Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition on a Keto Diet

While bursts of inflammation can help reduce the symptoms of some disorders, chronic states of inflammation can produce an opposite effect and contribute to illness or worsen the side effects of some pre-existing conditions. 

The team here at Konscious Keto, are excited to tell you about other ways to minimize inflammation issues.

Some inflammation is caused by an injury, like a sprained ankle, but it can also derive from the food and beverages we consume—which is good news and bad news.

The bad news is the food you're eating may be contributing to your current levels of elevated inflammation.

The good news is, what you eat can equally add an anti-oxidative effect that supports overall health—and you're in control of all the food that enters your body.

Fortunately, it's virtually effortless to enjoy loads of anti-inflammatory food options on a low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet.

We'll touch on the reasons the ketogenic diet reduces inflammation and which foods work best to battle oxidative stress in the body below.

The Keto Diet is Anti-Inflammatory

Many minding their waistline continue to flock to the ketogenic diet to torch stubborn body fat, but the eating style is also beneficial with its ability to reduce or manage the consequences of excessive inflammation.

The fundamental premise of the ketogenic diet, the elimination of sugars and refined carbohydrates, is inherently anti-inflammatory because sugar is known to produce elevated insulin levels and increase inflammation markers. Not only that but it promotes an increase in free radical molecules which can trigger the body's immune response in addition to agitating blood vessel linings.

Furthermore, reducing or eliminating glucose and other forms of sugar can suppress the onset of some chronic illnesses like type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance.   

It makes sense then, that topping a huge dark, leafy green salad with thick slices of vibrant avocado and seared salmon reduces inflammatory spikes, regulates blood sugar levels and aids in keeping adverse side effects in check.

In addition to the anti-inflammatory effects of a ketogenic diet caused by reducing sugar and carb intake, the healthy fats advised on a ketogenic diet help with satiety, along with taming the effects of oxidative stress.

Furthermore, the metabolic state of ketosis which produces enhanced ketone bodies, in the absence of carbs and sugar in the system, helps to reduce the damaging impact of free radicals that cause or exacerbate illness and disease.

For disorders that include symptoms like sore and painful joints, or degenerative nerve health, the common denominator is inflammation.

Many plagued with the chronic pain that's synonymous with inflammation seek a natural or alternative method to reduce it and its associated symptoms.

In addition to increasing physical activity, reducing stress levels, and avoiding opioids and other mind-altering drugs that can affect neurological receptors, food is a powerful tool we can wield to tamp  out damaging particles in the body.

Aside from managing the varied symptoms of a given disease, reducing the pain often associated with inflammation is top-of-mind for those suffering—often leading the afflicted to seek out less harsh, non-addictive remedies to sooth the joints and alleviate chronic soreness.

Fortunately, a standard ketogenic diet is especially helpful to those hoping to banish bouts of inflammation because of a few of the diet's pain-mitigating properties.

Furthermore, ketosis increases a natural chemical called adenosine—an element credited with pain relief and reducing inflammation. Also, ketosis helps to reduce reactive oxygen species which can lead to significant damage to our to cell formations, if left unregulated.  

Reasons for Inflammation on a Keto Diet

The drastic decrease in sugar consumption associated with a ketogenic diet leads to less inflammation by default.

However, even with the diet's tendency to reduce oxidative damage, certain keto-friendly foods may still cause inflammation; so selecting quality food options is still essential to living a healthy lifestyle that reduces inflammation on a low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet.

We'll share more about which foods to avoid or prefer to promote alkalinity, level blood sugar, and diminish oxidative stress below, to help you keep inflammation low enough to rival your carb macros.

Of course, foods full of sugar naturally spike glucose levels and promote increased inflammation, but even keto-friendly foods can impact oxidative stress in the body.

Despite keto-friendly foods often also being whole-food based, delving into the higher-processed foods that are keto compliant but contain less than ideal ingredients may produce adverse effects, including increased inflammation and weight-loss stalls, so beware.

Populate your weekly meal plans with grass-fed or wild-caught animal proteins like 80/20 beef and omega-3-rich salmon. Or experiment with recipes centered around another fatty, brain-boosting pescatarian options like mackerel, sardines, or oysters—get creative.

Avoiding packaged and highly-processed foods will go a long way in your effort to prevent inflammation and reduce the risk of virtually all disease.

Fresh, well-sourced healthy food options are always best, and those options are often easily found if you shop at local farmer's markets or stick to options located along the perimeter of most supermarkets.

5 Tips for Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition on a Keto Diet

Eating a ketogenic diet that naturally depletes glucose levels is an excellent lifestyle option for anyone looking to shed some extra pounds while increasing cognitive function and decreasing free radical damage.

While there is a long list of delicious low-carb, high-fat food options to choose from on a keto diet, there is some standout fare to flock to if reducing inflammation is among your top 2019 resolutions.

Fill your shopping cart with the following keto foods to ensure that your body is primed and optimized—creating an environment that's non-conducive to the proliferation of oxidative stress and its subsequent cellular damage.

Turmeric

One of the most vibrant and potent among the spices with both delightful culinary and powerful therapeutic benefits, turmeric is known to provide a host of health benefits—primarily aiding in the elimination of free radicals that, when unregulated, lead to increased instances of illness and disease.

Furthermore, it's the element turmeric curcumin that rises to the top of the culinary crop—providing medicinal and other unique dietary properties.

Also, it's worth noting that while turmeric is healthful, its benefits are maximized when paired in dishes with black pepper, thanks to the spice's abundant piperine compound content—helping to increase the absorption of all other nutrients consumed when coupled.

From being the crucial component that gives curry its signature vibrant amber hue, to a great addition to boost the nutrition in smoothies and other keto-friendly dishes, turmeric curcumin is a spice that you'd be wise to keep firmly rooted in your daily dietary rotation.

