In the last couple of posts, we’ve been discussing the importance of an anti-inflammatory diet in treating a vast number of chronic conditions. The versatility and broad appeal of this diet can also be seen when discussing diseases like cancer and multiple sclerosis.
When you get a sprain or a superficial cut, think about the redness, heat, swelling, and pain that occurs around the injured area. These symptoms occur as a result of inflammation, and are actually a sign that nutrients and immune factors are rushing to the area to encourage healing.
However, in most other instances, inflammation, whether it occurs in the myelin sheath that covers the nerves in our body, in our muscles and joints, in our brain tissue, or, even in our digestive system, is not ideal and can trigger a domino effect of symptoms and illnesses.
What if there is nothing “wrong” with me?
Should I still ascribe to an anti-inflammatory diet?
Yes! While this diet can be quite specific in treating various illnesses, it is also a very sensible and well balanced diet. It provides more than adequate amounts of vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and fiber. So, if someone in your family is dealing with illness and wants to make dietary changes, it is perfectly reasonable for the rest of the family to follow along too.
I get asked all the time,
I respond with a hearty, emphatic “yes!”. More and more research shows that a mostly plant-based diet, high in fresh fruits and vegetables, high in fiber and omega 3’s, and low in sugar and processed food, can be linked to lower incidences of many types of cancer.
When discussing cancer-preventing and cancer-fighting foods, we typically hear the word, “phytonutrient”.
Phytonutrients are substances found in plant-based foods that have antioxidant properties, and that can essentially reduce inflammation and prevent damage to cells.
So, basically, we should be consuming mostly fresh fruits and vegetables (where most of these essential phytonutrients can be found), healthy whole grains, nuts and seeds, and healthy fats.
Red wine contains the phytonutrient Reservatrol that is a known antioxidant, and dark chocolate (the higher the percentage of cacao the better) contains loads of phytonutrients.
Other than the typical, or expected, culprits (red meat, processed foods, sugar, etc) one perhaps surprising type of food to avoid are those containing high amounts of omega 6 fatty acids.
For most of our lives, we have been taught that omega 6’s are good for us; and, in fact, they do many essential things for our body (bone health, metabolism, healthy skin and hair). However, foods that are known to contain high quantities of omega 6’s have also shown to cause inflammation. So, individuals at high risk of cancer, or those fighting cancer, should look to avoid the following foods: safflower, sunflower, and corn oils, pork, eggs, and sunflower seeds.
MS is classified as an autoimmune disease that attacks the central nervous system. The myelin (protective covering of the nerves) gets inflamed and causes disruption in the transmission of nerve impulses.
It can result in;
Difficult to diagnose and frequently misdiagnosed This disease currently affects 1 in 340 Canadians!
As with many chronic conditions, there is much debate over the potential health benefits of diet and lifestyle in managing symptoms.
Individuals diagnosed with MS may need or wish to look beyond their primary care givers for advice. A naturopath or nutritionist may prove helpful in supplementing the program advised by the individual’s doctor.
Numerous studies have been done noting the high occurrence of MS in the Western hemisphere.
Studies have found that a Western diet consisting of fried food, lots of sodium, animal fat, sugar, processed food, red meat, low fiber, and low exercise contributes to higher rates of inflammation and a lower rate of healthy intestinal flora. Conversely, studies have shown that exercise, when combined with a healthy, low calorie diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, legumes, fish, probiotics, and prebiotics, can lead to reduced inflammation, improved gut health, and, interestingly, fewer flare ups in people living with MS.
And, while none of this is to suggest that diet alone can be used to treat the symptoms of MS, why not implement some of the changes suggested? Potentially reduce some of the potentially debilitating side effects? Several friends have told me that when they follow an anti-inflammatory diet, their day-to-day lives are much improved and their symptoms are greatly reduced.
If you, or a family member, have been diagnosed with an inflammatory condition, you have come to the right place. It can be overwhelming to try to meal plan for a family and to try to make such significant changes all at once.
At Ki’s Kitchen, we specialize in lovingly preparing food that adheres to anti-inflammatory principles. And we can customize based on individual needs. Furthermore, an anti-inflammatory diet doesn’t need to be boring or tasteless. Our food is known to be absolutely jam-packed with flavour and the perfect ratio of healing spices.
Thank you so much for visiting! I hope you have found some valuable information, if so, I’d love to hear about it!
Please feel free to share this post with anyone who might benefit, and comments are always welcome!
I look forward to connecting with you next time!
From our kitchen to yours,
Love + Peace