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Health and Fitness News

Inflammation, Be Gone!

What foods you should eat to help reduce unwanted inflammation.

Inflammation can be a good thing. When used correctly by the immune system, acute, short-term inflammation helps bring healing. That’s why you notice redness or swelling around an injury. Symptoms of inflammation, these indicate your body is working for you. It is proof that your immune system has been triggered. And now, it’s sending white blood cells to fight infection and promote healing. Acute inflammation also occurs when your body is fighting an illness such as a cold or flu.

However, inflammation can go awry. Chronic inflammation causes a similar reaction in your body. But in chronic cases, white blood cells arrive and attack healthy organs and tissue. Diseases such as arthritis, heart disease, gum disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, allergies, and obesity are associated with chronic inflammation.

Want to avoid chronic inflammation? Good choice. One of the best ways to do it is through your diet. Believe it not, the foods you eat help regular your body’s inflammatory response. Here’s what you should eat to keep inflammation in check.


A type of antioxidant, polyphenols have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Found in plant-based foods, polyphenols can also be taken in supplement form. There are more than 8,000 different polyphenols, but to fight inflammation, you should choose wisely.

Cloves, dried peppermint, and star anise contain far more polyphenols than any other food. You’ll also find polyphenols in dark chocolate, cocoa powder, berries, nuts, beans, certain fruits, dark green leafy vegetables, green and black tea, and red wine. Find a source you prefer and enjoy.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Another group of foods for your anti-inflammatory diet are those rich in omega-3 fatty acids. A type of polyunsaturated fat, omega-3 fatty acids are a powerhouse when it comes to fighting unwanted inflammation in the body. Many take omega-3 fatty acid supplements to lower triglyceride levels, manage heart disease, fight depression, reduce arthritis pain, lower the risk for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, and reduce asthma symptoms.

While supplements are available for those who don’t get enough omega-3, your body absorbs omega-3 from food best. The go-to sources of omega-3 fatty acids include olive oil and flaxseed oil, as well as fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, and anchovies. You can also find good amounts of omega-3 fatty acids in other sources. Caviar, cod liver oil, oysters, flaxseeds, chia seeds, soybeans, and walnuts all contain the inflammation-fighting acid.

Plant-Based Foods

As you’re planning meals around an anti-inflammatory diet, seek to eat more plant-based foods. At the same time, reduce your consumption of animal-based foods. Why? Plant-based foods contain more inflammation-fighting nutrients.
If you love hamburgers, don’t freak out. You don’t need to go completely vegan or vegetarian. Just try cutting back on animal foods. Instead, focus on filling your plate with a rainbow assortment of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, and healthy fats. Plan one to two meals a week that don’t include meat, eat more salads, and enjoy fruit for dessert.

Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet is well-known for its ability to improve health, reduce risk of disease, help you lose weight, and lower levels of inflammation. Founded largely on plant-based foods, the Mediterranean diet also includes poultry, fish, eggs, healthy fats, and moderate amounts of dairy products. Red meat and sweets are eaten sparingly. More importantly, inflammation is kept to a minimum.

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