Inflammation | April 16, 2017 | Author: Naturopath
It seems as though everyone in the health world is talking about inflammation. But what is it, and what does it mean for your body and long-term health?
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury or infection, and is vital for healing. When the inflammatory response lasts only a few days, it is called acute inflammation. It involves a complex process that consists of migration of fluid, proteins, and white blood cells to fight off foreign bodies and repair the damaged tissue, and is characterised by heat, redness, swelling and pain in the affected part of the body.
When the injury is ongoing, the inflammatory response can last weeks, months, or even years, and is referred to as chronic inflammation, also known as low-grade inflammation.
Chronic inflammation is another thing entirely. While acute inflammation plays a healing role, chronic inflammation, because of its persisting and systemic nature, serves no useful function and is very disruptive to the body. Chronic inflammation is thought to be the key driver for most chronic disease, including Alzheimer's disease, autoimmune diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease and arthritis, asthma, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, chronic pulmonary diseases, depression, and diabetes.
Food is a powerful tool to combat inflammation. An anti-inflammatory diet is a diet that replaces inflammation-triggering foods with foods that fight inflammation.
A Western-style diet, dominated by processed foods, high consumption of unhealthy fats and sugar, and low in fibre, fruit and vegetables, is thought to induce inflammation.
Go Mediterranean. Numerous studies have shown that a Mediterranean-style diet reduces inflammation.It consists of abundance of fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains, legumes, olive oil and fish; a low intake of animal fats, red meat, poultry, dairy products and a moderate consumption of red wine during meals.
Fish and other foods that contain omega-3 fats. Increasing consumption of these good fats has been shown to reduce markers of inflammation.
Eat cold-water fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel, as well as flaxseeds and walnuts.
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