5 Foods That Inhibit Inflammation

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If you follow nutrition news, you probably hear a lot of discussion of inflammation. According to some writers, it gets the blame for everything from gas to cancer.

Inflammation is our body’s natural immune response to injury or infection. When you get that itchy feeling under your band-aid, that’s usually a sign that there’s some healing going on. And that swelling and itching around a mosquito bite is just your body trying to isolate some grody bug juice to keep it out of your blood stream.

The five classic signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling and loss of function. We’ve probably all felt those symptoms at some time or other. We got an injury or infection, it felt hot, red, sore, swollen and useless for a week or so, then got better.

It might surprise you to hear me say it, but inflammation is not necessarily bad. What we foodies are really concerned with is chronic inflammation.

So what is chronic inflammation and why should I worry about it?

Inflammation is the body’s immune response to harmful stimuli (pathogens, irritants, microbes, damaged cells, injuries, etc). Ideally, the inflammation ends when the injury or infection has healed. When the irritants causing inflammation remain in the body, it can persist for months or years – or even for a whole lifetime. And it can be pretty subtle, bunkered down in the intestines where you won’t see the redness or feel the itch.

Chronic inflammation related to a vast number of diseases. Among other afflictions, chronic inflammation is linked with asthma, allergies, celiac disease, arthritis, bowel disease, psoriasis, atherosclerosis, depression, diabetes, obesity and cancer. You name it!

If you’re struggling with any of these conditions, reducing the level of inflammation your body is dealing with might help. So without further ado, here they are…

5 Foods That Inhibit Inflammation

Tart Cherries

A study of women with inflammatory arthritis found that a daily dose of tart cherry juice significantly reduces inflammation markers. The study’s authors believe tart cherries have “the highest anti-inflammatory content of any food”. Tart cherries are especially good for athletes – a previous study by the same author found that long distance runners who drank cherry juice reported significantly less pain than those who did not.

Turmeric

Humans have been using turmeric for medicinal purposes for at least 4000 years, and for good reason! In addition to its anti-inflammatory properties, curcumin (a component of turmeric) is a powerful anti-oxidant, hunting down molecules in the body that compromise cellular health and mess with our DNA. In fact, a study published in the journal Nature found that curcumin – a component of turmeric – actually hunts down and kills certain cancer cells in lab conditions, with effects that are evident in as little as 24 hours.

Ginger Root

A study published in Cancer Prevention Research found that daily ginger supplements reduced colon inflammation markers in the subjects in as little as four weeks, suggesting that ginger root may be an natural way to significantly reduce the risk of colon cancer.

Blueberries

Research conducted at The Lund Faculty of Engineering in Sweden found that blueberries – especially when eaten with probiotics – reduced inflammation in the large intestine. Blueberries reduced the presence of inflammatory bacteria in the intestines, increased the presence of healthy gut bacteria, protected the liver, and increased the production of certain enzymes that support a healthy immune system.

Omega 3

Daily consumption of Omega 3 fatty acids reduces both anxiety and inflammation in young, healthy people, according to a study published in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity.  While wild fish are often thought of as the go-to source for dietary Omega 3, if you’re not into seafood, don’t worry! You can still get your fix. Some great natural sources of omega 3 are yams, radish or alfalfa sprouts, basil, soaked walnuts, chia, flax and broccoli.

What Else Can I Do About Inflammation?

Other factors that increase inflammation are lack of exercise, poor quality and quantity of sleep, and overeating. As far as inflammation is concerned, the North American lifestyle of abundant food and irregular sleep is the perfect storm!

The good news is, it’s all tied together. The better you sleep, the more inclined you are to exercise. The better you eat, the better you sleep. The more you exercise, the better you eat.

You only need to change one thing at a time – add something simple into your daily routine that affirms your self-love, and watch as the positive effects start to snowball!

Stop by my Facebook page and share your stories about making positive changes to your routine and how it changed your life! Oh Yeah!

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About Adam Hart

Adam Hart is the bestselling author of The Power of Food. When not on stage speaking, Adam can be found helping one of his many corporate clients in awakening an abundance of energy through his highly engaging stress management solutions.Contact Adam to book a demo for an enhanced corporate wellness experience.

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