Foods That Help Fight Inflammation

    It's becoming widely accepted that we can change the state of our bodies by changing our diet. There is a plethora of information out there which suggests that we can help some diseases by assessing how prolific our gut flora is. The same is true for inflammation – the foods we eat can help our body fight inflammation or can keep triggering it.

    Your immune system is an amazing system. It becomes active when it recognises anything that is foreign e.g. an invading pathogen, cell damage or chemical irritant, and creates a biological response to try and remove it. The signs and symptoms of inflammation can be uncomfortable, but it is showing the process by which the body is trying to heal itself.

    Inflammation is fine on a short-term basis, after all, it's designed to help heal and protect the body, however, over longer periods inflammation can be an enemy. Many major diseases such as heart disease, arthritis and depression have been linked to chronic inflammation.

    Where does diet come into this though?

    Choosing the right foods may help you to reduce levels of chronic inflammation in the body, helping you to reduce your risk of illness. Pick the wrong foods though and you could accelerate the inflammatory process! Of course, no one is saying to stop eating them altogether, but moderate intake and amend as required.

    Foods that contribute towards inflammation:-

  • Refined Carbohydrates e.g. white bread, pastries
  • Fried Foods
  • Soda and other sugar sweetened beverages
  • Red Meat
  • Processed Meat
  • Margarine, Shortening and Lard

And on the flip side of the coin we can help reduce inflammatory levels by eating an anti-inflammatory diet. This should be a diet rich in antioxidants and polyphenols similar to the Mediterranean diet. Studies have suggested an association between nuts and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

An anti-inflammatory diet should therefore include these foods:-

  • Olive Oil
  • Green Leafy Vegetables such as spinach, kale, cabbage and broccoli
  • Nuts like almonds and walnuts
  • Fatty Fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines (omega oils)
  • Fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, cherries, oranges
  • Turmeric
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