Inflammation is the body’s reaction to injury, irritation or infection. Symptoms can include pain, redness, swelling, and possibly loss of movement. These are signals to the body that can help prevent further injury and begin healing. There are a variety of conditions that cause inflammation such as rheumatoid arthritis, type 2 diabetes, asthma, and cancer, to name a few. If you are living with one of these conditions or one of many others that can cause inflammation in the body there are some simple dietary changes you can make that may help reduce the pain.
Reduce your intake of highly processed foods and high fat meats. By cutting back on junk food and highly processed, high-fat meats such as bacon and sausage you reduce your consumption of trans fats and saturated fats. Lessen the amount of simple carbohydrates from breads and pasta by choosing 100% whole grains. Added sugars can be controlled by reducing or eliminating candy, pastries, sugary sodas and pre-sweetened sodas.
Choose foods high in omega-3 fatty acids to fight inflammation. Walnuts, cold-water oily fish such as salmon, and flax seeds are all good sources of omega-3’s. Olive oil, avocado and canola oil are also good sources of monounsaturated fats. While these foods are high in fat they are “good” fats which have been associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
Fruits and vegetables are loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. You should have at least five serving of fruits and vegetables each day. Fresh fruits and berries, leafy green vegetables and brightly colored, red, yellow and orange vegetables are encouraged.
Drink lots of water. Your body needs water. Tap, bottled or sparkling water as well as herbal tea, low-sodium vegetable juice and non-fat milk are all good choices.
Studies also show exercise and maintaining a healthy weight are important factors for limiting pain and inflammation.
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