Foods that Reduce Inflammation, and a Few That Can Make It Worse

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Foods that Reduce Inflammation, and a Few That Can Make It Worse

At certain times in life, inflammation can be a normal part of the body’s healing processes. Inflammation can help us fight infectious diseases, and is a natural part of healing from an injury. But at other times, our immune systems can get stuck in the “on” position. Chronic inflammation is the result, and it often leads to weight gain and increased risk of illnesses such as cancer or heart disease. At the very least, many people with chronic inflammation suffer arthritis, while reducing inflammation often helps to relieve their symptoms.

Stress and low activity levels can exacerbate this problem, along with certain dietary choices. In order to reduce inflammation in your body, it is important to learn which foods contribute to the problem. On the other hand, many also lower inflammation and can help you reduce the risk of certain diseases.

Unfortunately, many of the foods that increase inflammation are also quite common in mainstream American diets. Try to limit your consumption of the following:

  • Refined carbohydrates like white flour, white rice, pasta, etc
  • Processed sugar (remember it’s hidden in drinks, too)
  • Processed meats like hot dogs, bacon, pepperoni, and canned meats
  • Trans fats (shortening, margarine, and vegetable oil)
  • Most packaged snack foods – the farther from its natural state, the worse a food probably is for you
  • Fried foods

So, which foods can help to lower inflammation? Try to eat more of the following:

  • Berries – blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and so on
  • Broccoli – preferably raw or steamed, since smothering it with cheese sauce isn’t the healthiest choice
  • Fatty fish – salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring, or anchovies are some of the best
  • Mushrooms
  • Avocados
  • Tomatoes
  • Grapes
  • Cherries
  • Bell peppers and chili peppers
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Turmeric
  • Green tea
  • Dark chocolate – yes, a little chocolate is good for you!

Changing your eating style can take some time, so start off with reducing one type of food at a time. Replace it with something that lowers inflammation, and you will gradually start to look at feel healthier.