If you have a myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN), a rare type of blood cancer, you may experience chronic inflammation that can affect your quality of life and cause symptoms such as fatigue, itching, night sweats, and bone pain.
One way to help reduce inflammation and manage your MPN symptoms is to follow an anti-inflammatory diet. This means eating foods that can help fight inflammation in your body, while avoiding foods that can trigger or worsen it. In this blog post, we will share some tips and examples of anti-inflammatory foods that you can include in your daily meals.
An anti-inflammatory diet is based on whole, plant-based foods that are rich in antioxidants, phytochemicals, micronutrients, and healthy fats. These foods can help regulate your body's inflammatory process and may also provide other benefits for your overall health. Some of the anti-inflammatory foods include:
Phytochemicals and micronutrients commonly found in vegetables and fruits, such as tomatoes, spinach, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, blueberries, blackberries, cherries, and oranges. These foods can help protect your cells from damage and modulate your immune system.
Whole grains and fiber, such as brown rice, oatmeal, barley, and bran. These foods can help lower your blood sugar levels and prevent spikes that can trigger inflammation. They can also support your gut health and digestion.
Certain spices and seasonings, such as garlic, turmeric, ginger, chili peppers, cinnamon, black pepper, and more. These foods can help reduce inflammation by inhibiting certain enzymes and pathways that are involved in the inflammatory process. They can also add flavor and variety to your meals.
Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, nuts, seeds, and oils. These fats can help balance the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in your body, which can affect the production of inflammatory molecules. They may also help reduce pain associated with inflammation.
On the other hand, some foods can increase inflammation in your body and should be avoided or limited. These include:
Processed or refined foods that are high in sugar, salt, trans fats, or additives. These foods can stimulate the release of inflammatory proteins in your body and cause oxidative stress. They can also contribute to weight gain and other health problems.
Deep-fried foods that are cooked at high temperatures. These foods can produce harmful compounds called advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which can trigger inflammation and damage your tissues.
Red meat and processed meat that are high in saturated fat or nitrates. These foods can increase the levels of inflammatory markers in your blood and may also increase your risk of certain cancers.
To follow an anti-inflammatory diet, you don't have to be overly restrictive or complicated. You can start by making some simple changes to your eating habits, such as:
Eating more fruits and vegetables of different colors and types
Choosing whole grains over refined grains
Adding spices and herbs to your dishes
Replacing some of the red meat with fish or plant-based protein sources
Limiting or avoiding processed foods and deep-fried foods
Drinking plenty of water and avoiding sugary drinks
An anti-inflammatory diet may not only help you reduce inflammation and manage your MPN symptoms but also improve your overall well-being. However, before making any major changes to your diet, you should consult with your doctor or a registered dietitian who can advise you on the best dietary plan for your individual needs and preferences.