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Anti-Inflammatory Diet: A Quick-Start Guide

You may have heard the buzz around an anti-inflammatory diet - for a good reason. The typical American diet causes high inflammation, which is linked...

Anti-Inflammatory Diet: A Quick-Start Guide

By NuFACE Digital

You may have heard the buzz around an anti-inflammatory diet - for a good reason. The typical American diet causes high inflammation, which is linked to numerous health issues, including heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and even certain cancers. Adopting an anti-inflammatory diet can help reduce inflammation in your body, potentially lowering your risk of these conditions.

In addition to lowering the risk of illness, an anti-inflammatory diet can help promote skin health and radiance - so you’ll look as good as you feel. This blog will guide you through the basics of an anti-inflammatory diet and provide tips on how to get started.

What Is Inflammation?

Inflammation is the body’s natural response to protect against harm - from fighting viruses to healing injuries. When your body encounters harm in the form of toxins, bacteria, viruses, or injuries, white blood cells are sent to heal or eliminate it. Once the injury or toxin is gone, inflammation sides.

There are two kinds of inflammation: acute and chronic. Acute inflammation is a short-term response to injury or infection. One example of acute inflammation is swelling and redness after bumping your leg or a sore throat related to a short-term viral infection. Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, is prolonged inflammation that can last for years and contributes to serious illnesses. 

Sometimes, the immune response doesn’t “turn off” as it should. That means inflammatory responses are still seen long after the threat is gone. This can lead to long-term, low-level inflammation, which is sometimes referred to as systemic inflammation.

What Are the Risks of Chronic Inflammation?

Chronic inflammation that is long-term has been continually linked with chronic diseases and metabolic conditions like:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity 
  • High cholesterol
  • Unregulated blood sugar and type 2 diabetes 
  • Autoimmune disorders, like rheumatoid arthritis

Some research even links chronic inflammation with conditions like Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia. Although we may not be able to prevent these diseases, we can reduce our risk of developing inflammation by avoiding foods that might cause it and choosing foods associated with less inflammation. 

What Are the Basics of an Anti-Inflammatory Diet?

Researchers have learned that one primary way we can fight inflammation is by choosing foods with anti-inflammatory properties and reducing our intake of foods known to increase inflammatory markers in the body. Here’s what you should know the next time you hit the market. 

What Foods Should You Include in an Anti-Inflammatory Diet?

The first step to adopting an anti-inflammatory diet is to cut back on heavily processed foods. You’ve probably heard that shopping the perimeter of the grocery store is vital to avoiding heavily processed foods and choosing healthier options. The perimeter is where you are most likely to find less shelf-stable foods, which means they haven’t been processed with preservatives to keep them fresh for long periods.

Chips, crackers, packaged snack bars, and refined grains like bread and cereals are a few heavily processed foods that could trigger inflammation. Additionally, sodas, sweetened drinks, fried foods, and processed meats like hot dogs can increase inflammation. One easy way to cut back on processed foods is to buy fewer products in a wrapper or box. Natural, unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables, and meats have far less packaging and cause less inflammation.

Some of the most anti-inflammatory choices you can make are also staples of the Mediterranean Diet and include:

  • Tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Leafy green vegetables 
  • Dark chocolate 
  • Nuts
  • Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines which are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids
  • Fruits like strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges are loaded with antioxidants. 

The Mediterranean Diet also supports the inclusion of whole grains, lentils, legumes, and limited amounts of red meat and dairy. Primarily, the Mediterranean Diet avoids heavily processed and prepackaged foods and is a diet that consists of fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, lean protein, and even a little red wine. 

What Foods Should You Avoid in an Anti-Inflammatory Diet?

Just because a food is located in the center of your grocery store doesn’t mean you automatically have to shun it. Some foods can benefit you, but it can be tricky to learn which ones might cause inflammation and which don’t. 

Researchers agree that these foods should be avoided. 

  • Refined carbohydrates like added sugar, white bread, snack cakes, most cereals, and pastries
  • Fried foods like french fries, fried chicken, and most potato chips
  • Colas, sweetened coffees and teas, and sugar-laden sports drinks
  • Red meat like steaks and hamburgers
  • Processed meats like hot dogs, sausages, and lunch meat
  • Some fats like margarine

While trans fats (fats that have been converted from liquid to solid to increase food's shelf life) are currently banned in the U.S., that doesn’t mean you won’t still find them in your foods. Prepackaged foods can still contain up to half a gram of trans fat per serving, and if the serving size is small, your consumption could add up quickly. 

If you want to choose a dietary pattern that will help you lower inflammation and help protect you against adverse health conditions, choose whole foods over processed foods, sweet potatoes over sweets, and leafy greens over lattes. That doesn’t mean you can’t still treat yourself or find quality replacements, but making your primary eating plan whole food forward should generally be the goal. 

The results of eating more whole foods may surprise you. Not only can you experience less inflammation, but you might also experience better-looking skin. 

How Can an Anti-Inflammatory Diet Benefit Your Skin? 

Anti-inflammatory foods benefit your overall health and wellness and can specifically benefit your skin. When there is inflammation in the body, it can manifest on your complexion, showing up as redness, irritation, breakouts, or a complexion that isn’t quite as youthful-looking as it once was. Taking care of your whole-body wellness by focusing on an anti-inflammatory diet can ultimately help you achieve and maintain the complexion of your dreams.

To kick the skincare benefits up a notch, consider leveling up your skincare routine, too, to complement the many advantages of a healthy diet. 

The NuFACE® Skincare Solution

NuFACE skincare is formulated with clean, effective ingredients that address your unique skin needs.

1. Cleanse

Cleansing your skin is the foundation of any good skincare routine. Prep-N-Glow® Exfoliating & Hydrating Facial Wipes cleanse the skin to remove dirt, oil, and makeup. Simply flip the wipe to the lightly textured side to exfoliate and polish the skin.

2. Mist

NuFACE Supercharged IonPlex® Facial Mist is designed to help hydrate your skin without adding weight or heavy creams that could clog pores. To use, simply spritz onto the skin to enhance hydration and prepare for microcurrent treatment if you plan to use your favorite NuFACE Device

3. Boost

Every skin type can benefit from a serum. NuFACE Super Booster Serums Collection offers clean, powerful ingredients that help your skin achieve radiant wellness. Apply a few drops of your favorite Super Booster onto your fingertips and massage into clean, dry skin until fully absorbed. 

4. Activate

NuFACE Microcurrent Activators are formulated with IonPlex to conduct microcurrent during your NuFACE lifting treatment, and they include active ingredients to hydrate, lock in moisture, and help smooth skin. Choose the activator that best suits your skin type and use it as a stand-alone moisturizer, hydrating mask, or prep for microcurrent treatment.

To complete your routine, add your favorite eye cream, moisturizer, and sunscreen before you hit the door.

Health Benefits and Skin Benefits, a Winning Combo

Eating better is usually at the top of our lists of resolutions, and you can make healthier choices by choosing a diet that promotes less inflammation in your body. Simply choosing an anti-inflammatory diet can also help you see health and skin benefits. 

Ensure you’re taking care of your skin on the outside to get the most radiance possible. NuFACE skincare helps you keep your skin rejuvenated and youthful. 

Sources:

Anti-Inflammatory Diet | Johns Hopkins Medicine

The metabolic syndrome and inflammation: association or causation? | PubMed

Inflammation as a central mechanism in Alzheimer's disease - PMC

Rheumatoid Arthritis | CDC

Foods that fight inflammation - Harvard Health

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