How dietary patterns can influence our inflammatory response:

Inflammation can be a positive reaction of fighting bacteria or viruses or of bringing blood flow to an injured area to help the healing process. However, not all inflammation is beneficial. Often, undetected low levels of inflammation can remain for an extended time, wreaking havoc in the body. Repeated or uncontrolled inflammatory processes unleash various defensive responses that negatively disturb the normal function of cells and set the stage for disease development. Research suggests that chronic inflammation is at the root of many serious, age-related diseases that include heart disease, cancer, and neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

Diet is a key factor in impacting inflammation. Dietary patterns high in refined starches, simple sugar, saturated fat, and trans-fatty acids may cause an activation of the innate immune system that triggers the production of pro-inflammatory compounds. The good news is that a growing body of evidence is finding specific foods and eating patterns may help cool this response and lower levels of inflammatory markers. A study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine found an anti-inflammatory diet may even reduce early mortality.

Recommendations include:

Whole Over Processed
Select: fruits, vegetables, legumes, fish, poultry, whole grains, and omega 3’s.
Avoid: refined starches, sugars, saturated fats, trans fats, red and processed meat.

Produce Power
A diet high in fruits and vegetables may be one of the best defenses again chronic inflammation, as they are packed with anti-inflammatory compounds.

Opt for Omega
Evidence is growing that omega-3 fatty acids can moderate inflammation in the body and may help reduce the risk and symptoms of a variety of disorders influenced by inflammation.

Fill up on Fiber
High-fiber foods appear to have a beneficial effect on inflammatory biomarkers.
Researchers have suggested high-fiber foods can feed beneficial bacteria living in the gut, which then release substances that promote lower levels of inflammation.

Get Spicy
Not only do spices and herbs add delicious flavor, but ingredients like garlic, ginger, and turmeric have been found to contain potent anti-inflammatory compounds.