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Fight Inflammation with Foods

Did you know that many chronic diseases are caused by inflammation? Inflammation is perfectly normal, and a sign that the body is working properly. Chronic inflammation, however, is a sign that something is going wrong.

When you injure any part of your body, such as cutting yourself or pulling a muscle, that area gets red and puffy. This is a big red flag your body is putting up that says “Help! There is a problem here!” It is also part of the immune system’s reaction. The immune system fights any bacteria around the problem then heals the wound.

Inflammation, isn’t always caused by a physical problem. There are many things that can trigger inflammation, and diet is a big one. Chronic interior inflammation can be a big problem as well.

Inflammation can cause the following conditions:

  • Arthritis

  • Bronchitis

  • Diabetes

  • Gastro-intestinal Diseases

  • Asthma

  • Psoriasis

Foods can trigger inflammation by being an allergen, making you swell up, or not reacting well to existing/absent gut flora.

The Problem With The Western Diet and How It Causes Inflammation

It’s no secret that people who eat the “Western” way suffer from more diseases, especially inflammatory ones. Heart disease is the number one killer of people on the Western diet. When the body recognizes plaque buildup as a bad thing, it sends the immune system to fix it. This causes inflammation, which of course swells the area up, causing more blockage.

Type 2 Diabetes has also become more prevalent, and inflammation is believed to play a part in it. Fat cells produce inflammatory chemicals, and it is believed this may play a part in how insulin behaves.

What is it about the Western diet that causes inflammation?

People with gluten sensitivities and Celiac’s disease can suffer from inflammation as a result of exposure.  Gluten is a vegetable protein and when consumed, in certain individuals, the body sends the immune system into attack mode and the gut is the victim of the friendly fire. If you don’t have a sensitivity to gluten, keep your carb consumption to whole wheat sources and your intake low and look for improvement.

Dairy is another trigger and many people, lactose-intolerant or not, notice positive changes in how they feel when cutting dairy out of their diet.

Inflammation and Your Skin

What about other chronic inflammatory problems? Psoriasis is another result of inflammation, or rather immune system dysfunction. When a certain kind of white blood cell is triggered by mistake, they set off an immune system response. This triggers inflammation and skin cell (over)production. Skin cells are made too fast and swell so much that there isn’t room for them or time for the older skin cells to live out their life cycles,. Psoriasis causes new skin cells to be pushed to the surface within four days, pushing up the older cells and causing red, flaky layers to form.

13 Best Foods To Fight Inflammation

A good first step is to increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. The benefits are numerous, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help your immune system work properly. They also contain essential vitamins.

The best vegetables shown to help inflammation are:

  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Squash
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Carrots

Some excellent fruits:

  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Mangoes
  • Pineapple

Also get plenty of good fat into your diet from:

  • Nuts
  • Avocados
  • healthy oils and seeds (see Camelina, Canola, Hemp, Flax, etc.)

Watch your red meat intake for its saturated fat content, but lean meats such as chicken and fish have been shown to be helpful in preventing inflammation.

This may not be a food per se, but water is essential for controlling inflammation, by flushing toxins out. Hydrated skin is healthy skin, and water nourishes the skin from the inside out.

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