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Internal Inflammation

Fast food meal.

It might seem tasty, but fast, highly processed food is a known cause of inflammation.

Inflammation is your immune system’s response to an infection, injury, irritation.. or simply being overwhelmed. It’s your body being in a vigilant state.   The process includes recruitment of white blood cells to protect you from bacteria and other potentially harmful organisms.

An infected cut shows signs of inflammation with swelling, redness and pain. A similar response can occur inside your body from the foods you eat.

We usually think of inflammation as something on the outer parts of the body. But it can occur inside the body too.  Prolonged, this process can lead to stroke, heart disease, dementia and other ailments. Author Nicholas Perricone, MD, proposes that inflammation may well be the force behind premature aging.

He and other researchers believe that widespread inflammation is at least partially due to our diet. It may be the main factor in degenerative diseases. These are the most costly to treat and generally take years, if not decades, to develop. These include (Type 2 or “lifestyle”) diabetes, cancer, arthritis and Alzheimer’s.

Does your diet consist mostly of foods cooked at high temperatures? Such as most “fast food?” Does your diet include a lot of refined sugar? Do you consume hydrogenated or refined oils? That would include potato chips, margarine and most baked goods.

If so, you are more likely to be creating a chronic inflammatory response. Instead, add more of these types of foods to your diet:

  • Fruits, such as apples, berries, fresh pineapple, lemons, limes
  • Vegetables, such as onions, tomatoes, greens (spinach, broccoli, kale), bell peppers, garlic
  • Spices, such as cinnamon, ginger, basil, mint, parsley, rosemary, turmeric
  • Nuts and seeds, such as sunflower seeds, walnuts, almonds
  • Fish and seafood, such as halibut, salmon, sardines, oysters
  • Unrefined olive oil, coconut oil
  • Beverages, such as green tea, black tea, red wine and lots of water
  • Dark Chocolate, but not the sugary milk chocolate

Fortunately, we can control inflammation by being more mindful of what we consume. Try to introduce at least one anti-inflammatory food into every meal. Many quickly notice relief from some of the symptoms that have been bothering them. Plus, as an added bonus, they’re better able to maintain a healthier weight.

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