Inflammation has become a buzzword, but do we really know what it means? We might know that it can be linked to some foods, but exactly how it affects your body might not be so clear to you.
Let’s start by stating that there are two types of inflammation: acute inflammation, an extremely necessary mechanism of our immune system, and low-level inflammation.
How does inflammation impact our bodies?
Low-level inflammation is usually silent, but it can impact our lifespan: a study has shown that when it is managed correctly through diet and nutrition, reduced inflammation levels can have a significant effect on your well-being and it can actually extend your lifespan. On the other hand, some argue that silent inflammation can lead to diseases such as cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity, and more.
The main signs of inflammation are redness, swelling and pain. While this may sound scary, they are all signs of blood vessels expanding for more blood to reach the injured tissue and repair it.
To control inflammation levels, you basically need to add anti-inflammatory foods and lower your intake of foods that can increase inflammation –such as sugar and saturated fats.
Foods that have an anti-inflammatory effect
- Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and have shown to reduce inflammation.
- Fiber, present in whole grains, beans, etc., stimulate healthy bacteria which fight against inflammation.
- Leafy greens such as kale, broccoli and spinach.
- Nuts and soy and other products made with nuts and soybeans such as soy milk and tofu.
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Green tea
Besides following a healthy diet, other factors can contribute to our body health and help combat inflammation. It is important to sleep well, reduce stress, work out and drink water.
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