- Long-term inflammation can be linked to serious conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, and can often be induced by the foods we eat each day.
- Obesity, a known cause for many chronic diseases, is often the result of excessive consumption of inflammation-inducing foods, such as items made from refined white flour and sugar, certain fats, and processed red meats.
- Substituting inflammation-inducing food with anti-inflammatory alternatives can improve health and combat inflammation. This includes incorporating heart-friendly plant-based oils, nuts, seeds, omega-3 rich fish, whole grains, leafy greens, and fruits like citrus, berries, and cherries into the diet.
In the world of wellness, the human body’s immune mechanism is intricately designed and serves as a defense mechanism by combating threats such as bacteria and germs through a process known as inflammation. However, perpetual inflammation can act as a catalyst for various severe conditions like diabetes, autoimmune diseases, contagions associated with the heart, and even cancer.
Surprisingly, some of these health issues don’t arise from external threats like harmful bacteria, but from the regular foods we consume daily. Adopting an anti-inflammatory dietary regimen and eliminating or reducing inflammation-inducing foods from your diet can significantly complement your health protection measures.
The Link Between Obesity and Inflammation
A common root for many chronic diseases triggered by inflammation is obesity. More often than not, obesity is the product of excessive consumption of foods that stimulate inflammation. The majority of these inflammation-causing foods provide minimum nutritional value and comprise mainly of processed items crafted from refined white flour and white sugar – a category that includes packaged white bread, pastries, confectioneries, and carbonated or other sugar-infused drinks.
Moreover, fried foods and certain fats – such as margarine, shortening, and lard – further exacerbate inflammation. Processed red meats, like bacon, hot dogs, salami, or deli meats, too, are a significant culprit. Even lean red meat intake should be cautiously restricted to once or twice a week.
Incorporating Anti-Inflammatory Foods Into Your Diet
In light of the above, the optimal way forward would be to substitute the inflammation-triggering food items with those known for their anti-inflammatory properties, foods rich in natural antioxidants and other health defensive compounds.
These mainly include heart-friendly fats such as mono and poly-unsaturated plant-based oils, most varieties of nuts, seeds, and fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, tuna, and sardines. Other diet essentials that are anti-inflammatory include whole grains, green leafy vegetables, and tomatoes. Incorporating citrus fruits, berries, and cherries into your diet is also a brilliant way of combatting inflammation.
For more advice on establishing an anti-inflammatory diet, click here for practical tips from the Arthritis Foundation.