Author: Matthew Gallo
November 30, 2022
What causes inflammation? When irritants enter the body, the immune system releases substances called “inflammatory mediators”, which dilate small blood vessels so that more blood and immune system cells can reach the injured tissue. In addition to making the area turn red and feel hot, the mediators also irritate nerves causing pain signals to be sent to the brain (InformedHealth.org).
Inflammation is typically the result of external injuries, the effects of chemicals, or invading pathogens. However, inflammation sometimes carries on even in the absence of these irritants. If that’s the case, clues to the assailant may lie within your diet.
Chronic inflammation is linked to many major diseases, including cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. That is why when inflammation persists, it vital for your health to root out the causes. For many, diet may be a leading contributor to chronic inflammation. Choosing the right foods can help to reduce your risk of illness, while consistently indulging in the wrong ones could speed up the inflammatory disease process.
What foods cause inflammation?Highly processed foods are the most common triggers of inflammation. Here are some to watch out for:
- Refined Carbohydrates (i.e., white bread, white rice, pastries, most cereal)
- Fried foods
- Sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup (i.e., soda and other sweetened beverages)
- Red Meat and Processed Meat (i.e., steak, burgers, hot dogs, sausage)
What foods reduce inflammation?
- Olive oil
- Green leafy vegetables (i.e., spinach, kale)
- Nuts (i.e., almonds, walnuts)
- Fatty fish (i.e., salmon, mackerel, tuna)
- Fruits (i.e., blueberries, strawberries, oranges)
Image via health.harvard.edu
Experiencing chronic inflammation? Learn more about your body’s immune response with Inspire Wellness@Home’s Inflammation test.
The self-administered Inflammation test measures the amount of C-Reactive protein in your blood. C-Reactive Potein (CRP) is produced by the liver and is known to increase dramatically in response to injury, infection, and inflammation. Measuring CRP levels can help to diagnose a chronic inflammatory disease and determine risk of heart disease.
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