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  • Writer's pictureDena Ross

How Diet Affects Inflammation in Your Body

Inflammation refers to the natural process your body uses to heal and defend itself from harm i.e. infections, illness, injuries. The damaged tissues in your body release chemicals which inhibit the activation of white blood cells to start repairing them. However, sometimes inflammation is low-grade, spread throughout the body and can be harmful if it becomes chronic.

Studies indicate that what you eat affect your levels of C-reactive protein (a marker for inflammation) in your blood. Foods with processed sugars contribute to the release of inflammatory messengers which ultimately can raise risks of chronic inflammation.

The good news: one of the best ways to reduce inflammation lies not in the medicine cabinet, but in the refrigerator.  By following an anti-inflammatory diet you can fight off inflammation for good. Anti-inflammatory foods are also foods that help keep you healthy in other ways, eating with inflammation in mind doesn't have to be complicated or restrictive.

1. Eat more plants. Whole plant foods have the anti-inflammatory nutrients that your body needs. So eating a rainbow of fruits, veggies, whole grains and legumes is the best place to start.

2. Focus on antioxidants. They help prevent, delay or repair some types of cell and tissue damage. They're found in colorful fruits and veggies like berries, leafy greens, beets and avocados, as well as beans and lentils, whole grains, ginger, turmeric and green tea.

3. Get your Omega-3s. Omega-3 fatty acids play a role in regulating your body's inflammatory process and could help regulate pain related to inflammation. Find these healthy fats in fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel, as well as smaller amounts in walnuts, pecans, ground flaxseed and soy.

4. Eat less red meat. Red meat can be pro-inflammatory. Are you a burger lover? Aim for a realistic goal. Try substituting your lunchtime beef with fish, nuts or soy-based protein a few times a week.

5. Cut the processed stuff. Sugary cereals and drinks, deep-fried food, and pastries are all pro-inflammatory offenders. They can contain plenty of unhealthy fats that are linked to inflammation. But eating whole fruits, veggies, grains and beans can be quick if you prep ahead for multiple meals.


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