WHEN INFLAMMATION ATTACKS…
Ever find yourself walking up a flight of stairs or dancing to the latest tune on the radio, only to be stopped by a striking pain in your chest? Suddenly, you’re short of breath and holding on to the railing to pace your breathing. OR, what about being hot temperature wise, but experiencing chills all at the same time? What you are experiencing my friends, are symptoms of Inflammation.
Inflammation is the process by which the body’s white blood cells and substances they produce, protect us from infection with foreign organisms, such as bacteria and viruses.
However, in some diseases, like arthritis, the body’s defense system — the immune system — triggers an inflammatory response when there are no foreign invaders to fight off. In these diseases, called autoimmune diseases (Lupus), the body’s normally protective immune system causes damage to its own tissues. The body responds as if normal tissues are infected or somehow abnormal.
When inflammation occurs, chemicals from the body’s white blood cells are released into the blood or affected tissues to protect your body from foreign substances. Some of the chemicals cause a leak of fluid into the tissues, resulting in swelling. This protective process may stimulate nerves and cause pain.
So is there a diet that could lower inflammation? There has been considerable interest in the influence of dietary factors on many different autoimmune diseases such as #Lupus. The Lupus Foundation of America, Florida Chapter, suggests that one discusses any major changes in your diet, especially changes that include use of dietary supplements.
14 Foods That Fight Inflammation
- Fatty Fish: Oily fish, like salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines, are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to help reduce inflammation. However, you need to eat fish several times a week to reap the benefits.
- Whole Grains: Whole grains have more fiber, which has been shown to reduce levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation in the blood.
- Dark Leafy Greens: Vitamin E plays a key role in protecting the body from pro-inflammatory molecules called cytokines—and one of the best sources of this vitamin is dark green veggies, such as spinach, kale, broccoli, and collard greens.
- Nuts: All nuts are packed with antioxidants, which can help your body fight off and repair the damage caused by inflammation.
- Soy: Several studies show that soy products may help lower CRP and inflammation levels in women.
- Low-Fat Dairy: Milk products are sometimes considered a trigger food for inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, but yogurt often contains probiotics, which can reduce gut inflammation.
- Peppers: Hot peppers (like chili and cayenne) are rich in capsaicin, a chemical that’s used in topical creams that reduce pain and inflammation.
- Tomatoes: Juicy red tomatoes, specifically, are rich in lycopene, which has been shown to reduce inflammation in the lungs and throughout the body.
- Beets: Beets (and beetroot juice) have been shown to reduce inflammation, as well as protect against cancer and heart disease
- Ginger & Turmeric: Turmeric works in the body by helping to turn off a NF-kappa B, a protein that regulates the immune system and triggers the process of inflammation. Ginger has been shown to reduce inflammation in the intestines when taken in supplement form.
- Garlic & Onions: Garlic has been shown to work similarly to NSAID pain medications (like ibuprofen), while onions contain similar anti-inflammatory chemicals that breaks down to produce free radical-fighting sulfenic acid.
- Olive Oil: The compound oleocanthal, which gives olive oil its taste, has been shown to have a similar effect as NSAID painkillers in the body.
- Berries: Berries have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties—possibly because of anthocyanins, the powerful chemicals that gives them their rich color.
- Tart Cherries: In 2012, Oregon Health & Science University researchers suggested that tart cherries have the “highest anti-inflammatory content of any food.”
* Information for the Top 14 Foods to Fight Inflammation was found at http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20705881,00.html