21-Day Anti-Inflammatory Diet Meant For All Corporates: What To Eat & Avoid?
Everything we do has consequences
- Dennis Potter, English TV screenwriter.
Grabbing and holding onto a good source of income is mandatory to survive and thrive in this competitive world. However, an aspect that no one can escape while working a job, especially in the corporate sector, is work stress. And research shows that stress has a direct role in developing inflammatory disorders.
Recently, the concept of an anti-inflammatory diet has been making rounds on the internet. It is something that may do wonders for working individuals. Are you an HR professional looking for ways to promote employee health? Or are you a concerned employee? If so, you will want to give this a read.
Most employees ignore their overall well-being as they hustle to create a positive impression at work. In this regard, employers and HR professionals should work towards creating a healthy office culture.
In addition to promoting a safe workspace, HRs can incorporate wellness programs. These are designed so that the users become inclined towards healthier lifestyles.
Also, since stress is an inseparable part of work life, and it may lead to inflammatory diseases, working individuals should indulge in a healthier diet.
So, I have curated this blog wherein you will learn about the nitty-gritty details about inflammation, the 21-day anti-inflammatory diet for beginners, the benefits of this diet, the challenges associated with this diet, and some FAQs. So, let’s get started.
The intent of this blog is to create an awareness about the diet. Individuals interested in trying it is advised to consult their health professional.
What Is Inflammation In The Body?
Inflammation is your body’s natural response to fight any infection or heal any injury. In simpler terms, when a person suffers an injury, the body triggers the immune system to repair the damage. Here’s how inflammation feels or looks like:
- Redness of the skin
How does it affect the body? As a result of inflammation, the immune system triggers the white blood cells to act on the injured area. It accelerates blood flow to the affected area, which further leads to redness of the area. This is commonly known as acute inflammation.
You might be wondering, if inflammation is related to an injury or infection, how does it affect corporate employees? Here’s how!
How Are Corporate Employees Prone To Inflammation?
Corporates have been and are still all about hustling and working till you sweat. However, such a work culture is not advisable as it affects your physical health negatively.
As mentioned earlier, work stress is imminent in every corporate organization. And it has a direct impact on physical health. Other than stress, sitting for long hours at work affects the body negatively, too.
Apparently, working a job that requires a person to sit for extended periods leads to
- Higher levels of triglycerides
- Higher levels of HDL cholesterol
- Higher levels of C-reactive protein
All these 3 factors are responsible for developing chronic inflammation diseases. Here are some commonly occurring chronic inflammatory disorders:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Heart disease
What Is An Anti-inflammatory Diet?
As you know now, inflammation is a body’s natural process of healing a wound or fighting a possible foreign body invasion. But, injury or not, if a person leads a sedentary lifestyle for an extended period, the body malfunctions. As a result, it sends signals to the immune system to attack the body’s healthy cells, which leads to chronic inflammation.
Following an anti-inflammatory diet plan will do wonders to prevent and manage such conditions. This diet is known to detox the human body from the inside out. The concept of an inflammatory diet is to eat clean and eliminate certain food items.
The anti-inflammatory diet is a type of elimination diet.
To eat clean means to eat simple. Now what does eating simple mean? It means a person usually eats food with less saturated fats and sugar content. This diet includes only wholesome foods and excludes red meats and processed foods (basically anything with less or no nutritional value).
An inflammatory diet includes nutrient-rich food groups that have the power to reduce or prevent any inflammation. It may be tweaked as per one's nutritional requirements.
About the 21 Day Anti-inflammatory Diet
The 21-day anti-inflammatory diet is nothing different from the standard anti-inflammatory diet. The thumb rule of this particular diet is to follow it for only 21 days.
What to eat on this diet?
1. Dark leafy greens
Leafy green veggies are rich in antioxidants, which can reduce any inflammation in the body. Moreover, these are abundant in Vitamin A, which can nurture and shield the body cells from free radicals. As a result, greens can protect the body from possible inflammatory responses.
