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Foods That Combat (And Cause) Inflammation

We all know that our immune systems battle the occasional outside entity such as germs, chemicals, and toxins. Once a foreign body is identified, the immune system springs into action, often using what’s known as “inflammation” to ward off the unwelcome microbe and protect our overall health and wellness. This reactive swelling attacks potential internal invaders to keep our bodies running at optimal capacity.

Chronic Inflammation Increases Risk Of Pain And Sickness

Unfortunately, sometimes inflammation is more than just an occasional occurrence. Prolonged internal irritation can persist even without the presence of a bug or sickness. Without a virus to battle, this ceaseless swelling can wreak havoc on our bodies, potentially igniting a slew of diseases and conditions, including:

  • Asthma
  • Arthritis
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol

A Healthy Diet Plays A Key Role In Reducing Inflammation

Many people assume that the best way to fight persistent inflammation is with medication. However, the foods we eat also prove a powerful weapon against swelling. Eating an anti-inflammatory diet can restore immune system balance and yield a multitude of other health benefits such as enhanced brain function, clearer skin, joint pain relief, and even potential weight loss.

Some foods to include in a nutrient-rich, anti-inflammatory meal plan include:

  • Leafy greens
  • Allium vegetables (garlic, leeks, chives, onions)
  • Whole grains
  • Fruits
  • Beans
  • Nuts
  • Fatty fish
  • Herbs and spices
  • Sprouts
  • Olive oil

Some unexpected anti-inflammatory provisions? Wine and coffee (yes, really). Light to moderate alcohol consumption may reduce the risk of diabetes, heart dysfunction, and even Alzheimer’s. Likewise, coffee beans are jammed packed with antioxidants known to drive brain function and increase central nervous system stimulation.

Foods Known To Trigger Inflammation

Of course, knowing the foods that fight swelling is only half the battle. There are several foods known to trigger a swelling episode. Some common foods that cause internal irritation are:

  • Sugar
  • Refined flour
  • Fried foods
  • Vegetable oil
  • Saturated fats
  • Dairy (high-fat items like whole milk, butter, and cheese)
  • Trans fats
  • Soda
  • Red meats

While any inflammatory foods consumed in moderation shouldn’t trigger prolonged chronic inflammation, consistent or excessive consumption of these items increases the risk of swelling and eventual health impairment.

Anti-Inflammatory Foods Promote Holistic Health

Bottom line: even if you’re not worried about inflammation, an anti-inflammatory diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts, grains, and healthy oils is good for you. Eating natural, unprocessed foods can improve cognitive capabilities as well as increase physical and emotional wellness. Not only can this diet lower your chance of suffering from chronic disease, but these foods can also enhance your quality of life with long-term, sustainable results.

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