What Is Inflammation?
Inflammation is one of those buzzwords that gets tossed around quite a bit in the health and wellness community, and when we hear it, we usually think inflammation = bad.
But did you know, inflammation is a natural and healthy part of your body’s immune response?
Yep, inflammation helps the body fight off illnesses and can actually protect us from harm. In most cases, it is a necessary part of the healing process that occurs when a physical factor triggers an immune reaction.
It gets a bad rap because it’s sometimes painful and perhaps more widely talked about when it’s problematic, but it’s a sign that your immune system is on the defense and operating as it should against potentially threatening security breaches.
There are two types of inflammation: acute and chronic. While acute serves a biological purpose, chronic is what happens when something goes biologically haywire…
In this article, we’ll share how you can take your health back into your own hands by reducing inflammation through science-backed herbs.
Foods to eat
An anti-inflammatory diet should combine a variety of foods that are rich in nutrients, provide a wide range of antioxidants, and contain healthful fats. Organic fruits and vegetables, foods containing omega-3 fatty acids, lean protein, healthful fats, and spices are all important players in the fight against unwanted inflammatio The Mediterranean diet is an example of an anti-inflammatory diet — it consists of oily fish (packed with omega-3s) and plant-based foods. This type of diet provides the body with loads of healthy oils that can reduce inflammatory proteins in the body. Foods that help manage inflammation include: non-GMO, whole foods high in antioxidants like blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, cherries, cacao, artichokes, red cabbage, pinto beans, broccoli, spinach, beets, kale, seeds, and orange vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots, and acorn and butternut squash, among others. Raw or moderately cooked vegetables, legumes (such as lentils), spices like ginger and turmeric, probiotics and prebiotics, tea, and some herbs are also recommended. We’ll touch more on these later. In general, we think these are some pretty good rules to live by: 1. Fresh food over processed food. Processing food changes the content of food and can zap the nutritional value. 2. Read labels. While something can contain an anti-inflammatory aid, it could be sandwiched between other ingredients that could counter the health benefits (Look for added sugars and fats.) 3. Eat by color. When you load your plate with varying colors of fruits and veggies, you’re loading your plate with a wide range of antioxidants and nutrients.
Foods to avoid
An anti-inflammatory diet discourages or limits the consumption of red meat, dairy products, alcohol and processed foods — like foods containing gluten. People who are following an anti-inflammatory diet should avoid or limit their intake of: foods with added sugar, unhealthful oils, processed foods, and excess alcohol. In addition, people may find it beneficial to limit their intake of gluten, nightshades, and carbohydrates
At the end of the day, no one knows your body better than you do. If something feels right or wrong, trust that. Quite literally, trust your gut!
If your body feels great just as you are, focus more on what antioxidant-rich foods you can incorporate into your diet and less on which foods to eliminate.
Part 2 is coming
On our next article we will discuss about which herbs can help our natural inflammation response. Stay tuned for next week's article.