Ginger Root

Sipping this root in piping mugs of hot tea or adding it to savory fare in the form of a spicy beverage referred to as 'beer,' in Caribbean culture, ginger root is synonymous with digestive health and has been used to that end for centuries.

The promising news is that this ancient root is incredibly anti-inflammatory and in addition, lends to soothing the tummy and adding flare to foods both savory and sweet alike.

Further, research appears to indicate that ginger root is equally potent, regardless if it's fresh, dried, supplemental, cooked or even in oil-infused form.

Also, it's crucial to note that ginger is incredibly useful as a pain reliever and has even been said to be as effective in mitigating pain as ibuprofen because it reduces the prostaglandins, which promotes inflammation.

The chemical compounds found in ginger are known to disarm and regulate specific biochemical channels that may otherwise be triggered in those living in a state of chronic inflammation.

Lastly, in addition to its health benefits, ginger also adds a little extra kick to keto recipes, savory and sweet alike. Experiment with adding this root to your keto cuisine and explore how well it pairs with some complex flavor profiles while providing certain distinct and long-established health benefits.

I mean, think of this fun fact for some valuable context: ginger root is said to rival the efficacy and potency of manufactured NSAIDs on the market, produced to reduce inflammation—also even demonstrating the ability to reduce the expression of genes associated with inflammation!  

Salmon

Salmon and other fatty fish, defined as options that are more than 5% fat by weight, are excellent options on a keto diet. Salmon is a particularly great food to consume if looking to banish oxidative stress—thanks to its rich omega-3 content.

This fatty fish is so often eaten on a ketogenic diet because the quality fat content inherently reduces inflammation by suppressing carb cravings, while simultaneously causing satiety—causing us to eat less without much effort, naturally.

Green Veggies

Dark, leafy green vegetables are packed with complex bundlings of vitamins and nutrients, providing a full spectrum of nutrition which supports improved holistic health.

Consider an organic, mixed green salad, gussied up with herbed goat cheese, walnuts and a fatty dressing like the variety of keto-friendly blends made by Primal Kitchen, to get in your daily fill.

Whether warmed, sauteéd or blended into a bold berry smoothie, green veggies should always be in play, and we mean in heavy rotation, on a keto diet.

Healthy Fats

If you have done even some basic research on the ketogenic diet, you likely know that fat is fundamental, and carbs are cancelled, but you may still wonder whether fats are all the same.

The body metabolizes the spectrum of dietary fats we choose to eat differently. To this point, be sure to avoid harmful vegetable oils like canola, which is toxic and triggers inflammation.

While trans fats of all kinds are entirely off the menu, some other fantastic fat options are ideal for anyone following a ketogenic diet, so no worries.

The following are some excellent sources of healthy fats that we love to recommend to satisfy hunger, maintain ketosis, and make every meal you eat an adventure in culinary excellence on keto.

Select some of the following for a significant dose of healthy fats that are free from the undesirable ingredients found in trans-fat foods:

  • MCT oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Organic, ghee made with butter from grass-fed cows
  • Grass-fed butter
  • Organic, palm oil (fair-trade)
  • Olive oil

Anti-Inflammation Benefits of Beta-hydroxybutyrate

As we've eluded to above, there are some ketone bodies produced while in a state of metabolic ketosis.

Beta-hydroxybutyrate, the most prominent and influential of the trilogy of ketone bodies, is generated in addition to acetoacetate (AcAc), the first of the bodies to be created in ketosis, and acetone, the least of the used ketones.

As we've mentioned, inflammation is at the root of virtually all illness and disease so learning the anti-inflammatory benefits of the most potent exogenous ketone supplements available, to induce and support nutritional ketosis is crucial to maximizing all the benefits on a low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet.

Recent research indicates that BHBs can obstruct a particular immune system receptor called the NLRP3 (c3) inflammasome, which is helpful in managing elevated inflammation.

So, in addition to a long list of benefits in following a ketogenic lifestyle, consuming exogenous ketones, specifically BHBs, can aid in reducing inflammation and combat the onset of some degenerative of neurological diseases.

Summary: Stepping Up Anti-Inflammation on a Keto Diet

Again, the ubiquitous presence of low-glycemic foods on a ketogenic diet naturally suppresses inflammation.

However, approaching a ketogenic diet strategically can help you maximize its anti-oxidative effect on the body.

The following is a recap of the foods to incorporate into your daily ketogenic meal plan, to eliminate inflammation and prevent associated illness and disease:

  • Consider adding in a BHB supplement, like Keto Activate, to help regulate inflammatory triggers like NLRP3 in the body
  • Focus on eating high-quality, grass-fed meats, including organ meats
  • Indulge in monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and premium saturated fats like MCT oil to reduce the presence and impact of inflammation in the body

Pack handy pouches of fattier nuts like pecans, macadamia and almonds, and tote them around with you during your busy days, so you always have a fat-fueled snack to keep you full and energized on-the-go.

Focus on adding as many foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids as possible. Foods like eggs, salmon, avocado, cacao butter or even mackerel are excellent options to reduce the presence and impact of free radicals.

Stick to low-glycemic, dark, leafy greens on keto. Indulge in some spinach or kale sauteéd in grass-fed butter, or throw down some collards or swiss chard for a keto-friendly, savory side dish.

Inflammation and its effects can prove detrimental to our health and well-being so, anything we can do to reduce its levels and impact in the body, is worth a shot.

You're likely already on the right track to eliminating inflammatory foods from your life, if living a ketogenic lifestyle. Implement the tips we've shared to help you amplify the anti-oxidative effect of the nutrient-dense foods you eat, to ensure you get the most out of your keto diet.

Sources

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