What is inflammation?
Inflammation is the body’s way of protecting itself from infection and injury. In small amounts, inflammation is necessary. However, too much inflammation is a bad thing. Too much inflammation is also called chronic inflammation, which is risky and found in many of today’s diseases.
Many believe that moving away from inflammatory foods and toward anti-inflammatory diets, such as the Mediterranean diet, can lower pain and disease rates. People who make the change toward an anti-inflammatory diet noted slow and gradual improvements, but this lifestyle change requires dedication and consistency. Because the inflammation did not develop overnight, it will not be calmed overnight.
Foods that can help reduce inflammation
The main components of an anti-inflammatory diet are antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, as well as essential fatty acids and minerals. Many people stress that highly processed foods, sugar and artificial sweeteners, gluten, red meat, and dairy made inflammation and pain worse.
Some great anti-inflammatory foods ideas include:
- Leafy greens such as kale and swiss chard
- Bok choy and celery
- Cherries, blueberries, strawberries, pineapple
- Extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil
- Salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines
- Bone broth
- Chia seeds and flax seeds
- Turmeric and ginger
In addition to diet modifications, lifestyle changes can help reduce inflammation. Managing stress, working out daily, getting enough sleep, avoiding secondhand smoke, and being a healthy weight can all help.
Because everyone’s body is different, everyone will reduce inflammation at different speeds and process foods differently. Working with a registered dietitian can help ensure you are eating the foods that are best for your body. If you are interested in learning more, find a dietitian near you today.