The Top 5 Anti-Inflammatory Foods You Should Eat

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When your body heals, the process of inflammation will naturally occur.

What is inflammation? In Latin, the word inflammation literally means “inflammo,” or “I set alight, I ignite.” In other words, you are lighting a fire within your body, and things have to get worse before they can get better. Just like when someone has an addiction or another personal issue, the problem has to rise to the surface before the healing process can begin. Inflammation is necessary for infections and wounds to fully heal.

When you see a fire, your automatic reaction is to put it out. When there is something wrong within your body, it innately wants to fix the problem. Inflammation is the process where the body is removing harmful stimuli such as pathogens, irritants, or damaged cells.

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Serious issues can arise when your inflammation becomes long term and chronic. Your inflammation issues can therefore continue for months and years. Chronic inflammation is known to cause nearly every health issue such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, or obesity. Other chronic inflammation conditions include asthma, tuberculosis, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic sinusitis, Crohn’s disease—and the list goes on.

Various foods, food additives, and chemicals can all be pegged as the culprits of inflammation. You can figure out the sources of your inflammation by food elimination, consulting a food allergist, and tracking your food consumption with a food diary to find the inflammation sources.

Common food allergens and food sensitivities include dairy products, wheat, eggs, corn, citrus fruits, pork, rye, beef, chocolate, tea, coffee, sugar, yeast, soy, tomatoes, nightshade vegetables, peanuts, barley, nuts, and seafood. In other words, it won’t be easy if these inflammatory foods are usually healthy foods within your diet.

MSG (monosodium glutamate) and aspartame are common food additives that can trigger your inflammation symptoms. When pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides are sprayed on your healthy fruits and vegetables, this can lead to inflammation, diseases, and conditions such as food allergies, intolerances, and sensitivities. Mushrooms, peanuts, and corn are common foods known to contain chemical products called mycotoxins. This potentially poisonous chemical can trigger inflammation or aggravate existing symptoms.

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When you make dietary changes and choose anti-inflammatory foods, this strategy can be positive for your overall health. There are effective healthy foods that help offset your inflammation symptoms. Here are five healthy foods you can start adding to your diet today.

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Anti-inflammatory foods can help you take your health into your own hands, and could go a long way to relieve your inflammatory symptoms, while freeing yourself from the fire within your body. Healthy foods are your key to better health. Continue to eat them, one bite at a time.


Sources:
Fazari, C., Freedom from the Fire: A Nutritionist’s Guide to Healing Inflammation with Food (Markham: Cabas Design Studios, 2011), 5, 13-21, 35, 40, 45-48.
“What is Inflammation? What Causes Inflammation?” Medical News Today web site, July 31, 2012; http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/248423.php.
Mateljan, G., The World’s Healthiest Foods: Essential Guide for the healthiest way of eating (Seattle: George Mateljan Foundation, 2007), 332, 476, 513, 701, 708-709, 770, 808.
Frey, R., “Best and Worst: Top 10 Most Inflammatory and Anti-Inflammatory Foods!” Clean Convenient Cuisine web site, Sept. 18, 2010; http://www.chicagonow.com/clean-convenient-cuisine/2010/09/best-and-worst-top-10-most-inflammatory-and-anti-inflammatory-foods/