An Introduction to Anti-Inflammatory Foods

The word “inflammation” is tossed around a lot these days. There are many products that are advertised as being “anti-inflammatory” but let’s start off with the basics. What exactly is inflammation? Inflammation is the way the body responds to an irritant. It can be a response to bacteria, fungi, viruses, chemicals, and external or internal injuries. That essentially means that a healthy amount of inflammation is good and can protect the body from nuisances. However, as with everything, an excess amount is never good and balance is key.

What does it feel like when the body is overloaded with an overactive inflammatory response? Many individuals often feel exhausted, feverish, and have blood work results that are all over the place. This tends to be because there is an imbalance in the body and the immune system starts to work extra hard.

It has been found that the root cause of many diseases is inflammation. Ailments like inflammatory bowel diseases, skin conditions, thyroid problems, and arthritis all trace back to the body creating an inflammatory response in excess.

What can be done to naturally reduce excess inflammation? Foods and supplements can provide an excellent defense system. Vegetables like tomatoes, spinach, kale, broccoli, avocados, peppers, and mushrooms should be incorporated into diets. Fruits like strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, tart cherries, and oranges provide useful properties. Nuts like walnuts and almonds can also be beneficial. Healthy fats from fatty fish can provide omega-3 fatty acids that can help to regulate a healthy inflammation response, neurological processes, and immune and cardiovascular health. Supplements like cod liver oil from Nordic Naturals may provide optimal amounts of omega-3 fatty acids while simultaneously providing crucial amounts of vitamin A and D.  

Moving on, it is important to recognize that foods like soda, red meat, and refined carbohydrates can also trigger inflammatory responses in the body and should be avoided in large amounts.

Resources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279298/

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/foods-that-fight-inflammation