Inflammation is natural process in response to any irritant in the body. White blood cells present in our body protects us from harmful organisms like bacteria, viruses, etc. Therefore, inflammation occurs when our body gets infected and during the healing process.
Chronic inflammation is harmful for our body, which include diseases like diabetes, cancer, liver and heart related disorders. Signs of acute inflammation includes pain, swelling and redness.
Let’s understand some of the underlying reasons of inflammation.
1. Lifestyle choices play a crucial role in causing inflammation.
2. Consumption of processed and junk foods, ready to eat meals, fatty and fried foods have been linked to promote inflammation. They affect our digestive system and damage the epithelial lining which could result in inflammation.
3. Excess consumption of alcohol has also been linked to cause inflammation.
4. Studies have shown that people who consume diets rich in refined carbohydrates, sugar and packaged foods have reduced insulin sensitivity and increased resistance. This could increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and inflammation.
5. Imbalance in the ratio of omega 3:6 means increased inflammation. Omega 3 and 6, both are considered as good fats for the body but excess consumption of omega 6 fats eg. through vegetable oils is not recommended. This is because high levels of omega 6 fats cause inflammation, and so, it is imperative to maintain an ideal ratio (1:3) of omega 3 and 6.
6. Inactive or sedentary lifestyle is also linked with increased risk of inflammation.
7. External injuries and infections gives rise to inflammation.
8. Exposure to harmful radiation and chemicals can also lead to inflammation.
Diet and Inflammation
When it comes to relieving or reducing the symptoms or prevention of inflammation, diet plays a crucial role. We are blessed with certain commonly consumed foods which are anti-inflammatory in nature. Studies have shown that consuming an anti-inflammatory diet or increasing the intake of inflammation reducing foods is beneficial in reducing the levels of inflammatory markers.
1. Fruits like berries, cherries, grapes etc. Antioxidants and anthocyanins present in berries have proven to be effective in reducing inflammation.
2. Fatty fish like salmon, sardine and mackerel is excellent for reducing inflammation due to the high levels of omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fats are anti-inflammatory in nature due to the presence of EPA and DHA. Due to this reason, some people also opt for fish oil supplements.
3. Olives - Consuming olives or olive oil is also a perfect way to prevent or reduce inflammation. This is due to the presence of monounsaturated fatty acids and oleocanthal, which are loaded with anti-inflammatory benefits.
4. Turmeric is well-known for its benefits since ancient times. Reducing inflammation due to the presence of a compound called curcumin, is one of the amazing benefits of turmeric.
5. Vegetables like broccoli and dark green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, bathua, etc. are loaded with nutrients like zinc, iron, vitamin A, vitamin K, folic acid and potassium. These vegetables are also a part of the anti-inflammatory food list.
A healthy well-balanced diet rich in these foods will not completely stop the inflammation but it can definitely provide relief from symptoms and might prevent from aggravating. Inflammation can give rise to certain diseases. The key to prevent inflammation all together is to consume a healthy diet, have an active lifestyle, refrain from consuming junk, processed, packaged foods and have a proper sleep pattern.