As we all know, the human body is a wonderful machine and the immune system uses inflammation to fight off invaders threatening your health.
How it's supposed to work is that if you get wounded or have a bacterial or other pathogenic infection, your immune cells release inflammatory substances like histamine and bradykinin which cause the blood vessels to expand and allow more blood to the site of the affected tissue. This increase in blood to the area is to enable more defence cells to come along and help heal the affected tissue.
See? I told you it was wonderful! That's how it should work and once the affected tissue has been healed by your body, the inflammation goes away. This is acute inflammation. You get inflamed, you heal, it's over.
Then there's chronic inflammation and this is what today's blog is addressing because there's a huge increase in chronic inflammatory disease. This is when the body is reacting to a constant insult and eventually the constant resulting inflammation damages the body and causes disease states.
Chronic inflammation in the body has been linked to all sorts of diseases such as:
So before we get to the top five foods that are anti-inflammatory, it'd be useful to look at foods which are pro-inflammatory and can cause a constant insult because they're being eaten every day.
Bear in mind though, eating pro-inflammatory foods in moderation, say one or two meals a week, is not generally a problem unless you suffer from autoimmune disease or are ill already - but let's save that for another post. The problems usually occur only when it is the predominant way of eating and has been for a long time.
The types of foods which can cause inflammation are:
Refined carbohydrates (such as white bread, sweet pastries and pasta)
Processed meats (like hotdogs, salami and chicken nuggets)
Eating too much of these foods may cause the body to keep reacting to what it considers an attack. These foods may also contribute to excess weight which in itself can be a cause of chronic inflammation.
How do you avoid being in a state of chronic inflammation and therefore lower your chances of developing a serious chronic disease? You can increase your consumption of the following lovely foods:
1. Leafy dark green vegetables, such as kale, spinach, microgreens, Swiss chard
2. Colourful fruits, such as berries, cherries and oranges
3. Nuts, such as walnuts, almonds and macadamia
4. Olive oil
5. Fatty fish, such as mackerel, salmon, sardines and tuna
Eating a wide range of colourful fruit and veg plus fatty fish, nuts and seeds regularly means your body will be getting the nutrients it needs to work properly. These foods contain various essential fatty acids, flavonoids, polyphenols and antioxidants which are known to be anti-inflammatory.
To jazz things up a bit you can also add some tasty herbs and spices which have also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties:
What are you waiting for? Get cooking! :)
We hope this inspires some of you to stop being inflamed! If you have any questions, just drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org