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Our first response to inflammatory issues in our body is to head to the chemist for anti-inflammatory medicines and painkillers. This makes us feel better, but what if preventing inflammatory responses from happening is a better way to treat it and saving our bodies from harmful medication, especially if taken on a regular basis?

How to Prevent an Inflammatory Response. 

Preventing inflammatory responses shouldn’t be a very difficult task. It is as simple as changing our daily diet only slightly to include certain food types or exclude others. It is quite possible to prevent or aid the healing or lessening of symptoms in some medical conditions and assist in preventing other symptoms like inflammation of the body occurring.

Our lifestyles have changed over the years and this includes diets that have also changed and become more refined, easier to cook, shorter cooking times and whatever you can fit into 60 minutes of cooking, from preparing to serving a meal. Unfortunately, this means that we neglect meal preparation and variance, we exclude food types and groups we don’t like or feel aren’t important to our bodies and so our diets exclude necessary food groups and tastes we need for our bodies to function properly.

In this article and follow up articles I will explain how simple changes to your lifestyle and food preparation can have long lasting effects such as less inflammation in the body, lowered stress levels, lowered anxiety levels, better digestive systems, better sleeping patterns and how eating and adding the right kind of foods can aid in an overall feeling of wellness and wellbeing, as well as have the potential to ease some of the above mentioned symptoms.

Inflammatory responses in our bodies are not necessarily a bad thing, it’s simply put, a way for our bodies to tell us, something is wrong. Our immune system starts working when our bodies become aware of anything foreign like chemicals, microbes, bacterias, plant pollen and such and this triggers an inflammatory response.

When inflammation becomes a daily occurrence, without any clear reason, like when your body reacts to foreign invaders as mentioned above, it becomes an issue. Our body can respond to stress, heart disease and diabetes with inflammation. There are various other health issues and diseases that also cause inflammation, and maintaining a well balanced diet can assist in easing symptoms.

Preventing inflammation is as simple as adding and taking away food types that either prevent or cause our bodies to react and become inflamed. If you select the correct anti-inflammatory foods, you might be able to prevent illness. If you pick the wrong foods, your body responds by aggravating an inflammatory response.

Say No to Processed Foods

These are easy to prepare foods and meals. I call them “plastic foods”. These would typically include anything you can heat and eat in a microwave, processed and cured meats, chicken nuggets, fish nuggets, fish fingers, biscuits, hot dogs/ wieners, cereals, dehydrated soups and sauces. These foods are not very high in nutrition and have more than average salt and sugar concentrations, they’re also high in saturated fats which increase LDL cholesterol (the bad kind). 

Without a doubt the biggest culprit in processed foods is added sugar or other sugary compounds added as sweeteners. All these ingredients, sugars and grains in processed foods can change gut-bacteria and damage the gut’s lining triggering the inflammatory genes in cells. Studies have also shown that processed foods can lead to heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, diabetes and a shorter life span.

Foods That Cause Inflammation.

Other foods that promote inflammation include refined flours and white rice, but it does not stop there. Also included on the list is white breads, white pasta, white flour, cereal and other products manufactured from refined flours. But wait there’s more: Processed and cured meats, jarred sauces, sodas and juices, baked goodies, cheese, ice-cream, butter, coconut products and candy are all examples of processed foods that trigger inflammatory responses in the body.

What Foods should I aim for? 

The next time you head for the grocery store, try adding unprocessed foods with no added sugar to your basket. These foods will typically be fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes like beans and lentils, nuts, fish, poultry, low fat dairy products and olive oil. Antioxidants in coloured foods like carrots, squash, broccoli and cooked food may lessen the effects of free radicals which damage cells. The key point to remember here is, the more colorful the higher the antioxidant content.

Other foods you can include on your grocery list that help fight inflammation in the body:

  • Fruit and vegetables with high fiber content: Apples, bananas, oranges, strawberries, carrots, beets, broccoli.
  • Legumes and whole grains: Bulgur wheat, brown rice, wild rice, and barley, peas, soybeans, lentils.
  • Foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids like eggs, salmon, tuna, sardines, vegetable oils, walnuts, flaxseeds and leafy greens like spinach and kale.
  • Polyphenols, which is good news for chocolate lovers. Polyphenols are found in berries, tea, apples, citrus, soybeans, coffee and dark chocolate.
  • Unsaturated fatty foods like avocados, pecans, almonds, pumpkin and sesame seeds.

The strongest effect of dietary changes to reduce inflammation are seen in people who have chronic conditions such as arthritis, autoimmune diseases, gastrointestinal and heart issues. Keeping symptoms at bay by changing your diet and lifestyle is by far the most effective way to deal with these conditions.

