If you can’t sleep at night it could just be because of the kind of food you’ve been eating. An inflammatory diet has been known to keep people awake.
According to research from the University of South Carolina, those who ate more inflammatory foods slept worse than those who ate less of them.
The study lead author, Dr Michael Wirth said that he has looked at the role of inflammatory diets in a number of different groups including police officers, pregnant women and men in general. The results show that anti-inflammatory diets make them sleep better.
Why is this? High levels of inflammatory markers like interleukin 6 and tumor necrosis factor inhibit the natural rhythm of the sleep-wake cycle.
“If someone’s diet frequently contains inflammatory foods, you lose that natural rhythm.”
Wirth said to move to an anti inflammatory diet, one should not be too drastic about it and start in stages.
“One thing. I try not to do is say, ‘Hey, take your diet and completely change everything about it,” he says. He suggests adding the following anti-inflammatory foods;
- Green leafy veggies like spinach and kale
- Fatty fish like salmon and tuna
- Brightly colored fruits like strawberries, cherries, oranges and blueberries
- Nuts like walnuts and almonds
- Hot, colorful peppers like jalapeños and habaneros
Wirth also says that spices and herbs are “some of the most anti-inflammatory foods on this planet”.
He also recommends cutting down on animal protein and foods that come in a box.
Food that are inflammatory and should be avoided include;
- Snack cakes
- Sodas and sweetened drinks
He also advocates limiting fried foods and anything laden with oil such as pizza. Eliminating even one or two inflammatory foods from your diet will put your body on a path toward healing and the benefits are huge.
“After two, three, four nights of really good sleep, you’re going to start to see changes in alertness during the day, the ability to think on your feet, physically not being as tired,” he said.
Inflammation affects the body’s circadian rhythm so it is “everything from your body’s ability to fight off infection and digest your food, to prevent insulin resistance.”
“You’re going to feel better, be able to think better, do things physically better.”
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