It seems that lately there is a lot of talk in the health and wellness arena about inflammation, but what exactly is inflammation?
Inflammation is a process by which the body’s white blood cells are called upon to fight off infection, trauma, bacteria and viruses. Heat, pain, swelling and redness are indicators that your immune system is being called into action.
Over the past few decades, scientists have realized that inflammation is virtually the same in different diseases. Inflammation has different names for different parts of the body.
Arthritis- Inflammation of the joints
Sinusitis- Inflammation of the sinuses
Colitis- Inflammation of the GI tract
Dermatitis- Inflammation of the skin
Myocarditis-Inflammation of the heart
It is possible to reduce inflammation and improve these conditions without going on medication. Diet can have a significant impact on inflammation. Some foods can produce a pro-inflammatory effect in the body while other foods have an anti-inflammatory effect.
Some foods to avoid that can cause inflammation are sugar, refined grains found in white bread and processed carbohydrates, foods high in omega 6 like polyunsaturated vegetable oils, trans fats like those in margarine and artificial food additives such as MSG.
The anti-inflammatory foods you want to want to add as staples to your diet are fatty fish like salmon and mackerel for their high Omega 3 fatty acid content. Olive oil, flax seeds and walnuts are also high in Omega 3’s. Fruits such as cherries, raspberries and blueberries contain anthocyanins which neutralize free radicals that cause inflammation. Spices and herbs like ginger, garlic, turmeric and cayenne pepper are among those that have been shown to help reduce inflammation. Vitamins and herbal supplements, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, CoQ10, Omega 3 fish oils, and quercetin have been shown to aid in the reduction of inflammation.
As the saying goes, “You are what you eat!”