Inflammation Fighting Foods and Foes

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Disease-or-illness-caused-by-inflammationYour immune system protects your health. Anything that your body sees as foreign (invading chemicals, plant pollens or microbes) it attacks.

That’s your immune system at work and this process is called inflammation.

Inflammation that is directed at threatening invaders is protecting your health, it’s a good thing.

However, persistent, chronic inflammation when there is no invader present is not a good thing.

A pinch of inflammation…like a pinch of salt is a good thing…but too much ruins it all.

This is when inflammation turns from friend to enemy and opens the door to disease.

Life threatening diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, depression, Alzheimer’s and of course cancer are all linked to chronic inflammation.

The good news about inflammation is that there are tools you can use to actively rid yourself of chronic inflammation and you don’t have to visit your doctor first. You can find them in your local grocery store.

Studies are proving that many components within natural foods and liquids we consume provide anti-inflammatory benefits. Reversely, many processed foods accelerate inflammation.

In other words, inflammation plays an important role in the development of disease. Choose the wrong foods and inflammation gets the upper hand but choose the right foods and you reduce inflammation and ultimately your risk of disease.

Here’s a list of inflammatory foods. (These are foods you need to avoid…)

Soda: sweetened beverages like soda and fruit juices introduce too much sugar into the system

Margarine: lard/shortening

Fried foods: Who doesn’t love fried foods? Eat too many and you’re inviting inflammation in

Carbohydrates (the refined kind): Not surprisingly to find white bread and pastries on the inflammatory list

Red Meat: Especially processed meats such as sausage and hot dogs. But burgers and steaks also make this list so limit your intake of red meat.

Foods that combat inflammation: (anti-inflammatory foods)

Fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts that are high in natural antioxidants as well as polyphenols (protective elements found in plants) such as apples, leafy greens and blueberries top the list of foods found to reduce the risk of inflammation and disease. Don’t forget about their wrinkly cousins the raisin which is an inflammation fighter.

Nuts: Walnuts, almonds and other varieties of nuts

Leafy greens: Not surprisingly kale, collards and spinach make this list (other greens too)

Fresh Fish: Fatty fish like salmon, sardines, tune and mackerel are all good choices because of their omega-3 fatty acid content.

Tomatoes

Fruits: Oranges, cherries, blueberries and strawberries make the list but there are many others

Olive Oil

Basil: Herbs and spices not only make your food taste better, they are full of antioxidant phytonutrients. Turmeric, clove, black pepper, ginger and cinnamon are all anti-inflammatory.

Bear in mind that choosing a diet of anti-inflammatory foods not only contributes to lowering inflammation, but has noticeable positive effects on emotional well-being and physical health.

Eating anti-inflammatory foods is a without a doubt a win-win situation for you.

Let’s face it, in the end no one can fix us but “us.” We must be proactive in taking charge of our health and changing our diets to include more anti-inflammatory foods while eliminating inflammatory ones is a simple but active step that moves us towards a disease free life.

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Don’t wait another day. Your health and longevity truly do depend on it.

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