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Can Some Foods Be Anti-inflammatory In Nature? - by Jenavieve Ellsworth

By Pamela Wirth

Being a healthy person means fluctuating on a healthy cycle. Our weight can fluctuate up and down a few pounds on any given day. Sometimes we may feel a bit bloated or inflamed, and that’s okay.

Changes in our body shape throughout the day because of activity levels and food and water consumption are normal; however, inflammation is not. Inflammation is a part of life many have to face.

Firstly, inflammation is not necessarily a bad thing. Inflammation around affected tissues in the body is one way you defend yourself from bacteria and viruses. For instance, if you were to fall and scrape your knee, a little inflammation around your scrape would be your body’s way of protecting itself and beginning the healing process.

Occasional or acute inflammation directed at foreign assailants protects your health in general. Continuous or chronic inflammation may be harmful.

Chronic inflammation is linked with some serious medical conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, asthma, heart disease and even cancer. It depends on why you experience inflammation and for what length of time you are inflamed.


If inflammation occurs in the short term as a result of illness or injury, you are most likely fine and your body is responding appropriately. If you experience inflammation over a long period of time for any unknown or unusual reason, consider seeking medical attention and getting to the root of the issue.

It can be your friend and your foe.

When inflammation becomes chronic, you may seek respite. Using pharmaceuticals and medications to address inflammation may help.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NAID’s) and steroids have been studied and found to be a potentially safe and good way at reducing inflammation when taken in the correct doses as designated by a doctor. However, like any medicine, you can build a tolerance to their effectiveness.

So what are you to do if you have chronic inflammation?

Are there other alternatives to medicine?

Inflammation has been studied and researched since ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman times, yet the attempt to treat inflammation with Western medicine is a relatively new invention. Many have found that the best medicine is also the oldest medicine.

Food.

Research has shown that the makeup of your diet and what you buy at the grocery store can help fight off inflammation. This can help lower health risks associated with inflammation and other diseases and can even lead to a healthier lifestyle.

You may have heard the term “anti-inflammatory diet” being thrown around before, but it’s not just a buzz word in recent health culture.

In response to inflammation, your liver creates a protein called C-Reactive Protein. CRP is, therefore, a good measure of inflammation within the body, and research shows that certain foods can help lower CRP levels in the blood.

Some of the best diets for lowering CRP levels and supporting a healthy inflammation response are those that are high in fiber and ripe with fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Diets notoriously high in fat, sugar, heavily processed foods and refined grains can increase CRP levels indicating that there is increased inflammation throughout the body.

Some of the best individual foods for lowering CRP levels include:

Some herbs may even help support a healthy inflammation response.

Some of these herbs include:

These foods and herbs may help reduce inflammation because of their high amounts of antioxidants such as vitamin A, C, D and E; fiber; micronutrients and active compounds such as glutathione, curcumin and even piperine. These work together to fight oxidative stress in the body.

Other important micronutrients that can help fight inflammation can be found in cocoa and dark chocolate, folate, magnesium and omega-3 fatty-acids rich foods.

While refined carbs and sugars tend to be the more inexpensive and convenient option, they increase health risks for multiple health related issues including but not at all limited to inflammation.

Some types of foods that lead to higher inflammation in the body include:

Fortunately, anti-inflammatory foods tend to be the same food groups that maintain and improve overall health. Therefore, not surprisingly, foods that increase inflammation are generally considered to be poor for your overall health. Inflammatory foods also not enjoyed in moderation may lead to weight gain which is also associated with further development of health risks.

Eating a diet high in anti-inflammatory foods does not have to be restrictive or complicated. Many of the foods that can help lower inflammation and improve health are very versatile. For example, it is very common for people find themselves cooking daily with black pepper and garlic.

Regularly consuming anti-inflammatory foods may help improve your health by supporting a healthy inflammation response. Incorporating these foods into your diet may support your mood, provide you with more energy and provide you with better sleep.

Not only can this lower your risk of developing chronic and potentially deadly diseases, it may improve your health altogether.

Managing inflammation in the body through food is just one approach, but it may make a large difference in how you feel. Other ways you can support a healthy inflammation response include incorporating exercise into your schedule, shedding unnecessary pounds and reducing stress throughout your day.

Bear in mind, more isn’t always better. Taking large doses of certain vitamins can cause health risks on their own. Always talk to your doctor before beginning any health journey to see what is recommended for you.


Resource:

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/symptoms/21660-inflammation

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK53379/#:~:text=Galen%2C%20the%20physician%20and%20surgeon,humors%2C%20in%20the%20inflammatory%20process.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4579563/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3833870/