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What is Inflammation?

Inflammation plays an important role in healing, but if left to run wild, it can wreak havoc on your body. Odds are if you are experiencing physical discomfort, inflammation is to blame. It can affect almost every function of the body.

Nutrition
.
NaN MIN

What is inflammation?

There are two types of inflammation, acute and chronic. Acute is short-lived and our bodies easily recover from it. A good example would be an ingrown fingernail. The nail fold will turn red, feel hot, cause pain, and swell up, but in a couple of days the finger will heal just fine.

Chronic inflammation can last years and may even go unnoticed. One example of chronic inflammation would be rheumatoid arthritis. The inflammation causes severe damage, pain, and deformities to a sufferer’s joints.

Causes of Inflammation:

The most common causes of chronic inflammation are stress and nutrient deficiencies. With the daily rat race of life, self care and nutrition are often put on the back burner. But once we begin growing a little human, it is important to put ourselves (and our little one) first. We can do this by prioritizing a nutritionally balanced diet and restful sleep.

Antioxidants:

Antioxidants fight oxidative stress and reduce chronic inflammation. They are mostly found in plant foods, such as:

  1. Raspberries
  2. Pecans
  3. Blueberries
  4. Artichokes
  5. Leafy Greens
  6. Beets
  7. Cranberries
  8. Dark Chocolate
  9. Kidney & Black Beans
  10. Sweet Potatoes
  11. Carrots
  12. Blackberries
  13. Almonds

What Foods are Inflammatory?

Any heavily processed food is likely to cause inflammation. Refined foods, such as cookies, white bread, or candy, increase blood sugar levels and lead to bacterial overgrowth in the digestive system - which leads to inflammation. Saturated and trans fats release proteins into the bloodstream, which also causes an inflammatory response.

Common inflammatory foods include:

  1. Processed Foods
  2. Sugar
  3. Dairy
  4. Gluten
  5. Alcohol
  6. Egg Yolks
  7. Red Meats
  8. Corn
  9. Farmed Fish

Foods That Fight Inflammation:

  1. Wild Salmon
  2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  3. Sardines
  4. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  5. Ground Flax Seeds
  6. Walnuts
  7. Spinach
  8. Strawberries

A good way to tell if you're having an anti-inflammatory dish is by how your plate looks. Your meal should be 75% fruits and vegetables and 25% healthy proteins and fats. A well-balanced plate can help you avoid common inflammatory diseases and boost your immune system.

About the Author
Jen Silverman
Nutritionist

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