Paleo For Inflammation

Paleo is well known as an anti-inflammatory diet, highly beneficial in eliminating diseases caused by inflammation. Inflammation is the root cause of many modern diseases, such as:

  •  - Rheumatoid arthritis
  •  - Lupus
  •  - Celiac disease
  •  - Anaemia
  •  - Vitiligo
  •  - Psoriasis
  •  - IBS
  •  - Hashimoto's disease
  •  - Addison's disease
  •  - Reactive arthritis
  •  - Osteoporosis
  •  - Fibromyalgia
  •  - Heart disease
  •  - Diabetes
  •  - Alzheimer's disease

Following a Paleo diet (and in particular an autoimmune protocol diet (AIP)) can be one of the best ways to address the problems related to it. Read on to find what is inflammation, its effects on our body and how The Paleo Diet and AIP helps in eliminating inflammation in a natural and effective way.

What is Inflammation?

Inflammation is a consequence of body's reaction to heal wounds. It also develops due to the action of the immune system to fight with parasites, bacteria, virus and foreign proteins to keep the body free from ailments. A mild inflammation is experienced by almost everyone and is not something serious. But a few instances may lead to chronic inflammation in the body that causes much havoc and stress. Chronic inflammation makes the body vulnerable to many diseases while increasing pain and swelling in different parts of the body.

Anyone suffering from chronic inflammation needs to address it as soon as possible. If left untreated, inflammation may become severe and cause damage to your health. The best way to cure inflammation is to eat foods that reduce it in a natural way. An inflammatory diet, such as paleo & AIP, will help in eliminating the foods that increase inflammation. 

A Paleo lifestyle to combat inflammation

Following a Paleo lifestyle is a way of living that was adopted by our ancestors long before agriculture came into view. Humans at that time were healthier than we are, most likely due to a healthier choice of food they used to eat. Most of the food was eaten in an unprocessed raw form, which means they used to get the maximum nutritional value of the food. 

Grains cause inflammation of the intestines due to the presence of a protein called gluten. Avoiding wheat and grains will help in reducing inflammation.

Likewise, milk and milk products (particularly cow products) also cause inflammation in the gut that may lead to many ailments if continued for a longer period of time. 

Processed foods also have a large part to play in causing inflammation in the body. It is essential to eliminate processed food completely from your diet.

Paleo Foods that reduces Inflammation

Although following a paleo diet will naturally help in keeping inflammation at a bay, including specific foods may have an added benefits in addressing the issue. If you have chronic inflammation and are suffering from swelling and pain in different parts of the body, the following foods are a great place to start: 

Including fish in your diet has a beneficial effect in reducing inflammation in the body. It not only provides enough proteins for stronger muscles but also presents an array of nutrients including Omega-3 fatty acids. Research shows that adequate intake of omega-3 fatty acid helps in reducing inflammation in a natural way. Go for oilier fish such as mackerel, sardines, kippers, salmon, smoked salmon, rainbow trout, brown crab meat, sea bass and plaice for a boost of omega-3 fatty acids.

Fresh Fruits
Since fruits are high in fibre, it helps in keeping you satiated for longer. Fresh fruits are also high in antioxidants that assist in neutralizing free radicals. Free radicals are generated as a result of excessive exposure of the body to stress and environmental factors like pollution and UV (Ultra Violet) rays of the sun. Free radicals cause cellular damage and lead to inflammation. Antioxidants help in neutralizing the free radicals thereby saving your body from probable inflammation.

The paleo diet allows you to eat a variety of vegetables (preferably in raw form) that are high in nutrition. These vegetables and leafy greens have a high level of minerals and essential vitamins that are vital for the optimal functioning of the organs. Like fresh fruits, they also have a good amount of antioxidants to prevent cellular damage. Vegetables are crammed with fibre to increase satiety and reduce cravings. 

Garlic is one of the best foods that helps in reducing inflammation. It can be used in small amounts in your daily diet to fight swollen joints while adding taste to your food. It can be used in the cooked or raw form for reaping its maximum benefits. It is due to the sulfur compounds present in the garlic has an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. Onions are also rich in Sulfur compounds and work as well in reducing inflammation and swollen joints.

Ginger and Turmeric
Ginger helps in soothing joint inflammation and pain due to its anti-inflammatory properties. It is widely used in a Paleo diet to add taste and nutrition on a regular basis. It also helps in increasing the body's ability to absorb nutrients from the food. Turmeric is a spice power house and has inflammation lowering properties.

Nuts are packed with nutrients. Consuming nuts, especially walnuts have an anti-inflammatory action on the body. They are also high in antioxidants and prevents the body from nutritional deficiency thereby lowering the inflammation and pain. Just be aware of how many you eat due to their Omega 6: Omega 3 fatty acid ratios.

Hemp Oil
Hemp oil is high in omega-3 fatty acid that are beneficial in reducing inflammation. If you consume a lot of Omega-6 fatty acids, it is essential to limit it and start replacing it with omega-3 fatty acid. Since hemp oil has naturally high levels of the fatty acid, it aids in the reduction of inflammation. Hemp oil has a good amount of gamma-linoleic acid, which also has an anti-inflammatory action on the body.

You may find when inflammation is involved that your body can't tolerate certain foods within the list above, such as nightshade vegetables, seeds, nuts & eggs: in these cases, switching to an autoimmune protocol (AIP) diet is highly recommended - it's a very strict version of the Paleo diet but the benefits can be overwhelming and when you're in pain, you'd try anything, right?

There is a great article from The Paleo Pi about the success AIP can have on your life - check it out!

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