Your immune system attacks anything in your body that it recognizes as foreign such as pollen and chemicals. The process is called inflammation. Intermittent occurrences of inflammation protect your health. However, sometimes it constantly persists even when you are not threatened by a foreign invader. That’s when inflammation can become your enemy. Many major diseases have been linked to chronic inflammation such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, depression and Alzheimer’s.
One of the most powerful tools to combat inflammation comes not from the pharmacy but from the grocery store. Choose the right foods and you may be able to reduce your risk of illness. By consistently picking the wrong ones, you could accelerate the inflammatory disease process.
Not surprisingly, the same foods that contribute to inflammation are generally considered bad for our health such as soda and refined carbs as well as red meat and processed meats. Unhealthy foods also contribute to weight gain, which is itself a risk factor for inflammation.
On the flip side are foods and beverages that have been found to reduce the risk of inflammation and chronic disease. Fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, apples and leafy greens that are high in natural antioxidants are excellent anti-inflammation foods. Studies have also associated nuts in helping reduce inflammation and lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Coffee, which contains polyphenols and other anti-inflammatory compounds, may protect against inflammation as well.
If you are looking for an eating plan that closely follows the principles of anti-inflammatory eating, consider the Mediterranean diet, which is high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, fish and healthy oils.
A more natural, less processed diet, can have noticeable effects on your physical and emotional health. The bottom line is a healthy diet is beneficial not only for reducing the risk of chronic diseases but also for improving mood and overall quality of life.
Foods that combat inflammation