What is Inflammation?
It is your body’s way of protecting itself from infection, illness or injury.
As part of the inflammatory response, your body increases production of white blood cells, immune cells and substances called cytokines that help fight infection.
Classic signs of acute (short-term) inflammation include redness, pain, heat, and swelling.
On the other hand, chronic (long-term) inflammation is often silent and occurs inside the body without any noticeable symptoms. This type of inflammation can drive conditions like diabetes, heart disease, fatty liver disease and cancer.
An Unhealthy Lifestyle Can Cause Inflammation
Consuming high amounts of sugar and high-fructose corn syrup is particularly bad. This can lead to insulin resistance, diabetes, and obesity. Eating processed and packaged foods that contain trans fats have been shown to promote inflammation and damage the endothelial cells that line your arteries. Consuming vegetable oils regularly, found in many processed foods, can result in an imbalance of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids, leading to inflammation. You definitely do not want this.
Reduce Inflammation With Your Diet
Choose a balanced diet that cuts out processed products and boosts your intake of whole, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant-rich foods.
What to avoid:
- Sugary beverages: drinks that have added sugar as a sweetener, and this includes fruit juices.
- Refined carbs: White bread, pasta, white rice
- Desserts: Cookies, candy, ice cream
- Processed meat: Hot dogs, bologna, sausage
- Processed snack foods: Crackers, chips, pretzels
- Certain oils: Processed seed- and vegetable oils like soybean and corn oil
- Trans fats: Foods with “partially hydrogenated” in the ingredients list
What to eat:
- Vegetables: Broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower
- Fruit: Deep colored berries like cherries, blueberries, strawberries
- High-fat fruits: Olives and avocados
- Healthy fats: Olive oil, flax seed, walnut
- Fatty fish: Salmon, sardines, herring, anchovies
- Nuts: Almonds and other nuts
- Spices: turmeric, cinnamon, cayenne, clove, sage, rosemary