Examples: Spinach, kale, turnip greens, collard greens
2. Vitamin C-rich food groups
Vitamin C is also known to contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Hence, foods containing high amounts of Vitamin C are a must in an anti-inflammatory diet. Moreover, research has shown that increased intake of Vitamin C-rich foods helps reduce the C-reactive protein levels in the blood.
C-reactive protein is a kind of protein that the liver produces. Under normal circumstances, the levels of C-reactive protein in the blood remain low. In cases of any inflammation in the body, its levels increase. This eventually leads to the development of chronic inflammation issues.
Examples: All dark leafy greens, broccoli, bell peppers, tomatoes, strawberries, grapes.
Grapes are a great source of both Vitamin A and C.
3. Fresh fruits and berries
Growing up, everyone must have heard a zillion times that eating fruit is a great way to stay healthy. There’s also the popular phrase, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
Fresh fruits and berries have high amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Examples: Apples, berries, plums.
Whole grains are another great anti-inflammatory food option to include in this diet. Whole grains are not only rich in fibers but may also comprise anti-inflammatory properties.
Examples: Oats, quinoa, barley, brown rice, millet, whole rye, and sorghum.
5. Seeds and nuts
Seeds and nuts are great sources of unsaturated fats and minerals, which can help reduce and prevent the possibility of chronic inflammatory disorders. Also, edible seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acid, which is again known for its anti-inflammatory properties.
Examples: Chia, flax, almonds, walnuts.
6. Healthy Fats
It is pretty much well established that not all fats are bad -there are healthy fats, and there are unhealthy fats. Healthy fats consist of omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids.
Including healthy fats in the diet is known to help the body from developing any inflammation in the body.
Examples: Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, olive oil, avocado, and dried nuts.
What not to eat on this diet?
1. Processed food
Processed food does sometimes taste good and is time-saving. But the dreaded truth is, processed foods are the most unhealthy. They not only contain harmful preservatives but also cause various chronic disorders.
Examples: Bacon, ham, sausage, or any other frozen food.
Suggested reading: Lion Diet: Is It Just Another TikTok Trend, Or Is It Worth Trying?
2. Food with saturated fats
Saturated fats are also known as unhealthy fats. This criterion of fat is also infamous for its contribution to inflammation in the body. Also, if you wish to lose weight in a healthy manner, cutting off food rich in saturated fats is a must.
This is a much needed step for corporate employees with sedentary lifestyles too.
Examples: Any packaged food like cookies, biscuits, cake; deep fried food like french fries.
3. Food with high sugar content
Sugar is sweet but does not portray a very sweet attitude toward your body. Consuming food with high sugar content does tantalize the taste buds. But sugar on reaching the gut reduces the microbiome diversity and weakens the immune system over time. As a result, it leads to chronic inflammation.
Consuming many sugary foods causes inflammation in the joints too.
4. Red meat
Red meat is popular in the culinary world as a star ingredient in most communities. It is also popular in the medical world, unfortunately, as something harmful to health. Studies have confirmed a direct relationship between the rise in chronic diseases and increased red meat consumption.
5. Unhealthy carbs
Unhealthy carbohydrates or refined carbohydrates are other food groups that should be avoided entirely to save oneself from any inflammatory disorders. Foods with refined carbs contain no true nourishment and will only add unwanted calories to the body.
Examples: White bread, white rice, flour, etc.
Anti-Inflammatory Diet Benefits for Corporate Employees
1. Increases concentration and work productivity
The struggle to keep one’s mind at work is not always easy. In addition, HR struggles to keep up the productivity level of employees at all times. This is where offering an anti-inflammatory diet for the employees in the form of office lunch may come in handy.
Or else, HR can come up with diet-centric corporate wellness programs to motivate employees to consume healthier diets.
