Foods that Fight Inflammation and Why You Need Them.
Using herbs, spices and other whole foods to help reduce this chronic condition in the body might not seem like a big deal. But it’s actually one of the best ways to protect your health, says Amy Jamieson-Petonic, Director of Wellness Coaching at Cleveland Clinic.
Chronic inflammation is a normal bodily process gone wrong can contribute to conditions ranging from heart disease and diabetes to cancer.
It’s impossible to ignore the acute that accompanies an injury pain and swelling is the characteristics.
In contrast, chronic inflammation happens deep down in your body and often doesn’t cause any symptoms. So it can grow undetected. However that doesn’t stop it from inflicting damage to your health.
The good information is that the day-to-day choices you make — what you place in your mouth; especially affect your levels.
It isn’t inherently bad. In reality, we couldn’t survive without it. Normal inflammation is the body’s response to any injury or infection. It’s integral to your body’s natural healing process.
For example if you scrape your knee and develop a skin infection. Your immune system delivers specialized cells to attack the bacteria and damaged tissue. When these cells have gained the initiative, they recede, and your body begins to heal.
That’s the key part: It closes off. It helps your body to heal but doesn’t damage it unless something has gone wrong. The problems arise when it fails to close off and becomes chronic — that’s when it does harm.
The chronic condition isn’t restricted to one area of your body. It burns slowly and steadily, releasing molecules of inflammation such as cytokines and C-reactive protein (CRP).
Over time, this causes a chemical chain reaction in the body that leads to serious problems. Arteries can become inflamed, setting the stage for heart attacks and strokes. Insulin resistance (a diabetes precursor), full-blown diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and even depression can develop.
An everyday injury or infection can spark the initial flame, but it takes more than that to keep it burning. High blood pressure can contribute, as can being obese. Smoking and stress also encourage the destructive domino effect. And then there’s your diet.
The Mediterranean diet works wonders for controlling inflammation. There are lots of reasons to avoid saturated fats, refined carbs and sugars, and trans fats (the type so prevalent in processed foods). But it turns out that these foods can also help create those molecules.
Think of them as fire starters. In one study, the more sweets, red meat, processed meat, “white” foods and French fries people ate, the higher their levels of CRP and other indicators.
Plant foods are rich in antioxidants and other nutrients. These healthy compounds have an anti-inflammatory effect.
Vegetables, fruit, herbs and spices are loaded with compounds that reduce inflammation, as are whole grains, olive oil, nuts, seeds and legumes.
And the omega-3, the healthy fats found in fish like salmon, mackerel and tuna also facilitate the reduction. Concentrating on these foods will also help keep your weight healthy, which is critical for keeping it down.
One large study showed that people who eat a lot of vegetables and fruit but avoid meat and white flour have lower levels of inflammation. Upping your fiber alone which will happen naturally on the Mediterranean diet has been shown to lower levels of CRP by up to 40 percent.
So eating a Mediterranean diet might be the change that prevents you from developing this chronic condition that can lead to a multitude of medical aliments. You may gain the upper hand by making smart choices about what’s on your plate.