Inflammation and Diet: What's the Connection?
August 3, 2006--Most people are familiar with inflammation as recognizable symptoms of pain, redness and swelling that accompany injury. This type of inflammation is part of our immune system's natural and positive healing response to fight infections and repair wounds.
However, inflammation also can be an invisible, chronic presence throughout the body that can contribute to or cause many disorders and chronic diseases, including damage to arteries (leading to heart disease), insulin resistance (which can lead to diabetes) and arthritis.
Eating foods that help decrease inflammation can help lower the risk of chronic disease as well as reduce joint pain and swelling. Whole foods, including fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds and fish, have excellent anti-inflammatory properties.
Plant foods also are usually high in antioxidants, which protect against disease and damage and promote good health. Fish, especially cold-water fish such as wild salmon, is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, known to reduce inflammation. Foods that promote inflammation and lead to ill health are refined sugar and flour, high amounts of red meat, saturated fats, hydrogenated oils (trans-fats), fried foods and processed foods.
Writer: Denise Ward, Bastyr University Professional Speaker's Bureau
Republished with permission from Seattle Post-Intelligencer