Since this diet allows the person to consume only foods with high nutritional value, it contributes to overall well-being. This leads to increased concentration and productivity at work.
2. Increases energy levels
Maintaining the energy level to work efficiently is no easy task, be it for the management or the employees. The key to getting access to increased energy levels is simple - a healthy diet.
In this regard, a healthy diet that busy employees should indulge in is the 21-day anti-inflammatory diet to detox and reduce inflammation.
3. Increases resilience toward work stress
Sadly, work & stress go hand in hand. Although, one can practice meditation every now and then to deal with stress. In addition to it, keeping the gut healthy and consuming anti-inflammatory foods will further help build immense resilience toward work stress.
Here is a list of foods included in an anti-inflammatory meal plan known for their mood-boosting effects:
- Dried nuts like walnuts, and pecans
- All kinds of berries
- Leafy green veggies
4. Lowers the risk of chronic inflammation
Employees with sedentary lifestyles or hectic work schedules are seen to be more prone to developing inflammation in the body. Even physically active people with a crazy work schedule are at risk.
In this case, an anti-inflammatory diet comes up and above as a lifesaving hack.
5. Improves immunity
Last but not least, be it the 21-day anti-inflammatory diet or other variations of it, following any of them helps to develop immunity against day-to-day germs and chronic inflammation.
21-day Anti-inflammatory Diet Made Easy For Corporate Employees
The life of corporates is true as the big screens portray. It can get hectic sometimes, and getting food with nutrition may be the last thing on an employee’s mind. Preparing meals that require healthy foods seems like a chore when one has to meet tight deadlines and deal with work pressure.
Following a well-prepared anti-inflammatory diet plan is what busy employees should try. In doing so, one does have to spend much time thinking about what meal to prepare for the next working day.
Also, incorporating a healthy diet is a life hack that every working individual should know. Here are some benefits of a healthy diet for corporates-
- It helps maintain a healthy gut.
- It allows employees to concentrate at work, along with increased work productivity.
- It decreases the chances of lethargy.
- It helps keep the heart healthy.
- It increases immunity.
Suggested reading: Signs Of Poor Gut Health & Natural Ways To Improve It!
Rome wasn’t built in a day. Similarly, following a diet as rigid as the 21-day anti-inflammatory is not easy. One may feel cranky or tempted to regularly eat unhealthy food. The smart step here is to make small changes to the regular diet with anti-inflammatory foods.
Create a diet meal routine. This will take only a few hours at the maximum. Take some time out on a week off, and consider all the easily available foods to include in the diet. Once the meal plan is ready, one can keep their mind set on what to consume to fulfill their nutritional needs.
The ultimate clue to attaining well-being is to eat healthily and stay physically active. Busy corporates can practice sitting exercises while carrying out their work responsibilities.
One can also practice NEAT exercises consciously. The end result will be a happy individual with a healthy body and mind.
Say yes to all kinds of support. The human mind and body are tricky. Making changes to a diet and lifestyle is complicated. However, to make the transition smooth, one can grab any support through a nutrition tracking app, a person who will motivate, or a journal to introspect.
The 21-day anti-inflammatory diet may sound intimidating to many people. To simplify it, all it requires is smart planning and dedication to achieve a healthy life personally and professionally.
Working extra hours or climbing up the ladders in a career to make money has become the new normal to survive. But to live the dream, maintaining a healthy body is a necessity. So, do not ignore your health at any cost.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. What are 3 foods that reduce inflammation?
3 easily available foods that reduce inflammation in the body are fresh fruits, dark leafy greens, and whole grains.
2. How can you detox your body from inflammation?
You can follow the 21-day anti-inflammatory diet plan for a while to detox your body from any inflammation.
3. What is the quickest way to flush out inflammation?
The fastest way to flush out inflammation is by detoxing the body. One can do so by making lifestyle changes, which include changing their eating habit and choosing an active lifestyle.
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