Our bodies do a great job of making sure we're in good working order, sometimes over our strongest objections.
A friend of mine rolled on her ankle after running errands in those ridiculous shoes that are supposed to tone your butt and thighs, and ended up on crutches while the inflammation from her sprained ankle went down.
The inflammation certainly wasn't fun (she spent the better part of a week complaining about her cankles), but it served an important purpose: increasing the blood supply to the damaged tissue in her ankle to speed the recovery process.
Inflammation is an essential process, but chronic inflammation can lead to some serious and life-threatening conditions.
In fact, inflammation can even lead to cancer and dementia!
Pharmaceutical companies have created pharmacies full of anti-inflammatory medications to address chronic inflammation, and people who suffer from it should definitely see a doctor, especially if you've been battling it long term. But there are lists of anti-inflammatory foods and healthy lifestyle choices you can make to reduce inflammation and prevent it from getting out of control.
There are hundreds of anti-inflammatory foods that will not only help prevent inflammation but will also help you on your path to losing weight!
But, when creating your shopping list, keep this list of the best anti-inflammatory foods handy to make sure you're getting the most from your diet.
- Stock up on Omega-3s: Omega-3 fatty acids are excellent inflammation fighters, plus they help lower your cholesterol. Find them in fish and fish oil, extra virgin olive oil, walnuts and flax seeds.
- Limit refined carbohydrates and processed foods: Spikes in blood sugar (the kind you invariably get from highly processed carbs) cause the release of proteins called cytokines which worsen inflammation. Additionally, processed foods are rich in Omega-6 fatty acids which, while healthy and essential fatty acids, are also inflammatory. American diets are generally heavy in Omega-6 and light on Omega-3. The goal is to bring them to parity so you get the benefits of both.
- Choose lean proteins: lean cuts of chicken and beef are anti-inflammatory foods, while red meat may cause inflammation. Additionally, fish is an excellent source of Omega-3.
- Fruits and Veggies: Try to eat all the colors of the rainbow. Not only are fruits and vegetables packed with antioxidants and fiber, but the vitamins found in fruits and veggies (B, C & E) help fight inflammation.
And, though it won't be on your grocery list, make sure you exercise. Getting to and maintaining a healthy body weight is an important step in avoiding any number of inflammatory diseases.