Inflammation. It’s not just for health headlines; It’s a fact.
Scientists are measuring levels of inflammation in our bodies and finding that it can be devastating for our health. This is especially true when it becomes chronic, but even low levels of inflammation on a chronic basis can create problems and lead to disease.
Inflammation is often thought of as the root cause of all disease. This makes sense when you consider that it has been closely linked to obesity, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, Rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes - just to name a few.
Inflammation is a vital part of our immune system's response to injury or infection. It’s our body's way of triggering the immune system to spring to action to repair damaged cells or tissues and defend our body against foreign invaders like viruses and bacteria.
Without inflammation, wounds may become septic and infections deadly. But if the inflammatory process continues for too long, or if inflammation occurs in places where it’s not needed, it can become a problem anywhere in our body or brain.
Luckily, a healthy diet and lifestyle can help keep inflammation under control.
What is an Anti-Inflammatory Diet?
An anti-anti-inflammatory diet can help control inflammation, but what does it actually consist of?
There are two main components to an anti-inflammatory diet. Part of it involves avoiding certain foods that create additional inflammation - I’m sure you are familiar with most of these… white sugar, fried foods, rancid oils, and white flour top my list. But in general, processed foods high in salt, sugar, trans-fats, and refined carbohydrates should be avoided. Alcohol is also a big no-no
Here is my top 6 list of foods to avoid.
- Sugar and high-fructose corn syrup (found in sweets, cakes, fizzy drinks, pastirs and lots of cereals)
- Artificial Trans fats. (think margarines)
- Vegetable and seed oils.
- Refined Carbohydrates (think white devils. White bread, pasta, rice potatoes and grains)
- Processed meat ( sausage, ham, cold meats )
When these kinds of foods are eaten in excess, higher markers for inflammation are often seen.
The other part of an anti-inflammatory diet involves what you should eat - healthy, nutrient-dense, natural foods, especially antioxidants. These foods can lower markers of inflammation in our bodies. So which foods are they? Pretty much any food that is natural, nutrient dense and loaded with vitamins, minerals, and colour. To keep inflammation in check, do your best to choose a wide variety of delicious, antioxidant-rich foods.
Let’s take a look at my top 9 anti-inflammatory foods that help control chronic inflammation.