Anti-inflammatory Foods That Fight Chronic DiseaseNov 30, 2022
Chronic inflammation is a silent killer, linked to ailments like cancer, diabetes, coronary artery disease and Alzheimer’s. Keep reading to learn:
- How to reduce chronic inflammation with 7 amazing foods
- The good and bad types of inflammation
- The two main inflammation instigators, and how to avoid them
7 Anti-Inflammatory Foods 🥗
Below is a list of delicious foods that help reduce chronic inflammation (more about chronic inflammation in a minute). These foods support your body in fighting irritants and returning to a healthy state. They bring essential nutrients into play that soothe chronic inflammation, relieve an overactive immune system, and cut down on fat cells to help you lose unhealthy weight.
There are many foods that could be on this list, but we’ll focus on the main ones:
- Dark, Leafy Greens (Swiss Chard, Spinach, Kale)
- Chia Seeds
- Coconut Oil
There are lots of great ways to incorporate these foods into your diet, and most of them are super simple. Click here for our free download of recipes and meal ideas for these and other anti-inflammatory foods.
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Good inflammation, bad inflammation
Whenever our bodies undergo some kind of trauma, they produce what is called an acute inflammatory response. This is just a fancy way of saying that our bodies deal with the problem in a certain way.
Say you accidentally cut yourself while dicing vegetables. Your body sends blood to the area (which is what makes the area warm and turn red) to carry plasma and white blood cells to the cut site. The white blood cells protect the site from infection, and clean up the damaged cells. The increased fluid causes the area to swell. Your body also increases pain sensitivity in the area, ensuring you don’t re injure yourself.
The symptoms of inflammation recede after a few days, and the overall result is expedited healing. This same sequence occurs in any trauma or irritant situation, be it scrapes, burns, allergies, infections, excessive exercise, and so on.
However, inflammation can become chronic, causing or contributing to the chronic diseases we discussed earlier. To oversimplify a complex topic, when your body finds itself constantly dealing with irritants or trauma, it becomes paranoid.
Think of it as PTSD for your body. After even a short time of dealing with several bouts of trauma or irritants in a row, your body may take it upon itself to remain in a constant state of high alert indefinitely, ready to take out anything that even remotely resembles a threat. And because it’s so high-strung, its judgment becomes…faulty.
This is when we see the body attacking healthy tissue and even organs, causing what is called chronic inflammation. The scary part is that this inflammation goes largely undetected as it wreaks its silent havoc.
So what causes the frequent bouts of trauma that sends your body into a state of chronic inflammation? Here are two of the main culprits.
Cause 1: Lack of Exercise 🛋
Exercise is a good stressor on your body. Muscle literally tears as you tax it. Of course the upside is that it regrows stronger, leading to greater strength and endurance in the future. However, if your body isn’t used to consistent exercise, any exertion causes an acute inflammatory response which can lead to longer lasting inflammation over time. The cool thing? Once your body becomes accustomed to regular exercise, it no longer triggers the acute or chronic inflammatory response.
Another pro of exercise is the role it plays in eliminating stored fat. Being overweight often leads to a chronic inflammatory response. If there are excess fat cells around our organs, our bodies tend to react like they would to other irritants, and the result is—often prolonged—inflammation.
Cause 2: Inflammatory Foods 🍩
The second cause of chronic inflammation is the food we put in our bodies. There are a few foods/ingredients that are the main culprits. We call these UPFs—Ultra Processed Foods. When we give our bodies UPFs, they can’t process them properly, and so react with an inflammatory response. These foods have moved so far from their natural cousins that our bodies don’t recognize them anymore. If UPFs become a steady part of our diets, the inflammation they cause can become chronic.
Below are a few of the main UPFs:
- Sugar 😐
- Vegetable and seed oils 😑
- Processed meats 😬
- MSG 😦
- Aspartame 😧
- Refined Carbohydrates 😮
- Excessive Alcohol 😲
If these are staples in your home, cutting them out can be difficult. However, going back to their natural forms is a huge first step, and adding in the power foods we discussed above will work wonders in reducing or preventing chronic inflammation.
Dealing with chronic inflammation is a huge endeavor, and your health provider should be involved. But with some simple changes to your lifestyle routines, starting with a diet change, you can make significant strides toward lowering your risk of chronic disease.
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