Your immune system attacks anything in your body that it recognises as foreign — such as an invading microbe, plant pollen, or chemical. This process is called inflammation. Intermittent bouts of inflammation directed at these threatening invaders protect your health.
However, sometimes inflammation persists continuously, even when you are not threatened by a foreign invader. That’s when it becomes your enemy. Many major diseases that plague us — including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, depression, and Alzheimer’s — have been linked to chronic inflammation.
Not surprisingly, the same foods that contribute to this condition are generally considered bad for our health. The following list contains foods that should be avoided:
- Refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and pastries
- French fries and other fried foods
- Soft drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages
- Red meat (burgers, steaks) and processed meat (hot dogs, sausage)
- Margarine, shortening, and lard
So what can we do about inflammation?
One of the most powerful tools to combat inflammation comes not from the pharmacy, but from the grocery store. The following list contains foods that can help reduce the risk and actually reduce your level:
- olive oil
- green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, and collards
- nuts like almonds and walnuts
- fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines
- fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges
Choose your diet wisely. Your body has enough of a hard time battling foreign invaders from sources outside of our control. Sort out the ones that ARE directly in your control! In addition to lowering inflammation, a more natural and less processed diet can have noticeable effects on your physical and emotional health.