Many people struggle with inflammation on daily basis, and this issue can lead to severe health problems such as acne, Alzheimer’s Disease and digestive tract problems or obesity.
However, at times, inflammation can be beneficial for the organism, since the body then sends T cells, white blood cells, and lymphatic fluid to fix the problem. The blood and water also help to cleanse the organism from various toxins and these antibodies can improve circulation, swelling, even pain.
Inflammation can occur as a result of numerous external factors, such as bruises, scratches, bumps and scrapes. Other times, it can occur internally and cause more infections or diseases.
Acute inflammation is the immune system response that ceases to act after the injury heals. As researchers suggest, this has plenty to do with nutrition since the consumption of certain food products can trigger inflammation and turn it into the chronic type. The chronic inflammation damages the body organs, especially the intestines, heart, kidneys, pancreas, joints, skin, and bones.
“A diet that’s high in inflammatory foods causes a constant, low-grade inflammation in the body,” says Elson Haas, MD, author of The False Fat Diet. “If the immune system is preoccupied fighting this constant inflammation, it’s not as able to help protect the body against other things that can pop up, such as abnormal cells in breast or prostate tissue.” According to Haas, “modern diseases are merely symptoms of the underlying issue of inflammation, which is just the body trying to heal itself; the question is, ‘from what?’”
Dieting Harms The Body
The lack of nutrients we experience in our diet regime can be essential for inflammation outbreak. Fast foods full of Trans fats, sugars, refined starches, processed meats, hydrogenated oils, and artificial sweeteners can do serious harm to the organism and cause major inflammatory processes. This type of eating habit can elevate the blood sugar levels and disturb the fat-regulating hormones.
Barbara Rowe, MPH, RD, author of Anti-Inflammatory Foods for Healthstates, “Since these foods are so new to the human diet—most having been introduced only in the last 60 to 70 years—inflammation is a natural immune response to deal with them.”
Sometimes junk food is not the only reason for inflammation. Omega-3 fats are one of the most valuable fats for consumption, also widely ignored by the majority of people. On the other hand, omega-6s arequite used in our everyday nutrition. The ration of these two is 30 to 1 in favor of the Omega 6s.
“This inflammation prompts the oxidizing of the LDL, or bad cholesterol, which then makes it more sticky and more likely to adhere to the artery walls,” which leads to heart disease, says Haas.
Other Inflammation Triggers
Our immunity can also be responsible for causing inflammation.
“You might be eating healthy foods, but if your body has an allergic reaction to one of these, an immune response will trigger inflammation—usually signaled by gas, bloating, and pain,” says Haas.
In people’s opinions, the nightshade plants, such as potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants and others are causing inflammation faster. All these contain an alkaloid known as solanine, which may cause joint pain in certain individuals, particularly if they are suffering from arthritis.
If you are experiencing this, try avoiding these products and see if the pain goes away.
The body can also face inflammation if there is an acid-alkaline imbalance. An acidic pH can trigger toxicity and damage the bodycells.
In order to alkalize your organism, avoid refined foods, coffee, black tea, alcohol, sugar, and fruit juice; limit the consumption of meats, dairy, grains, and fruits; focus more on eating vegetables, spices, and beans.
Foods To Deal With Inflammation
There are plenty of anti-inflammatory products that work excellent in the neutralizing inflammatory processes and keeping you healthy.
Hot Peppers– due to the high content in capsaicin, hot peppers are recommended as an anti-inflammatory remedy. This also goes for cayenne, serrano, jalapeño, and all hot chilis. Capsaicin usually inhibits the COX-2 enzyme, which is known to cause inflammation and worsen arthritis.
- Applesand Onions.- Both are full of quercetin, a natural histamine inhibitor that prevents allergies which can end up in inflammation. It is important to always eat whole apples, since the biggest anti-inflammatory properties are located there.
- Pineapple– This fruit is packed with anti-inflammatory qualities, especially bromelain that provides enzymes which fight off inflammations. This can also relieve body pain and reduce swelling. Always use fresh pineapples to prevent losing this important enzyme.
- Dark, Leafy Green Vegetables.- full of alpha-linolenic acid, which is an omega-3 similar to the Omega-3 found in fish, these products can keep you safe at all times.
- Flaxseeds, Walnuts, Pumpkinseeds– also packed with significant omega-3s, these nuts are best used fresh and unroasted.
