Chronic inflammation is a type of inflammation that silently attacks the body causing disease and degeneration, and is also known as “silent inflammation”.
As the connection between silent inflammation and a host of diseases becomes clearer, the case for dietary and lifestyle changes that can combat inflammation has become stronger.
Generally we want about 4 servings of vegetables per day, and 2-3 servings of fruit. We always want to buy organic when possible. Organic fruits and vegetables are usually a bit more expensive, but the increased cost is well worth keeping harmful chemicals and pesticides out of our bodies.
When fat cells grow, they take up the free space around the organs. Blood flow can be constricted and the body often feels as though it needs to fight to function normally. When the body feels threatened, inflammation occurs as a natural, healing response. Unfortunately, unlike the small cut that will heal in a few, short days. Obesity takes time to correct and the longer the body lives inflamed, the greater the risk of long term effects.
Examples of whole grains include whole wheat, bulgur, rolled oats, quinoa, millet, spelt and many others. We typically want about 3 servings of whole grains in a given day. For those with gluten allergies or intolerance, options like quinoa, amaranth, and millet are acceptable.
Legumes are recommended at 2 servings per day. They are a very versatile food and are high in protein, folate, potassium, iron, magnesium, essential amino acids and fiber. The legume or bean is actually the fruit or seed of a plant. Examples of legumes are the soybean, peanut, lima beans, kidney beans, and black beans.
There are many illnesses and conditions caused by inflammation. These include asthma, arthritis, inflammatory bowel syndrome, pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis, diabetes, COPD, Psoriasis, Colitis, and Lupus – just to name a few. All-in-all, there are nearly 40 autoimmune conditions currently accepted by the medical community that are affected by inflammation.
Wild caught fish have a more diversified diet and so has a far better nutrient content. Due to the pollution in our oceans many of our fish are contaminated with heavy metals such as mercury. For this reason pregnant mothers and children under the age of 6 years old should keep their servings to only 2 per week. High levels of mercury in adults can cause neurological dysfunction and kidney damage.
The first step is to make dietary changes to reduce food based inflammation. Processed foods, fast foods and prepackaged foods can cause increased inflammation in the body. Replacing these foods with lean meats, whole grains and healthy fats will make a tremendous different in how the body reacts to inflammation. In addition, if weight is a problem, reducing weight while changing to an anti-inflammatory diet can increase the benefits exponentially.
Changing to an anti-inflammatory diet does not have to be in reaction to a disease or illness. Prevention is the best choice and the anti-inflammatory diet can reduce the risk of contracting many of the listed illnesses. When the body feels as though it needs to fight for survival, inflammation occurs, so offering healthy foods that have an inflammatory effect is a great choice for all people including those who are young, healthy and feel they do not need an anti-inflammatory diet.
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