As you may know, inflammation is a natural process your body uses to heal and repair itself. However, chronic inflammation can have detrimental effects on your health. With that in mind, you must understand what supplements are good for inflammation and which foods you should eat to reduce it.
Although many think of anti-inflammatory as reducing redness and swelling, it refers to any substance opposing the inflammatory response. Read on to get more insight into what supplements are good for inflammation!
What Causes Inflammation?
The causes of the inflammation can vary. It may be caused by an infection, injury, or autoimmune response, resulting from poor diet and lifestyle choices. Infectious diseases, such as the common cold, can cause inflammation by stimulating the immune system.
In autoimmune conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), your immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue, which also triggers an inflammatory response. Other types of inflammation are associated with specific diseases, such as gout, psoriasis, and digestive disorders.
When your body senses something harmful or foreign, like bacteria or an injury, it responds by increasing blood flow to the infected area. This blood flow brings white blood cells, like the body’s natural soldiers, to the infection site.
Once at the infection site, the white blood cells release chemicals that kill the bacteria and trigger an inflammatory response. The substances travel through the blood and latch onto nearby cells.
These chemicals then prompt the nearby cells to release molecules that attract more white blood cells to the area. This process creates inflammation.
The Role of Inflammation in Health
Although inflammation is linked to many diseases, it’s also essential to your health and well-being. It’s the body’s natural response to harmful irritants and protects us from infections.
When inflammation occurs, your immune system sends white blood cells to the site to destroy bacteria and cleanse the area of toxins. White blood cells also release chemicals that cause blood vessels to widen and increase blood flow to a specific location.
This is all normal and is part of the healing process. The problem occurs when the inflammatory response is allowed to linger or the body cannot go through with the healing process. In those cases, the inflammatory reaction may become chronic.
How Does Inflammation Affect Your Body?
It’s important to note that inflammation is good when it’s short-term, and your body can use it to speed up healing. However, long-term inflammation can destroy your health and lead to chronic diseases.
Inflammation can damage your blood vessels, joints, colon, muscles, and brain. When your blood vessels are inflamed, they become narrow and fragile. If a blood clot forms, it can break loose and travel to your heart or brain. Heart attacks and strokes could result from this. Inflammation in your joints can cause pain and swelling.
It can also lead to arthritis, a degenerative disease that causes the cartilage in your joints to break down. When you have arthritis, it’s challenging to move around and complete regular daily tasks.
Inflammation in your colon and intestines can cause digestive disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease. If your digestive tract is inflamed, it’s more difficult for your body to absorb nutrients from the foods you eat.
Foods That Are Good for Fighting Inflammation
These are some of the best foods for fighting inflammation:
- Avocado - This superfood is rich in Vitamin E, an anti-inflammatory vitamin. You can add it to salads, sandwiches, or smoothies for a nutritional boost.
- Blueberries are some of the best antioxidant-rich fruits that are also great for fighting inflammation. You can eat them fresh as a snack or throw them in a smoothie.
- Cherries - Cherries are rich in anthocyanins, which have anti-inflammatory properties. You can add them to salads or make a cherry crumble for dessert.
- Ginger - This superfood is a great way to soothe an upset stomach. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and is an excellent addition to a stir-fry or a cup of tea.
- Turmeric - This is a yellow spice that is commonly used in Indian cuisine. It’s great for easing joint pain and inflammation in the body. You can add it to curries, stews, and soups.
Supplements That Are Good for Fighting Inflammation
Some supplements can help curb inflammation, including omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, probiotics, curcumin, and resveratrol. Omega-3 fatty acids can help combat inflammation that is associated with arthritis.
Vitamin D is essential for immune health, and a deficiency can lead to chronic inflammation. Probiotics can help ease digestive disorders and reduce the severity of irritable bowel syndrome. Curcumin is found in turmeric and is a potent anti-inflammatory. Resveratrol is found in red grapes and red wine.
Bad Dietary Choices that Cause Inflammation
If you’re looking to prevent inflammation, it’s important to avoid unhealthy foods. Some foods that are bad for fighting inflammation include sugar, refined grains, red meat, and dairy products.
Sugar is a significant source of inflammation for many people. It’s best to keep your intake of added sugars to a minimum. Refined grains are rich in gluten, which can trigger inflammation in gluten-sensitive people.
It’s best to avoid red meat and rich, fatty foods because they can contribute to heart disease. Dairy products are high in lactose, which is difficult for many people to digest.
When dealing with chronic inflammation, it can be challenging to know what to eat. It’s essential to understand what types of food lead to inflammation and which help reduce it.
By consuming more anti-inflammatory foods, you can help lower your risk of developing chronic diseases. The best way to fight inflammation is by making minor changes to your diet.