Alternative MedicineGastrointestinal DiseaseLiving With CFNutrition

What is an Anti-Inflammatory Diet?

From left to right: onion, ginger, garlic, fresh turmeric

Anti-inflammatory foods are often discussed by people with chronic inflammatory diseases. Cystic Fibrosis has associated inflammatory responses, which brings the question of how beneficial an anti-inflammatory diet could be as part of the Cystic Fibrosis diet?

What foods are helpful?

What studies are behind these claims?

How can you cook with these foods?

Inflammation is a response of the immune system – sometimes to invaders (infection) and sometimes to the person’s own cells (autoimmune diseases). And sometimes inflammation can be damaging even if one’s own cells weren’t the original target of the immune system, as in the lung disease component of cystic fibrosis.

“Cystic fibrosis (CF) lung disease is characterized by a self-perpetuating cycle of airway obstruction, chronic bacterial infection, and vigorous inflammation that results in structural damage to the airway. CF patients have a predilection for infection with a limited spectrum of distinctive bacteria that initiate a vigorous inflammatory response which is more harmful than protective.”

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1385/CRIAI:23:1:005

People take medications to reduce inflammation when it harms the body. Medications like corticosteroids (inhaled or oral), NSAIDs (ibuprofen, aspirin and more), and even chemotherapy medications (Methotrexate) are powerful tools to limit inflammation.

These medications have risks as well as benefits, so looking for changes in lifestyle and diet that might assist in controlling inflammation can be beneficial. This is not to suggest changing a treatment regimen, but rather to explore the possibility that eating certain foods might improve a person’s inflammatory condition.

Foods that may Reduce Inflammation

Omega-3 fats

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12480795

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/omega-3-fats/

Fish

Nuts (especially walnuts, almonds), flax seeds

Leafy vegetables

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/natural-health/plant-based-foods-with-the-highest-amount-of-omega-3-fatty-acids/

Fruit (strawberries, blueberries, oranges, cherries)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17430644

Tomatoes, Green Beans, Eggplant, Cucumber, Zucchini

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070911092113.htm

http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/health-fitness/prevention/what-are-nightshades-and-do-they-cause-inflammation

Olive Oil

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21443487

Coconut Oil

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20645831

Turmeric (Curcumin)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12676044

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23116311

Quick FYI : Cumin ≠ Turmeric

Curcumin is the active ingredient of the spice Turmeric. Cumin is a spice made from the dried seed of a plant that is a member of the parsley family. Cumin is also believed to be beneficial — for digestion, diabetes prevention, and heart health.

Red Pepper (Capsaicin)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18380920

Ginger

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16117603

Garlic

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3915757/

Onion

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2246074

 

Please take a look at the infographics below for additional foods. You may want to keep these handy for meal planning and grocery shopping. The links below the images will take you to printable versions.

inflammation grapic 1 

https://www.health.harvard.edu/media/content/images/Foods%20that%20fight%20inflammation-infograph.png

 

inflammation grapic 2

http://www.drweil.com/ecs/images/anti-inflammatory-food-pyramid.jpg

Buying and Cooking Anti-inflammatory Foods

As you saw in the picture at the top of this article, a few small additions to a meal can make it have anti-inflammatory potential.

Those ingredients went into a mini-chop and then a quick stir fry.

20151219_172949

Mini-chop with ingredients from cutting board pictured at top (onion, ginger, garlic, turmeric). Also, coconut oil for low-to-medium temperature stir-frying, green beans, sliced pork. Plus soy sauce and sweet chili sauce (with red pepper flakes) to your taste.

The meat and vegetable in this stir fry can be changed to your preference. For example, here is the finished product, using chicken and broccoflower.

20160229_185138

broccoflower

Broccoflower – a mathematically beautiful vegetable (fractals).

Of note – I buy fresh turmeric at an Asian grocery store, but if this option isn’t available to you, powdered turmeric is sold at major grocery chains, and I’ve also had success buying food online.

Here is another anti-inflammatory meal I like to make:

Spinach Roll

Ingredients: Olive oil, garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, bag of frozen spinach or two bags of fresh baby spinach, pepperoni and sliced or shredded cheese of your choice (I suggest mozzarella or provolone).

20160228_181513 

20160228_181607

Sauté olive oil, garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, and frozen or fresh spinach. Add more or less salt depending on your use of pepperoni and cheese.

20160228_182740

Roll out pizza dough (no need to let it rise, just make sure it’s defrosted in fridge for 24 hrs if you buy it frozen). Place on greased cookie sheet, and layer on cheese and pepperoni (not pictured above) and the spinach stir-fry.

20160228_183001

Wrap it closed, brush the top with oil, and bake at 350’ until golden brown.

20160228_191855

Dig in!

 

Please share your anti-inflammatory recipes and meal ideas in the comments section below or start a new thread in the Nutrition Section of the forums.

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Melissa75

Melissa75