Like most things in life, inflammation can be good and bad.
On the one hand, inflammation helps your body defend itself from infection and injury.
On the other hand, chronic inflammation can lead to weight gain and can be a contributing factor in many diseases.
Inflammation is the reaction of your immune system to irritation, injury, or infection.
It's a normal response and a natural part of healing.
The key is to not let chronic inflammation take a toll on your body and your health.
Following an anti-inflammatory diet is a great way to counter some of the chronic inflammation that can stem from a not-so-healthy lifestyle.
A proper diet along with regular chiropractic care can greatly improve your health.
If you feel like chronic inflammation is starting to take a toll on your health, the foods we talk about below are all nutritious and will fit perfectly into an anti-inflammatory diet.
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All berries are packed full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
There are dozens of berries available, but some of the most popular are strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries.
Berries also contain antioxidants called anthocyanins. These compounds have anti-inflammatory effects that may reduce your risk of disease.
Your body can naturally produce natural killer cells (NK cells) which help keep your immune system functioning correctly.
Berries will help in the production of the NK cells.
In one study, men who consumed blueberries every day produced significantly more NK cells than men who didn't.
In another study, overweight men and women who ate strawberries had lower levels of specific inflammatory markers that are associated with heart disease.
Almonds serve as an excellent source of monounsaturated fats, vitamin E, and manganese.
They're also an excellent source of magnesium and plant protein.
In many research studies, almonds have been associated with having a lower risk of cardiovascular disease by improving the fatty acids profile of your blood.
Almonds are also very satiating, so even though they're higher in calories than many other anti-inflammatory foods, eating a handful of almonds could help you keep up with a weight loss program.
Fatty fish are an excellent source of protein and the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA.
All types of fish will contain some omega-3 fatty acids, but these are the best sources:
EPA and DHA will reduce inflammation that can lead to metabolic syndrome, heart disease, diabetes, and kidney disease.
Your body metabolizes these fatty acids into compounds called resolvins and protectins, which have anti-inflammatory effects.
Clinical studies have found that people who consume salmon or EPA and DHA supplements had decreases in the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein.
Avocados are extremely rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, and they're an excellent source of magnesium, fiber, and potassium while also being low in sodium.
Eating just half of an avocado will add nicely to your daily intake of vitamins C, A, E, and B-complex vitamins.
The combinations of these nutrients and the polyphenols that work as antioxidants make avocados a must-have for any anti-inflammatory diet.
It's easy to add avocado slices to your favorite sandwich or salad or turn them into tasty guacamole.
Broccoli is one of the most nutritious foods around.
It's a cruciferous vegetable, along with cauliflower, brussel sprouts, and kale.
Research shows that eating a lot of cruciferous vegetables is associated with a decreased risk of heart disease and cancer.
This is likely due to the anti-inflammatory effects of the antioxidants they contain.
Broccoli is also rich in sulforaphane, an antioxidant that fights inflammation by reducing your levels of cytokines and NF-kB, which drive inflammation.
Carrots contain beta-carotene, which your body can convert to vitamin A, which is essential for your health, but it's also a powerful antioxidant in its own right.
Carrots also contain zeaxanthin and lutein, which are closely related to vitamin A.
Eating a diet rich in these antioxidants could help to reduce your risk of cancer by preventing damage to the healthy cells of your body.
Since carrots are low in calories and a good source of fiber, they can also help you lose weight if that's one of your goals.
A Final Word
Even low levels of inflammation on a chronic basis can lead to disease.
Do your best to keep inflammation in check by choosing a wide variety of delicious, antioxidant-rich foods.
Adding these foods may help improve your overall health, and make it easier to manage a healthy weight.
A diet rich in anti-oxidant foods may also help prevent certain health conditions from occurring as you age.