When you encounter a virus or foreign bacteria, your immune system switches on to fight the potential threat. And when you are injured, a similar response helps your body to heal cuts, bruises, broken bones, and other injuries. But sometimes those systems get switched on and stay on, resulting in chronic inflammation.
When your body becomes confused and thinks it is always under attack, the resulting inflammation can lead to problems like arthritis. Chronic inflammation is also linked to some serious illnesses such as cancer and heart disease.
Clearly, you want to take steps to reduce inflammation in your body, and ward off arthritis and serious diseases. Stress reduction and regular exercise help significantly, but targeting diet is the solution for most people.
Some foods can actually lower your body’s inflammatory response, such as:
- Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring, or anchovies
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Broccoli choice
- Bell peppers and chili peppers
- Green tea
- Dark chocolate
Include these foods in your diet regularly, and they can help to reduce inflammation and fight off chronic diseases.
As you might have expected, certain foods also make inflammation worse. These include fried foods, sugar, white flour, processed meats, most packaged snack foods, and anything containing trans fats (shortening, vegetable oil, or margarine). You can still enjoy a treat every so often, but take steps to remove these foods from your regular diet as much as possible.
If you’re concerned about your body’s inflammatory response, talk to your doctor about your risk of certain chronic diseases. Schedule screenings on time and follow your doctor’s advice regarding dietary changes for a longer, healthier life.