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Diet Tips to Curb Inflammation

Inflammation is one of the body's primary immune system responses, but when it becomes chronic, it can lead to significant complications. Fortunately, one of the best tools you have to reduce inflammation lies right inside your refrigerator. With the right anti-inflammatory diet, you can reduce overall inflammation levels in your body and enjoy better health.


What Is Inflammation?

Inflammation is one of the processes your body uses to fight off infections from potentially harmful invaders, such as viruses or bacteria. The inflammatory process involves the production of a variety of substances by the cells in your immune system. These substances are known as "inflammatory mediators."

When inflammatory mediators are released, your small blood vessels will become wider to allow better blood flow. With better blood flow, more immune cells are able to reach tissues to heal damage and/or fight off invaders. Inflammatory mediators also cause an increase in fluid levels within affected tissues. All of these actions can result in symptoms you may notice, such as redness in the area, swelling and heat. When inflammation is related to an injury or illness, symptoms are usually short-lived and will disappear when the issue is resolved.


What Does an Anti-Inflammatory Diet Do?

In a perfect world, your body's inflammatory response would be activated only when you were exposed to a dangerous pathogen. Unfortunately, in some people, the immune system's inflammatory response becomes chronically activated, leading to health problems. The goal of an anti-inflammatory diet is to reduce inflammation levels. When you choose foods that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, for example, your body's inflammation levels will decrease. Likewise, when you eat an anti-inflammatory diet, you will also avoid specific foods that have been shown to accelerate the body's inflammatory processes.


Inflammation and Disease

According to Harvard University, inflammation has been connected to the development of certain serious health problems. Examples include heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's disease and type 2 diabetes. Even when researchers controlled for obesity, which has already been shown to increase the risk of these two conditions, the link with food choices still persisted. This indicates that lowering your inflammation levels through diet could reduce your risk of developing these serious illnesses regardless of your weight.


Choosing the Right Foods

One of the components of following an anti-inflammatory diet involves avoiding those foods that have been shown to cause or contribute to inflammation. Some of the foods you should avoid in order to lower inflammation levels include:

  • Refined carbs
  • Fried foods
  • Soda
  • Processed meats
  • Margarine

Eating certain foods that have anti-inflammatory properties may also reduce your body's inflammation levels. Some of the foods you should add to your diet to reduce inflammation include:

  • Fruits
  • Fatty fish
  • Nuts
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Olive oil
  • Tomatoes


Benefits of an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Eating an anti-inflammatory diet offers several benefits that make it a worthwhile lifestyle change. The specific benefits an anti-inflammatory diet offers include:


1. Reduced inflammation.

The most obvious benefit of an anti-inflammatory diet is the reduction in your body’s overall inflammation levels, which leads to better health.


2. Reduced risk of chronic disease.

With lower levels of inflammation in your body, your risk of developing certain chronic diseases will decrease.


3. A better quality of life.

Most of the foods you must avoid when eating an anti-inflammatory diet are unhealthy in other ways as well. Likewise, anti-inflammatory foods offer other desirable properties in addition to their reduction of inflammation levels.

Making lasting lifestyle changes, such as the adopting of an anti-inflammatory diet, may seem difficult at first. However, the benefits you can gain from eating an anti-inflammatory diet make this change well worth the effort.


At Prime Surgical Suites, we provide state-of-the-art, cost-effective musculoskeletal surgical care in a convenient and comfortable outpatient setting for patients of all ages. Located in RiverCrest Medical Park, we are the region's first outpatient center focused exclusively on orthopedics. Our physician-led center will help restore your active lifestyle and well-being with compassion and orthopedic excellence.

Tags: Nutrition