When your body comes across anything it does not immediately recognize, your immune system will attack it. Foreign things such as invading microbes, plant pollen, or chemicals can be under attack by your immune system, which is a process commonly known as Inflammation.
Inflammation is not all bad. In fact, it is fundamental for our entire body’s healing process. Chronic inflammation, however, can lead to a multitude of illnesses. Chronic inflammation can cause many unwanted diseases such as accelerated aging, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis, food intolerances, atherosclerosis, diabetes, fibromyalgia, heart disease, and in extreme cases, even cancer.
What causes Chronic Inflammation? Chronic Inflammation is most commonly caused by the modern diet and lifestyle we have all grown accustomed to. Certain things like processed foods, sugar, hydrogenated and Tran’s fats, stress, malnutrition, obesity, pollution, heavy metals, and even excessive exercise can cause Chronic Inflammation. The immune system overreacts to these things because it can lead to joint pain, fatigue, and damage to the blood vessels.
Which foods cause Chronic Inflammation? Foods that cause Chronic Inflammation are also foods that are generally bad for your overall health. Soda, refined carbohydrates, and red and processed meats are just some to name. When some of these foods are consumed, it is so bad for your health it increases the risk for other chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Not surprisingly at all, Chronic Inflammation is an important underlying mechanism for the development of disease. Unfortunately, it can be a vicious cycle: unhealthy foods lead to weight gain, which cause inflammation, which causes more weight gain and puts you at risk for other health problems. Here are some foods you should consider avoiding for chronic inflammation:
- Refined Carbs such as white rice, white bread, pastries, pastas and flour.
- Fried foods such as French fries.
- Soda or any other beverages that are sweetened using sugar.
- Red meat like burgers and steaks and processed meat such as hotdogs and sausages.
- Margarine, shortening and lard.
What foods can fight Chronic Inflammation? Proper nutrition is incredibly powerful. It can help protect your cells from Chronic Inflammation and fight current inflammation in your body.
- Fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines. Prepare these fatty fishes in healthy ways such as baked or broiled, not fried. If you are not a fan of fish, try fish-oil supplements.
- Dark leafy greens that are high in vitamin E, which plays a fundamental role in protecting the body from Chronic Inflammation.
- Nuts that have healthy fats. Almonds fight inflammation and are rich in fiber, calcium, and vitamin E. Walnuts contain omega-3 fatty acids and tons of antioxidants.
- Whole grains with no added sugars. They can reduce inflammation in the blood and have fiber.
- Berries are low in fat and calories but high in antioxidants.
- Garlic and Onions contain huge anti-inflammatory chemicals. One study showed garlic worked similar to NSAID’s causing anti-inflammatory relief of headaches.
- Tomatoes are rich in lycopene which can reduce inflammation in the lungs and throughout the entire body.
Visiting Dr. Michael Joseph at Neck, Back, Arm, Leg and Headache Pain Relief Clinic of Marin can get you on the right track to a better, healthier life. Call (415) 223-9060 today to see how we can help you with proper nutrition and exercise tips!