- Oily, Cold-Water Fish– everything from salmon to mackerel, and sardines are exquisite for fighting off inflammation due to their omega-3s. If you go with salmon, consume Pacific or Alaskan salmon, that hasn’t been farm raised. Make sure to eat the fish skin entirely, since the major omega-3s are located there.
- Olivesand Olive Oil.- These products contain omega-9 fatty acids, which encourage the omega-3s to act faster. Always choose raw and unprocessed forms of olive oil and olives. Never heat it, since you may lose important nutrients.
- Foods that Heal
Hot Peppers • Apples • Onions • Pineapple • Dark, Leafy Vegetables • Flaxseeds • Walnuts • Pumpkinseeds • Fish • Olives • Olive Oil
Foods to Steer Clear of
Bagels • Baked Goods • Pastries • Fried Foods • Margarine • Sugar • Snack Foods • Soda • Jams • Hard Cheeses
Moroccan Chicken With Olives
1 yellow onion, diced
3/4 cup chopped parsley (save some more for garnish)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon mild paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt (beware of sodium content)
1 teaspoon agave nectar or sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1 for drizzling
6 to 8 chicken thighs, bone in, skins on
1 cup chicken stock or water
1 teaspoon lemon zest (grated peel)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup Gaeta or Kalamata olives, pits in
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine onion, parsley, spices, salt, and agave nectar.
- In a large skillet, heat up 2 tablespoons olive oil on medium heat. Throw in chicken in a single layer, and cook 2 to 3 minutes on both sides until medium brown.
- Next, add the stock and onion mix. Boil stock, decrease temperature to low, cover and cook for the next 20 minutes. The chicken should not have pink parts when done.
- Turn the heat to medium-high and set the chicken on a platter. Let the sauce simmer for 2 to 3 minutes (let it reduce slightly). Set pan aside and add lemon zest, lemon juice, and olives.
- Cover chicken with sauce. Drizzle with olive oil, and garnish with parsley.
Nutrition info per serving: 297 calories; 22 g fat; 5 g saturated fat; 72 mg cholesterol; 18 g protein; 8 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 459 mg sodium
Green and Gold Salad
3 tablespoons unfiltered honey, (soft)
2 teaspoons lemon zest (grated peel)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon walnut oil
Dash cinnamon, dash ground ginger
Pinch ground nutmeg, pinch salt
6 cups baby spinach
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced into rounds
1 orange or medium grapefruit
1/4 cup chopped raw walnuts
Pinch cinnamon (for garnish)
- In a small dish, whisk all dressing ingredients until even.
- Place spinach on a large platter and cover with red onion rounds.
- Clean stems and the orange ends. Place orange flat side down, and slice the skin off in 1- or 2-inch sections from top to bottom.Be careful not to remove parts of the fruit itself. Set orange so the flat ends face the sides. Slice orange into 1/4-inch rounds, and quarter each round.
- Arrange the oranges to taste over the spinach and onions. Pour dressing and sprinkle with the chopped walnuts and cinnamon.
Nutrition info per serving: 162 calories; 9 g fat; 1 g saturated fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 3 g protein; 22 g carbohydrates; 3 g fiber; 38 mg sodium
Serves 4 to 6
1 cup pitted Kalamata olives
1 canned sardine fillet
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon capers
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sugar (optional)
- Prepare a puree by blending all ingredients in a food processor or blender.
Nutrition info per serving: 160.4 calories; 15 g fat; 0.7 g saturated fat; 2.8 mg cholesterol; 0.6 g protein; 6.1 g carbohydrates; 0.1 g fiber; 712.9 mg sodium
Serves 6 to 8
1 cup Greek or regular plain, unsweetened yogurt
4 to 6 tablespoons agave nectar (to taste)
4 cups diced fresh, ripe pineapple
1 heaping cup chopped dates
1 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup minced fresh mint leaves
1.In a dish, combine the yogurt and agave together in a dish.
- Then, in a large bowl toss all remaining ingredients and pour yoghurt gently. Let sit 10 minutes and serve.
Nutrition info per serving (based on 6 servings): 228.1 calories; 6.4 g fat; 4.9 g saturated fat; 5.3 mg cholesterol; 3.1 g protein; 44.3 g carbohydrates; 5.1 g fiber; 24.2 mg sodium