Diets rich in nutrients that reduce inflammation offer a variety of health benefits. Inflammation can affect your joints, cardiovascular system and central nervous system. Inflammation that occurs as a result of an injury or trauma is meant to protect tissues and prevent further injury so that healing can begin. Inflammation that is accompanied or is caused by chronic illness is harmful to tissues and can actually prevent healing.
Chronic illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis wear down tissue and cause irreparable damage. Chronic swelling also affect the cardiovascular and other systems. Inflammation occurs when the body produces too many chemicals that trigger an inflammatory response. Foods we eat will help determine how much of these chemicals are produced. Your diet will also help your body produce other chemicals that reduce the effects of inflammation and swelling.
Foods that are low in fat, high in sugar or full of additives and preservatives provide the body with the ingredients that produce inflammatory responses. Carbohydrates such as doughnuts, gooey desserts and pastries are full of empty calories and offer little nutrients. They also feed the body what it needs to increase swelling. These foods also contribute to high levels of cholesterol and heart disease. People with these conditions are also susceptible to another inflammatory response called edema.
Foods that contain high quality fats like omega 3 fatty acids are exceptional inflammation fighters. Salmon, mackerel and tuna contain abundant amounts of omega 3’s that not only reduce inflammation, but lower cholesterol levels in the body. Fruits and vegetables are natural carbohydrates that provide nutrients that the body uses to produce anti-inflammatory chemicals. The more vibrant the color of the fruit or vegetable, the more nutrients they contain. These foods also fight obesity, which puts unnecessary stress on joints and ligaments. Carrying extra weight will also add to the inflammation of joints that are affected by arthritis and gout.
Cherries and blueberries contain antioxidants that destroy free radicals. Left in the body, free radicals damage cells and allow toxins to break down tissue. The damaged cells do not function properly and can lead to gout, arthritis and other chronic illnesses that cause inflammation and swelling.
When changing your diet to fight inflammation, results will not occur overnight. It will take time for the body to heal and repair existing damage. Supplements can be added to hasten the process, but even then, your body will still need time to fully recover. Always consult your physician before drastically changing your diet or adding herbal supplements they may react to other medications.