Fighting Inflammation: What You Can Do?

If you’ve been around the internet at all, you’ve probably heard the buzzword “inflammation” and the causes and cures for it. Inflammation is a natural occurrence in the body, but if it lasts too long it can trigger diseases associated with aging and disability such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, cancer, and Alzheimer’s.

When it’s doing what it’s supposed to, inflammation is a process that comes to the body’s aid when injured. The inflammatory cells are sent by the immune system to trap the offending substance or heal the tissue. However, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. For example, when the body is constantly preparing to trap those unhealthy substances, it’s called Chronic Inflammation and this can promote a build-up of dangerous plaque. The resulting consequences are diseases such as Lupus, Graves’ disease, Crohn’s disease, fibromyalgia, the ones we mentioned earlier, and more.

Here are a few steps you can take in your diet to help you fight the unhealthy effects of inflammation:

  • Eat more fish. Studies show that people who eat fish more are less likely to die from a heart attack or a stroke, or to develop Alzheimer’s. To get the most out of this fish diet, eat fresh or frozen coldwater fish (mackerel, salmon, and tuna) at least twice a week and avoid the oil-packed tuna.
  • Choose fats wisely. Avoid fats such as safflower oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, all partially hydrogenated oil, vegetable shortenings, and hard margarines. Healthy fats are fatty coldwater fish, extra virgin olive oil, canola oil, walnuts, and flax.
  • Fruits and veggies are friends. The best sources of fruits and vegetables are brightly colored, such as blueberries, strawberries, bell peppers, and spinach. If you look down at your plate and see a large variety of colors, you’re doing it right.
  • Cut back on sugar. Especially when eaten between meals, sugary foods can be a big problem in terms of inflammation. If you can’t take the refined sugars and grains completely out of your diet, at least start by refusing to snack on them between meals.

The doctors at Vanguard Gastro want you to live healthier in 2016. If you have any concerns, please speak with your doctor.

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