers
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Green tea
- Dark chocolate – yes, a little chocolate can actually be good for you
And on that note, you might not be surprised to learn that some foods can actually encourage inflammation in your body. Unfortunately, the following are common staples of a mainstream American diet:
- Refined carbohydrates like white flour, white rice, and pasta
- Processed sugar (watch out for drinks)
- Processed meats – such as hot dogs, bacon, pepperoni, or canned meats
- Trans fats like shortening, margarine, and vegetable oil
- Most packaged snack foods; if it’s far from its natural state, it’s probably unhealthy and can trigger inflammation
But of course, a medical weight loss plan actually does address these issues – and more. Give us a call to discuss a weight loss program that really works in the long run, and we can reduce inflammation and your risk of chronic disease at the same time.