What is inflammation and why is it so important to reduce it?

Eat to avoid inflammation

"To exist is the change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself. Endlessly..." Samuel Avital

There are two kinds of inflammation. The first is the body's response to an injury such as falling on a knee and having it swell as part of the healing response. The second is whole-body inflammation, which refers to chronic, imperceptible, low-level inflammation.

Studies suggest that over time this kind of inflammation sets the foundation for many serious, age-related diseases including heart disease, cancer and neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.

Please refer to this study about inflammation and Alzheimer's.

Causes of Inflammation

There are many causes for this type of inflammation:

  • Poor diet
  • Low activity level
  • Too much alcohol consumption
  • Smoking and stress

How to Reduce Inflammation

It is important to focus on green vegetables which are rich in antioxidants, phytonutrients and important nutrition. Here are a number of ways to reduce inflammation:

  • Take omega-3 fatty acids. (fish oil)
  • Replace processed foods with fresh vegetables and some fresh fruit. (more on this later).
  • Eat a Low glycemic index foods (no processed, "white" foods etc.) which means that it is important to stop eating refined, processed and manufactured food.
  • Eat enough dietary fiber daily.
  • Consume Arginine rich foods (fish, nuts) regularly.
  • Move your body, get some physical activity daily.
  • Restrict your alcohol intake.
  • Replace processed foods with fresh vegetables and some fresh fruit.

Foods Rich in Antioxidants

Below is a list of some foods rich in antioxidants:

  • All berries
  • Small red beans, pinto and black beans
  • Prunes, plums and gala apples
  • Broccoli, cabbage, greens such as kale, spinach and swill chard
  • Tomatoes, watercress, red or sweet potatoes

The "Father of Medicine", Hippocrates said, "Let thy food by thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food." Sound advice indeed.

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