Anti-Inflammatory Foods: What are they?

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aroma-aromatic-assortment-containers-458796We always have inflammation in our body – inflammation is part of our immune system and reactions to a foreign invader that has gotten into our body. However, this is usually acute and short lived. Once the invader is gone, the inflammation goes away (like when you get a cut on your finger – it’s a little hot and swollen and then it heals and goes away).

We can have chronic inflammation which is bad – this can lead to heart disease, diabetes, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease. Chronic inflammation can be caused by underlying diseases or infection that go untreated, long-term exposure to irritants (like industrial chemicals or pollution), or auto-immune disorders.

Foods that cause inflammation

Processed foods can actually increase inflammation in our body:

  • Processed/refined carbohydrates (white bread, pastries)
  • French fries & fried food
  • Soda and other sugar sweetened beverages
  • Red meats and processed meats
  • Margarine, lard

Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Anti-inflammatory foods have a lot of antioxidants and polyphenols in them. These compounds help to reduce the number of free radicals in our body, which decrease the amount of inflammation. An anti-inflammatory diet would be very similar to a plant-based diet. Try to eat foods that are lots of different bright colours, olive oil, nuts (almonds & walnuts) and cold-water fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines).

Need some new recipe ideas? Check out these websites for some ideas.

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