When you hear the word "inflammation," you might think of hives or other skin irritations. But heart disease, diabetes, chronic pain and even occasional aches can all be caused by inflammation in your body, says Dr. Mehmet Oz. He explained how to change your diet to ease the pain and lose the weight on his December 5 talk show.
Although stress, inactivity and your genes also can contribute to inflammation, eating too much sugar and processed food can be just as, if not more, problematic. By swapping those sneaky sources of inflammation with healthy choices, Dr. Oz says that you can enhance your overall health. Ready to get started? Follow these Oz-approved diet tips:
- Instead of cereal for breakfast, eat berries and walnuts. Whole grains cereals are high in carbohydrates, resulting in blood sugar spikes that make inflammation worse. Berries contain anthocyanidins, which are detoxifying, and walnuts contain healthy fats.
- Unless you buy eggs fortified with omega-3s, Dr. Oz advises ending the egg habit. Instead, enjoy Greek yogurt. It's got more protein and reduces insulin surges.
- Say farewell to sugar. A better choice: Cinnamon, which is a sweet spice that reduces inflammation. Try it in your morning coffee. You'll shed pounds just by making the switch. One cup of sugar contains more than 770 calories, and it just takes a small amount of zero-calorie cinnamon to sweeten that coffee and other foods. And the swap also boosts your energy by avoiding blood sugar spikes.
- Toss out the turkey lurking in your refrigerator. Instead of eating animal protein such as a turkey sandwich, enjoy legumes and beans instead, such as vegetarian chili.
- Stay away from store-bought salad dressings. They contain sugar and unhealthy fats. Instead, use extra-virgin olive oil.
- Move away from the mayo. Spread healthy avocado on your bread instead.
- Say so long to the salt. Use spices like chili powder, basil and turmeric to help reduce inflammation, says Dr. Oz. Spices can detoxify the liver, and chili powder boosts your metabolism.