Inflammation is a common ailment that can result in chronic pain and discomfort. Many people do not realize that diet plays a vital role in controlling parts of the body’s inflammatory response. By correcting poor dietary choices and focusing instead on foods with anti-inflammatory properties, like some whole food and favorable proteins, a person can positively alter the balance within the gut microbiome, effectively manipulating the overproduction of white blood cells, the primary cause of inflammation.
The Importance of an Inflammatory Response and How Food Can Manipulate It
While diet can contribute to an overactive inflammatory response, it is essential to stress the necessity of inflammation. The primary role of your body’s inflammatory response is to protect it against illness and infection, which are the result of an overpopulation of harmful bacteria.
Unfortunately, while this system is necessary, it can be fooled into action through dietary choices. When a person consumes a diet high in refined foods, their blood sugar levels can become imbalanced, which can lead to bacterial overgrowth in the gut microbiome. The overgrowth alerts the system to potential infections, causing more white blood cells and leading to inflammation.
Additionally, when consuming a diet high in saturated and trans fats, the body cannot remove these fats quickly. The longer these fats stay in the body, the more inflammatory proteins they release into the bloodstream.
Choosing Foods With Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Choosing to consume an anti-inflammatory diet not only reduces the risk of chronic inflammation but other diseases, like cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes, as well. While an anti-inflammatory diet will contain certain foods, such as leafy greens and fatty fish, it is mainly a healthy diet.
The closest commercial diet plan to an anti-inflammatory plan is likely the Mediterranean diet, which focuses on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, healthy oils, and fish. Primarily, if you want to limit the body’s inflammation response to food choices, opt for more whole foods and fewer processed foods.
The Foods With the Strongest Anti-Inflammatory Properties
When shopping for an anti-inflammatory diet, it is best to stick to the outside aisles of the grocery store. Around the outer edge of the store, you will find the top foods with natural anti-inflammation properties.
While berries are known for being packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and flavor, they also contain anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are potent compounds with anti-inflammatory properties that can lower your risks of disease.
Aside from having high levels of vitamin C and potassium, tomatoes also contain the antioxidant lycopene. Lycopene has been shown in several studies to reduce pro-inflammatory compounds.
Fatty fish, such as salmon and mackerel, are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, specifically EPA and DHA, which are particularly effective at reducing inflammation. Additionally, fish is one of the only ways to consume these compounds.
Consuming nuts is another excellent way to reduce inflammation with diet. When selecting nuts for a snack, it is better to pick almonds or walnuts.
A primary component of vanilla bean extract, vanillin, is an extraordinary substance. It has anti-inflammatory, antitumor, and anticancer properties. Because of the unique properties of vanillin, it is considered a therapeutic agent for some inflammatory diseases.
Many other foods can help combat inflammation.
However, suppose you are interested in using a diet to combat the inflammatory effects of a disease. In that case, it is likely best to focus on an overall healthy and balanced diet, eliminating many if not all overly processed foods.