The Benefits of Anti-inflammatory Foods.

By changing your diet and making better choices towards your lifestyle, it not only reduces inflammation, but also has noticeable effects on your physical and emotional wellbeing. It’s not only beneficial in the sense that it reduces the risk of chronic illnesses but improves your overall quality of life and improves general mood.

Aim for an overall healthy diet if you want to reduce inflammation. There is no set diet to follow but if you are looking for a diet that closely resembles an anti-inflammatory diet, you may want to consider a Mediterranean diet which contains healthy oils, fish, whole grains, nuts, vegetables and fruits.

A diet with less processed foods not only lowers inflammation but affects your physical, mental and emotional health in a very positive way and contributes to an overall feeling of wellbeing. For more in depth information you can visit this link https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/foods-that-fight-inflammation


Changing your Dietary Habits.

Changing your dietary habits does not have to happen instantly. You can slowly move toward better food choices and introduce healthier options to your diet and make this a complete lifestyle shift, rather than a crash diet. You can start by eating less “plastic foods” as I called them earlier in this article. “Plastic foods” are usually heavily processed foods that come in plastic packaging, like chicken nuggets, processed fish products like fish finger and fish nuggets, cured meats, processed sausages like hot dogs and wieners. 

Try introducing more foods that are grown and harvested from the ground. Apply this approach to every meal as often as possible and you will soon have a healthier diet complete with anti-inflammatory fighting properties.

Start simple, by replacing breakfast cereals oatmeal, nuts and berries. Add leafy greens, colorful vegetables, seeds and nuts to salads for lunch. Dinner can be lean protein with colorful veggies. The more variety of vegetables and color you add to your meal, the more natural inflammation fighting elements you will consume.

The above is a rather lengthy discussion on how including and excluding food types can help keep inflammation at bay, but there are other things you can do to help.

Drinking 8 glasses of water sounds like a tedious task and most of us would rather opt for a soft drink, coffees, teas and other hot or cold beverages. Water is important to maintaining a healthy body and to aid in reducing inflammation. If you don’t hydrate your body enough, it leads to inflammation and especially inflammation of the joints. Drinking enough water on a daily basis helps eliminate and flush out toxins that build up in the body and this also reduces inflammation. Including herbal teas, vegetable juices and coconut water also help boost hydration levels in your body.

Be mindful of what you eat and put into your body. Be present when you have a meal. When you are aware of your meal and not distracted by external factors like the television, your body becomes more aware of signals such as hunger and fullness which prevents the habit of overeating. Being mindful and present helps reduce anxiety and stress which are also inflammation triggers. 

Probiotics which are living bacteria and yeast that help maintain a healthy gut. They help reduce inflammation by boosting the immune system and maintaining a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut. Foods like yogurt, kefir, kombucha and sauerkraut all contain probiotics.

Exercise also comes with benefits, including reducing inflammation in the body. It also improves cardiovascular health, boosts your mood and helps to maintain a healthy weight. When you incorporate exercise in your daily routine it can help to reduce inflammation and improve your overall health and wellbeing.

Stress is also a big trigger of inflammation in the body and chronic stress can lead to a whole list of problems like inflammation related diseases. By incorporating activities that reduce your stress level on a daily basis like meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, it can also assist in reducing stress levels and improve overall health and wellbeing.

Another way of aiding the body in reducing inflammation is adding supplements to your diet, however you need to talk to your health professional about this as it may interact with other medication and cause unwanted side effects. Typical supplements to include in your diet would be turmeric, ginger and omega-3 fatty acids. 

Last but not least, if you did not think getting enough sleep can help reduce inflammation, guess again. Getting enough sleep is essential to reducing inflammation in your body. Inflammation can be triggered by sleep deprivation and that can also lead to a whole range of health problems. Seven to eight hours of good sound sleep every night promotes overall health, well being and reduces inflammation.

With all of the above tools available to us, it shouldn’t be difficult or expensive to maintain and reduce inflammation in your body. You can literally eat, sleep and exercise your way to less inflammation.

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Sidney Watkins
Sidney Watkins is an experienced lifestyle writer with a keen eye for exploring and understanding the latest trends and developments. She has a knack for writing sharp, insightful articles and essays that resonate with her readers, and her writing style is widely recognized as engaging, thought-provoking, and informative. Over the years, Sidney has developed a deep understanding of modern lifestyle and has honed her writing skills to become a respected thought leader in the industry. Her expertise is evident in the wide range of topics she covers, from food and travel to fashion and beauty. With her passion for writing and her dedication to exploring the latest lifestyle trends, Sidney is a true inspiration to aspiring writers and lifestyle enthusiasts alike.