Saturday, May 28, 2016

Have Inflammation? Diet Changes May Help!

Inflammation, something all of us have experienced at some point in our lives, is a protective process the body uses to promote healing after an injury (such as a cut) or exposure to harmful substances. While inflammation can be helpful, there are forms of ongoing or chronic inflammation that can have negative health effects.  Chronic inflammation can be caused autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease, and skin conditions such as psoriasis. Furthermore, there is some speculation that chronic inflammation can contribute to heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.

            Chronic inflammation occurs when healthy cells in the body are attacked by the body’s immune system. While this inflammation can be difficult to cure, there is evidence that certain foods can have a positive impact by suppressing inflammation, enhancing the body’s immune system, and providing antioxidants to reduce inflammatory stress. It is still unclear the intake needed to reap the benefits of specific foods. Fortunately, there is numerous inflammation reducing foods, giving you a variety of options to increase your consumption. For instance, both fruits and vegetables can help reduce inflammation, so be sure to add additional fresh, frozen or dried berries, as well as dark leafy greens to your diet. Opt for plant-based protein sources, such as legumes and nuts, and replace refined grains with whole grains, such as brown rice instead of white. Pick heart healthy fats such as olive oil, avocado and fatty fish such as salmon, for a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids. Last but not least, season your meal with fresh herbs and spices, adding not only delicious flavor, but an antioxidant-rich punch, too!

Perhaps with these tips, you will be able to incorporate antioxidant rich foods and reduce annoying and painful inflammation, leaving you feeling ready to tackle all of your summer activities!

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