I’m not going to lie – we didn’t see it coming.
Three out of five people worldwide die from chronic inflammatory diseases. This includes everything from strokes and heart conditions to cancer and obesity, but the impact of inflammation on our health is undeniable. The good news is that inflammation can often be avoided, if not tamed, and an important factor in reducing inflammation is diet.
Dietitians agree that the key to fighting inflammation is eating a variety of nutritious foods, but there’s one remarkable one. foods you can eat if you’re trying to reduce inflammation in your body. So what is it?
What causes inflammation in the body?
Inflammation refers to a defensive response that the immune system sends when threatening pathogens enter the body. White blood cells are sent to the affected site, causing redness, swelling, and if internal, a few other symptoms as well.
In addition to harmful pathogens as a cause, external injuries, chemicals or radiation and other medical conditions like cystitis, bronchitis, otitis media and dermatitis can also cause inflammation in the body.
Related: What are nightshade vegetables and why do some people avoid them?
But aside from bacteria, viruses, and even fungi, there is a distinct correlation between other factors like increased cortisol (stress) and, of course, diet.
Parade consulted the Lifesum advisor Christina Jax, RDN, LDN, CLY, RYT, for more information on the causes of inflammation in the body.
“Some research suggests that stress and nutrition may play a role in the effects of chronic inflammation on overall health,” says Jax. “Stress can also influence the food choices we make and affect the body’s metabolic responses to food. When we are in a state of chronic stress, the hormone cortisol is continuously released by the body and can contribute to increased cravings for less healthy foods. possibilities.”
Related: Seriously, What’s Wrong With Ezekiel Bread and Is It Even Good For You?
But just as there is a link between stress and inflammation, there is also a way to “undo” or at least manage inflammation and its subsequent symptoms.
The story continues
“Eating less nutritious foods all the time can further contribute to chronic inflammation and therefore can have a long-term negative impact on health,” adds Jax. “Because of this link between stress, nutrition and inflammation, some research suggests that certain foods can both contribute to and help fight chronic inflammation.”
Signs of inflammation
Inflammation-induced symptoms run the gamut, not least because there are two different types: acute inflammation and chronic inflammation.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, signs of acute inflammation include:
The Cleveland Clinic also suggests that signs of chronic internal inflammation may be harder to spot, but may include:
If you are curious about the difference between the two main types of inflammation, acute inflammation is basically physical damage or injury to the body. It’s acute because it can be, in some ways, external and more obvious. Think: getting cut and then needing those cells to heal.
Chronic inflammation can be more difficult to assess because it often occurs inside the body. It can be caused by almost anything: tuberculosis, rheumatoid arthritis, general joint problems, HIV infection, psoriasis, systemic lupus and/or Alzheimer’s disease.
What is the best food to reduce inflammation?
The overwhelming majority of dietitians will agree that inflammation is best managed with a variety of whole foods and polyphenol foods, which means they are rich in richly pigmented antioxidants.
“Foods that help reduce inflammation are always whole foods,” Meg Gerber, RD, LD, IFNCP, CGN, and bestselling author of How to shine without gluten, Explain. “Look for foods that aren’t in a package and are as close to the source as possible. Think: Farmers market local produce, good source animal protein, nourishing fats like avocado and coconut, fresh (vs. old) spices, and even frozen organic fruits and vegetables count!”
Related: 7 simple tips to boost your immune system
Still, if reducing inflammation in your body is the overall goal, there’s a kind of super meal that combines multiple foods — all with anti-inflammatory properties — that’s proven to be extremely beneficial.
“An ideal anti-inflammatory meal is a spicy green curry,” says Gerber. “It’s served with local vegetables, rich spices and organic coconut milk and can be made with your favorite wild-caught seafood like salmon or prawns. All of these ingredients are great for helping reduce inflammation, [and make] delicious and healthy meal too!”
Other foods with anti-inflammatory properties
Although spicy green curry may contain all the ingredients needed to fight inflammation, there are also many other foods with anti-inflammatory properties.
What you want to look for are richly pigmented antioxidants, also known as polyphenol-rich foods.
“An anti-inflammatory diet high in polyphenolic foods like cranberries, blueberries, raw cocoa, turmeric, ginger, and fresh spices, in general, can help reduce body inflammation,” says Gerber.
Related: Dietitians agree it’s the worst inflammation-fighting snack
The Cleveland Clinic also recommends the following foods to fight inflammation:
Leafy greens (spinach and kale)
Fatty fish, such as mackerel, salmon and/or sardines
What foods make inflammation worse?
Without a doubt, one of the worst foods you can have, in terms of worsening inflammation, is sugar. If you’re trying to reduce inflammation in the body, it’s best to avoid or limit your sugar intake as much as possible.
Other foods to avoid include processed meats, which are high in saturated fat. This saturated fat increases the risk of fatty tissue inflammation. Additionally, processed meats can also be high in added sugar.
To add insult to injury, processed meats not only increase the risk of an inflammatory reaction from your body; they have also been linked to several diseases, including type 2 diabetes and colon cancer.
Next, the ultimate anti-inflammatory cheat sheet.
. This is best meal for inflammation according to dietitians