Inflammation is a part of your body’s normal response to fight infection or injury. Your damaged tissue releases chemicals that tell white blood cells to start repairing. But sometimes inflammation can spread throughout the body, become chronic and do damage. It can contribute to the buildup of plaque in your arteries, increasing your risk of heart disease and stroke. It is also associated with a higher risk of cancer, diabetes and other chronic conditions. Your food choices can have an impact on the inflammation in your body and can help your body fight against oxidative stress, which triggers inflammation. Here are some simple rules for anti-inflammatory eating:
- Eat a more plant-based diet – whole plant foods have anti-inflammatory nutrients that your body requires. Choose all colors of the rainbow with fruits and veggies.
- Focus on antioxidant filled foods – berries, leafy greens, beets, avocados, and beans are filled with them and help prevent cell and tissue damage.
- Consume less red meat – this can be pro-inflammatory. Aim for fish or poultry.
- Remove processed foods from your diet – also pro-inflammatory foods, that contain unhealthy fats and ingredients that lead to inflammation.
- Get your Omega-3s – these fatty acids play a big part in regulating your body’s inflammatory process, which can be found in fish, nuts, flaxseed and soy.
Foods that are anti-inflammatory tend to be the same foods that can help keep you healthy in other ways, too. Eat with inflammation in mind and stay healthy all around. You are what you eat!