Foods Can Help Fight Inflammation
Inflammation is the body’s normal response to injury. While it may be a natural defense system, it can lead to disease development if it becomes chronic. A University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) expert says foods can help fight inflammation.
“The inflammation process has one goal: to respond immediately to detect and destroy the toxic material in damaged tissues before it can spread throughout the body,” explained Lauren Whitt, Ph.D., UAB Employee Wellness director and adjunct professor of personal health. “The trouble with inflammation occurs when the defense system gets out-of-control and begins to destroy healthy tissue, causing more damage than the original issue.”
Obesity has even been found to cause inflammation, and it can lead to the development of cardiovascular and metabolic disease, according to the National Council on Strength & Fitness. But weight loss is related to reduction of inflammation, and Whitt says the right anti-inflammatory foods are the answer.
“I encourage people to focus on eating whole foods and foods that are high in fiber,” Whitt said.
Anti-inflammatory foods to try:
- Citrus fruits — Vitamin C and Vitamin E are essential antioxidants
- Dark, leafy greens — High in Vitamin K
- Tomatoes — The fruit’s red pigment, lycopene, is a potent antioxidant
- Wild-caught salmon — Contains a rich concentration of omega-3 fatty acids
Whitt added that eating anti-inflammatory foods should not be viewed as daunting.
“Eating to minimize inflammation doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task,” she said. “Take baby steps by incorporating leafy greens into a salad at lunch, or add a piece of whole [we would add very low-glycemic] fruit to your breakfast.”
In addition, Whitt said to consume more foods straight from the farm, as well as fewer processed and fried foods. Doing so may reduce the need for some medications.
“Americans are constantly on the lookout for a quick-fix, so when our immune systems kick into overdrive, we would generally prefer to pop a pill and keep moving,” Whitt said. “But if we focus on our diets, we can alleviate the need for the anti-inflammatory medications in many cases.”
Health-e-Solutions comment: This is one of the important considerations we put into adding foods to the Health-e-Solutions lifestyle. Overall, the lifestyle is very anti-inflammatory, and for the good reasons listed above and more. Inflammation is inseparably connected to diabetes, so the less inflammation we incite through diet and lifestyle, the better chance we give our bodies to fight other internal contributors to inflammation that may be driven by diabetes.
There are many different inflammatory diseases, including diabetes, yet all of them share the same underlying driver: an elevated inflammatory response. Inflammation impacts the lives of millions of people around the world. It is an epidemic that has been accelerated by the modern western diet. We were not designed to eat primarily the foods that are found most commonly in today’s society. The rising cost of health care is due, in part, to the drastic rise of chronic inflammatory disease.
It is important that we empower ourselves with the knowledge and tools to fight back. One of the Primary Food Filters we employ to help us select only the best foods for thriving health and better #BloodSugarControl is to determine whether or not a food is inflammatory. Our Primary Food Filters downloadable, printable special report will fully equip you to make the best food and ingredient choices following the Health-e-Solutions lifestyle to help you #MasterDiabetesNaturally.