The more we learn about the role that inflammation plays in overall health, the more we see that some of the best way we can reduce chronic inflammation are simple things we do every day such as food we eat.
Inflammation is an essential process for protecting our body. Your immune system becomes activated when your body recognizes anything that is foreign—such as an invading bug, plant pollen, or chemical. This often triggers a process called inflammation. Intermittent bouts of inflammation protect our health but when inflammation becomes chronic, it can cause long term health issues.
Symptoms of chronic inflammation can vary, and present differently in everyone but in general, they can include weight gain, achy joints, puffiness, muscle soreness, anxiety and low mood, bloating and brain fog. Figuring out and tuning in to what your body is communicating is key.
Luckily, food is one of the most powerful ways to fight inflammation. There are certain foods that you can eat that are anti-inflammatory, and when you know what to eat, you’ll be well on your way to improving your energy and health.
I like to think of food as either increasing or decreasing inflammation so its great that we have an opportunity at least three times every day to support our body in decreasing inflammation.
Unfortunately, foods that increase inflammation are foods we can unknowingly eat regularly and they include
- vegetable oils such as canola oil found in many packaged and preprepared foods
- Fried foods including fast take away foods
- Soft drinks
- Processed meats
- Refined carbs such as pastries, pies, chips, some breads, cereals
When you consume these foods regularly, you put yourself at risk for chronic inflammation.
Some of the best foods that decrease inflammation include
- Wild salmon, sardines, anchovies
- Ground flaxseed and hemp seeds
- Leafy greens such as bok choy, kale, spinach, cabbage
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Spices and herbs such as ginger, turmeric and oregano
- Green tea
- Dark chocolate – over 80% cocao
While this list is not exhaustive, this list includes simple foods that can be included in your diet regularly.
Other lifestyle factors like sleep, exercise, and stress management all play a part when it comes to reducing inflammation in the body.
One of the best ways to put all of this together is working with a holistic nutritionist who can create a plan for you to include these foods easily as well as address the other lifestyle factors so you are well on your way to feeling your best and symptom free
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