Diet and inflammation
Inflammation has come under the spotlight as a contributory factor to some very serious conditions. When it gets out of control it can contribute to heart disease, obesity, and even cancer. Chronic inflammation can even cause conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Ironically, it is actually part of the body’s immune response, and without it, you can’t heal. But when it is excessive, that’s when problems start. Luckily diet can help to reduce inflammation. So we take a look at the foods that can help.
Foods that cause inflammation
First, a word about foods that can aggravate and inflame. Foods high in sugar and saturated fat (especially when these are combined) can encourage inflammation. “They cause overactivity in the immune system, which can lead to joint pain, fatigue, and damage to the blood vessels,” says Scott Zashin, MD, clinical professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.
But there are definitely foods that will help to reduce it, and you definitely need to consider adding some of these to your regime.
Foods that help reduce inflammation
Let’s start with a food source that is massively overlooked for many in their diet, dark leafy greens. The health benefits of dark leafy greens such as kale, spinach, and broccoli are so wide-ranging, it is hard to put into words how important they are. Firstly, they are an incredibly good source of vitamins and minerals like calcium and iron, also, they contain disease-fighting phytochemicals.
Next, it is worth considering ways in which you can introduce Turmeric into your diet. It is a brilliant yellow spice common in Indian cuisine that is widely available. It has been used as a medicine for centuries to treat wounds, infections, colds, and liver disease.
Studies have shown that curcumin, a compound in turmeric, has a pivotal role to play in reducing inflammation in the body. Other spices to look at include, ginger, cinnamon, cayenne and black pepper.
It’s also worth cutting out or cutting back on refined, white bread, cereal, rice, and pasta. Whole grains, which tend to have more fibre in them, are better for you.
Another way to help fight inflammation is by eating oily fish, which has Omega-3 fatty acids. Some of the best sources are salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines. It is certainly worth considering supplementation for Omega-3.
When making any dietary changes, it is always worth getting the advice of a qualified nutritionist.
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