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Anti-Inflammatory Foods Can Transform Your Health

Southern Spinal Care

Inflammation as a bodily function is not necessarily a bad thing. When the body is injured or ill, the lymphatic (immune) system springs into action, bringing the immune system’s army of white blood cells to the area of concern via increased blood flow.

With the increased attention to the area, there might also be swelling, redness, heat, and pain or discomfort. You’ve probably seen this immune response in action, as a cut or scrape becomes hot and puffy around the wound while the extra blood runs. Inflammation, in a healthy body, is the normal and effective response that facilitates healing.

Sadly, we know this isn’t the whole story.

When the immune system overreaches and begins attacking healthy body tissues, we’re met with an autoimmune disorder like leaky gut and inflammation in otherwise healthy areas of the body. This is also the case for arthritis and fibromyalgia symptoms, as well as celiac and irritable bowel disease (IBD). For diseases that aren’t autoimmune, inflammation can still play a part as the body continuously tries to heal the tissues in a given area. Asthma creates inflamed airways; inflammation related to diabetes affects insulin resistance; and so on.

Despite the connection between inflammation and prevalent diseases, as well as the connection between diet and inflammation that we’ll explore, diet isn’t always analyzed in response to inflammation. In a 2014 study on diet and IBD, 33 percent of the patients in the study opted against the proposed anti-inflammatory diet. All of the patients who participated and consumed anti-inflammatory foods found enough relief that they were able to discontinue at least one of their medications. Still, the study notes that physicians typically offer “if it hurts, don’t do it” advice instead of clear dietary guidelines. (1)

Certainly, there is more we can do to promote anti-inflammatory lifestyle changes.

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Inflammatory Foods to Avoid
With anti-inflammatory foods filling the diet, you naturally begin to eliminate pro-inflammatory foods and substances — they’re not as satisfying as a diet rich in whole foods.

A prime suspect is the duo of saturated and trans fatty acids. Found in processed foods, these fats cause inflammation and increase risk factors for obesity, diabetes and heart conditions. (25) The same foods are also likely to be higher in omega-6 fatty acids, which are necessary but only to an extent.

In excess and without the balance of omega-3s, omega-6 fats actually create inflammation in the body. Sadly, the University of Maryland Medical Center reports, “The typical American diet tends to contain 14–25 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids.” (26)

Simple, refined sugars and carbohydrates are more inflammation-causing culprits. Limiting refined grains is an important factor in an anti-inflammatory diet. (27) Whole grains should replace the refined carbohydrates, as truly whole grains are important sources of nutrition. (28) Sourcing these grains as fermented sourdough allows the nutrients to be broken down and better available to the body. (29)

Finally, establishing a regular routine of physical activity can help prevent systemic inflammation from building up or returning. (30) An active life fueled by fresh, whole anti-inflammatory foods and unrestricted by processed, toxic compounds can set you on the path toward freedom from inflammation.

INFLAMMATION throughout your body is a definite so controlling it will increase your health index to a new level.