Good Nutrition Helps Fight Inflammation
Inflammation common in many chronic diseases
It’s been all over the headlines – people with underlying health conditions are at higher risk of contracting and becoming severely ill from COVID-19. Unfortunately, what isn’t being communicated is the important role nutrition plays in lessening that risk. That’s right. A healthy diet is just as important as proper hand hygiene and social distancing.
The hidden enemy
The vast majority of “underlying” conditions (heart disease, cancer, diabetes, bowel ailments, asthma, autoimmune disorders, and more) are directly linked to chronic inflammation. Different from acute inflammation, it takes place behind the scene. You often can’t see or feel it. But unfortunately, it weakens your body’s immune system, making you more vulnerable to disease and infection. Including, but certainly not limited to, COVID-19.
Diet is key to reducing inflammation, boosting immune system
It’s essential to take control of your health now. Not just out of fear over COVID-19, but because managing an underlying health condition is critical to improving your overall health. And one of the easiest ways to do this is by simply adjusting your diet. Certain foods naturally contain antioxidants that help fight inflammation. While others, typically more processed foods, increase inflammatory processes. The following lists will help guide you at your next visit to the grocery store or a restaurant.
Foods that cause inflammation
Try not to eat:
- refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and pastries
- coffee creamers
- French fries and other fried foods
- soda and other sugar-sweetened drinks
- high fat and processed red meat (burgers, steaks) and processed meat (hot dogs, sausage)
- margarine, butter, whole milk, cheese
Foods that help fight inflammation
Try to work these in your diet as much as possible:
- Fruits and veggies (especially those with color, like bell peppers, berries, spinach, eggplant)
- Whole grains (whole wheat bread, brown rice, whole oats, quinoa)
- Fatty fish – high omega-3 (salmon, tuna, sardines)
- Nuts (almonds, peanuts, walnuts)
- Beans and legumes (black/pinto beans, chickpeas)
Finally, if you’re going to stick to your diet, you’ll need ideas on how to prepare tasty meals, snacks, drinks, and deserts. Please check out the following websites for fun, fresh food preparation ideas.
This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
Provided by: Shawn Crandell, Registered Dietitian
To learn more, contact our Dietitian's office at 812-537-8163 or 812-537-8164.