Ask Dr. Cobi - What foods can I eat to decrease inflammation in my body?
There are some foods that increase inflammation and some foods that decrease inflammation. This can include inflammation originating from any area of the body from any cause such as arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, heart disease, irritable bowel syndrome, headaches, autoimmune conditions and even general aches and pains.
Foods that INCREASE inflammation include gluten, dairy, refined sugar, processed foods, red meat refined carbohydrates, coffee and Trans fats. The "night shade" family which is comprised of potatoes, eggplant, tomatoes, and peppers contain a chemical called solanine and is thought to specifically cause pain in some individuals, especially those with arthritis.
Foods that DECREASE inflammation in the body include certain spices that are thought to have anti-inflammatory properties such as ginger, rosemary, garlic, oregano, and turmeric. Olive oil contains a natural anti-inflammatory chemical known as oleocanthal which inhibits the same cyclooxygenase enzymes as prescription anti-inflammatory medications. One word of caution, only premium, extra virgin olive oil has high enough levels of this inflammation reducing compound to be effective, so choose your olive oil wisely. Other anti-inflammatory foods include those high in omega 3 fatty acids such as oily fish like wild salmon, sardines and mackerel as well as walnuts, flax seeds and chia seeds. Additional great choices include fresh fruits and vegetables particularly dark leafy greens and berries.
On a side note finding out if you have any food allergies and eliminating hidden allergens can greatly decrease all types of inflammation in the body. This can be achieved through an elimination diet or by a blood test that reveals hidden food allergies.