Inflammation inside of the body is a natural reaction that occurs in response to some sort of foreign invader like pollen, a bacteria or a virus. While completely natural and vital to survival, chronic inflammation can wreak havoc on your immune and digestive systems and even worse, can lead to chronic illnesses like obesity, arthritis, cancer and heart disease. When the body becomes preoccupied battling persistent low-grade inflammation, it is unable to protect against other, more damaging abnormalities that irregular cellular growth or mutated tissue. Chronic disease is simply a symptom of underlying, un-managed inflammation.
Inflammation can also be caused by a diet that is high processed and packaged foods. Foods like high-fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, refined starches and chemical additives induce an inflammatory response just as any bacteria would. Eating a diet that is rich in whole, unprocessed foods will help to combat inflammation and protect your body from chronic disease. You can also upgrade your diet by seasoning your foods with spices like ginger, turmeric, cinnamon and cayenne pepper that are antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. Instead of turning to conventional medicine, try elevating your diet to combat chronic disease. Here are our favorite anti-inflammatory, immune boosting foods that will help fight inflammation!
- Garlic and onions. Garlic has been used medicinally for centuries for its healing properties. Garlic helps to squelch free radicals that can cause damage in the body and lead to cancer. Onions are full of quercetin, a flavonoid known for fighting inflammation and lowering LDL cholesterol.
- Omega-3 fatty acids help to reduce the production of pro-inflammatory hormones in the body. Foods rich in omega-3’s include flaxseeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds grass-fed beef and bison, wild salmon, mackerel and sardines and dark leafy greens.
- Olive oil contains omega-9 fatty acids, which actually enhance the anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3’s. Choose unrefined olive oil for the most nutritional benefits.
- Fermented foods help optimize the beneficial bacteria of your gut which promote a stronger immune system and helps illuminate toxins from the body. Our favorite fermented foods are sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir and kombucha.
- Antioxidants and polyphenols found in plant foods help to protect against cellular damage that leads to chronic disease. Choose dark green leafy vegetables, bright oranges, reds and yellows and deep reds and purples.