Although often unpleasant, inflammation is an essential part of the body’s immune response to help us heal. However, too much inflammation can cause illnesses, one of the most serious being rheumatoid arthritis. And studies have shown that it can also lead to obesity, heart disease, and cancer. Inflammation can also lead to unfavorable conditions such as joint pain, fatigue, and damage to blood vessels. So how can too much inflammation be avoided?
Common foods to steer clear of, which can cause inflammation by spurring overactivity in the immune system, are high in saturated fat and sugar. But the good news is that there are also foods that can combat it.
Foods with omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins D and E, and flavonoids and carotenoids can fight against inflammation. To get these nutrients, you should eat fatty fish, olive oil, whole grains, darky leafy greens, and low-fat or nonfat dairy. Foods such as nuts, colorful produce like tomatoes, peppers, berries, and cherries, and garlic, ginger, and turmeric also contain inflammation-battling compounds.
Check out our slideshow on five foods that fight inflammation for more information on the causes of inflammation and to learn how to combat it and stay healthy.