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Eat these Foods to Fight Chronic Inflammation

Updated on June 20, 2018

Chronic Inflammation

Chronic inflammation occurs when your immune system loses its ability to turn itself off. Normally, we experience inflammation in small episodes as a result of some event such as an insect bite, scaping of the knee, an infection or following surgery. It is our body's natural way of healing itself.

For those individuals who suffer from chronic inflammation, it is more like an endless wave of events thanks to our body fighting against itself.

Research demonstrates that chronic inflammation places us at a greater risk for or certain diseases and conditions ranging from Alzheimer's, arthritis, cancer, and depression to diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

Symptoms of Chronic Inflammation

Chronic inflammation can manifest itself in a variety of ways ranging from the appearance of acne on our skin to pain throughout the body. You may also experience incurable intestinal issues such as bloating, constipation or diarrhea. Some encounter difficulty controlling their blood sugar or weight gain around their waist. Neurological disorders may develop. You may feel tired all the time or like you are in a constant fog.

Common Treatments for Symptoms of Chronic Inflammation

If you are one who suffers from chronic pain related to chronic inflammation, your most instinctive response may be to reach for over-the-counter medication like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as the familiar Advil or Motrin (ibuprofen). If you take your symptoms to the doctor's office, he/she may prescribe corticosteroids to support the NSAIDs.

While these drugs may be highly effective in reducing inflammation, they do have side effects which may cause other conditions like cataracts, glaucoma, hypertension, elevated blood sugars and osteoporosis.

Exercise and Chronic Inflammation

What can you do to change the impact of chronic inflammation on your body and health? To combat chronic inflammation in the body, you should incorporate some form of moderate exercise into their routine. This ritual of exercise can vary and does not have to be rigorous at all. For example, walking for 30 minutes 3-5 days per week can be effective as well as yoga can aid in the improvement of the immune system, enabling immune cells to do their job.

Nonetheless, exercise aids in reducing inflammatory markers in the body. While the impact of exercise is seen across both genders, research has shown that men especially benefit from enhancing exercise practices.

Green Tea for Chronic Inflammation

Green Tea is a great supplement of sorts that can assist in not only managing your weight but it also contains properties that fight against inflammation. White and black teas have similar benefits. They contain flavonoids that possess natural anti-inflammatory properties as well as catechins, also known as a polyphenolic compound that fights free radicals.

Food for Chronic Inflammation

Dietary changes can significantly support your efforts to fight against chronic inflammation. It's the easiest way to take initial steps to take control of your body's state of health. Fiber is one such food that is not only beneficial to weight loss but, recent studies demonstrate that foods that are rich in fiber contain ingredients that help to combat inflammation in various parts of the body, including joints. Aside from being a natural method that can assist with promoting healthy cholesterol levels, fiber also enhances digestive functions, lowers blood pressure and can have a positive effect on cardiac health. Also, fiber reduces inflammation markers like C-reactive protein (CRP) in the blood, which are known to contribute to inflammation in the body.

Fiber contains phytonutrients which are an excellent ally in the battle against inflammation. Phytonutrients are commonly found in fiber-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Try adding more of the following foods to your diet, some of which are rich in polyphenols, antioxidants, and other anti-inflammatory compounds:

  • Lean protein
  • Healthy Fats
  • Cooking with Olive Oil
  • Nuts (almonds and walnuts)
  • Fruits (Avocados, tomatoes, strawberries, blueberries, apples, cherries)
  • Vegetables (Spinach, broccoli, kale, collard greens)
  • Omega-3 Fats from small fish (sardines, herring, sable, and wild salmon)
  • Probiotics
  • Vitamin D, E & K
  • Water
  • Whole Grains
  • Spices. Yes, Spices! ( Garlic, cinnamon, ginger, chili peppers to name a few

Avoid These Foods if You Want to Beat Chronic Inflammation

There are foods you should avoid if you are hoping to give your immune system and body a necessary reprieve.

The following is a list of beverages and foods that should be limited or avoided to decrease the risk of inflammation:

  • Soda and other sugar-sweetened drinks
  • Refined carbohydrates
  • Fried foods
  • Red Meat
  • Processed Meat (hot dogs, sausage)
  • Margarine
  • Lard
  • Shortening

A change in diet is not only beneficial in improving chronic inflammation but is the recommended food can also prove to be helpful in enhancing your overall physical and mental health.

© 2014 Mahogany Speaks


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    • Mahogany Speaks profile imageAUTHOR

      Mahogany Speaks 

      4 years ago from Texas

      It amazes me how much what we eat impacts our mental health and physical health.

    • sangre profile image

      Sp Greaney 

      4 years ago from Ireland

      This is very interesting to hear. I don't think a lot of people ever think about changing their lifestyle, but if it helped relieve chronic inflammation on a long term basis it would be worth considering.


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