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Anti-Inflammatory Diet, In Practice

There's more than one way to benefit from anti-inflammatory foods.

| December 12th, 2011

The Anti-Inflammatory Diet

It's not just a Mediterranean Diet that works, and there are many ways to reap the benefits of anti-inflammatory foods.

If you’re not into European-style cuisine, you can explore a more Asian-inspired diet. A University of Arizona study involving arthritis suffers suggested that turmeric may help with arthritis pain, while others have shown that ginger can be an effective anti-inflammatory.

MORE: Healthy Spices to Cook With

With green tea, you can get it iced or hot, whichever way you like. A study done in rats found that consumption of green tea significantly reduced the severity of arthritis, suggesting that the same may be true for humans. Whether or not you suffer from this kind of pain, green tea has a host of other anti-inflammatory benefits, like preventing hardening of arteries (yes, in humans!).

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Anti-Inflammatory Diet, In Practice

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) patients may want to consider adopting a vegetarian diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Our Nutrition Advisor Kristin Kirkpatrick, R.D. suggests eliminating red meat and full-fat dairy. If you eat meat, try consuming lean sources of protein such as chicken breast.

For those who suffer from autoimmune diseases, it could become difficult to cook a restaurant-worthy vegetarian meal while experiencing symptoms.

MORE: The Healthiest Drinks

YouBeauty reader Maria has multiple sclerosis, and heavily relies on her Vitamix food processor. “If you’re not able to prepare good, well-balanced meals, it’s easy to put romaine lettuce, ginger and good fresh organic food in the processor,” she suggests.

Whatever the autoimmune disease, symptoms like fatigue are often at the forefront, which makes cooking seem like an overwhelming task (think of how well you make yourself meals when you're in bed with the flu). Food processors are key to getting anti-inflammatory veggies in a jiffy. 

Other investments that may be worth it: the SodaStream. YouBeauty reader Jane suffers from RA, and swears by it. “All day long, I drink seltzer water from the SodaStream. I put in a few drops of a lemon, and crushed ice. I don’t drink soda or coffee,” Jane says. By making her own refreshing drink, she cuts out caffeine and sugars from soda that could potentially be inflammatory.

COLUMN: Too Much Sugar Could Be Inflammatory

In the end, it’s all about finding out which easy tricks work for you. You cannot only avoid foods that aggravate you, but find delicious alternatives to add to your life.

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