written by: Danielle Maina
Asthma. Rheumatoid Arthritis. Lupus. Crohn’s disease. Psoriasis. Tuberculosis. What do all of these diseases or conditions all have in common? Chronic inflammation. We all know at least one person in our lives with one of these conditions (and bless their hearts). Inflammation not only comes from chronic diseases but it can also affect many of us in our day-to-day lives, without us even knowing!
The beauty is that each person living with inflammation can play a role in reducing it without solely depending on medications. Many symptoms of chronic inflammation can be managed by adopting a healthier overall lifestyle.
First things first, what’s the difference between chronic vs. acute inflammation?
Inflammation can be severe or even minimal in each and every one of us. Those with chronic inflammation have it for a long time it could be months or even years. Those with chronic inflammation should be careful and take diet and exercise seriously because inflammation can bring rise to other terrible diseases and conditions such as heart disease, obesity, coronary artery disease, cancer, atherosclerosis, etc.
Acute inflammation starts rapidly and quickly becomes severe, lasting for a few days to a couple of weeks. Chronic inflammation occurs from an autoimmune response to a self-antigen, or failure to eliminate whatever was causing the acute inflammation. Some examples of acute inflammation include acute bronchitis, acute tonsillitis, sore throat from cold/flu, infected ingrown toenail and even intense training exercise.
Secondly, what are the right foods to eat with inflammation?
Fruits & Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables should be your best friends if dealing with acute or chronic inflammation. Consume a variety of colors and produce high in antioxidants such as berries, apples, leafy greens (kale, spinach, swiss chard), broccoli, sweet potatoes, carrots, etc.
High Fiber Foods
Choose whole grains such as oats, brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, whole grain breads and cereals. In addition, incorporate beans such as black beans, garbanzo beans, kidney beans in the diet. An increase of fiber in the diet regulates the blood sugar, instead of it spiking. This means less stress on the body, resulting in less inflammation.
Unsaturated Fats & Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Not only do omega 3 fatty acids aid in reducing inflammation but they are also crucial for the heart. Add a variety of nuts and seeds in the diet such as flaxseeds, walnuts, chia seeds, and almonds. Choose avocadoes, plant oils such as olive oil, sunflower oil or safflower oil, and fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, and anchovies.
Herbs & Spices
Get creative with your cooking and incorporate these wonderful herbs and spices: turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, basil, red and black pepper, cloves, cumin, parsley, and garlic. Try to choose the real thing versus it in supplement form.
*Note: Any dietary practice should be work in accordance with and be approved by, your doctor. I am not saying that certain foods will TREAT the disease, but eating the right inflammation-fighter foods can help to SUPPORT the reduction of inflammation in certain individuals. As always, consult your doctor first before changing your diet.