Anti-Inflammatory Diet & Coffee

Chronic inflammation can lead to a variety of health problems, including cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. Following an anti-inflammatory diet plan may reduce inflammation and lower your risk of these diseases. Although the scientific evidence regarding the anti-inflammatory properties of coffee is mixed, some studies suggest that drinking coffee can be an acceptable part of an anti-inflammatory diet. Discuss your diet and coffee consumption with your doctor to make sure it is appropriate for you.

Arthritis. (Image: phototake/iStock/Getty Images)

Anti-Inflammatory Diet Purpose

Fresh produce. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

The purpose of an anti-inflammatory diet plan is to improve your overall health by reducing chronic inflammation. According to the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, a compound called arachidonic acid contributes to this inflammation. Animal products commonly contain arachidonic acid; thus, the anti-inflammatory diet minimizes consumption of animal products and encourages dieters to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Diet Features

Salmon has Omega 3. (Image: anna liebiedieva/iStock/Getty Images)

The anti-inflammatory diet requires you to limit or avoid low-nutrient processed foods, such as white flour products and sugary sweets, high-fat meats and dairy products, margarine and fried foods. Meat and dairy products contain saturated fat, while most margarine and processed foods containing hydrogenated vegetable oil, contain trans fats, all of which cause inflammation. The diet emphasizes whole foods, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and fish. Fatty fish, such as salmon, Atlantic mackerel, trout, sardines, anchovies or herring, contain omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation.

Coffee Consumption

Cup of coffee. (Image: Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Several scientific studies suggest that coffee may have anti-inflammatory properties that are good for your health. In 2006, researchers from the Iowa Women's Health Study found that drinking coffee lowered the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer and other inflammatory diseases in post-menopausal women. The researchers concluded that coffee contains important antioxidants that reduce inflammation in your body. In a 2010 study published in the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition," researcher Kerstin Kempf of Heinrich Heine University in Germany found that drinking coffee reduced inflammation and improved levels of HDL cholesterol, which promotes cardiovascular health. This scientific evidence suggests that drinking coffee can be a healthy part of the anti-inflammatory diet.

Considerations

Discuss your concerns with your doctor. (Image: Thomas Northcut/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Although coffee consumption may improve chronic inflammation, it is not appropriate for everyone. Pregnant women should avoid drinking caffeinated coffee because it could harm their unborn child. Other possible side effects of coffee include heartburn, sleeplessness and irritability. Talk to your doctor before beginning to drink coffee as part of an anti-inflammatory diet to make sure it is safe for you.

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