Inflammation with Anti-inflammatory Foods
probably already know that eating certain types of foods can affect
how you feel? For example, eating a donut may give you an energy rush
to be soon followed by a sleepy mood. But did you know that the food
you eat can also fight chronic pain and inflammation.
What is Inflammation?
One significant component of pain is inflammation. For example, when
the body experiences a physical injury, the immune system initiates an
inflammatory response to begin healing the process. This natural
response not only alerts the brain about the injury, but also sends
specific agents to localized area of inflammation so healing can
occur. In addition to physical injury inflammation can also result
from an infection, irritation and even chronic diseases including
strokes and heart disease.
Inflammation is an excellent indicator of both minor and major issues
afflicting the body. Some of the common symptoms of inflammation
include localized redness, swelling, pain and even in some instances,
loss of function and/or movement of the affects areas.
In addition, as medical research and science improves, inflammation is
being recognized as a common factor to a wide array of chronic disease
and illness including diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, hay fever
and even crow's feet around the eyes. So by eating anti-inflammatory
foods are vital to reducing and eliminating inflammation in the body
Pro-Inflammatory and Anti-Inflammatory Foods
For the purpose of this article two types of food exist:
pro-inflammatory foods and anti-inflammatory foods. Pro-inflammatory
foods will increase inflammation and increase pain due to
inflammation. In addition, pro-inflammatory foods may even increase
your risk for chronic disease. Anti-inflammatory foods reduce
inflammation and may reduce your risk for chronic disease.
Pro-inflammatory foods include but not limited to high-fat meals, junk
foods, high sugar meals, processed and fast foods. These types of
foods usually contain trans fats, nitrites and saturated fats and can
contribute to increased inflammation in the body.
Below are some examples of anti-inflammatory foods that you should add
to your diet. These include olive oil, soybeans, Omega-3 sources such
as walnuts, oily fish flax seeds and pumpkin seeds. One
anti-inflammatory food in particular that is catching the attention of
many researchers and pain suffers is the tart cherry.
This ruby red fruit has a long history of fight inflammation pain
caused by arthritis. In regards to arthritis and inflammation,
Michigan State University was the first medical university to identify
Anthocyanins in tart cherries and indicate these may naturally inhibit
the COX 1 and COX 2 enzymes. According to research, tart cherries
inhibit COX 1 and COX 2 (cyclooxygenase 1 and 2) enzymes and prevent
inflammation in the body.
Tart cherries help the body to produce similar types of chemical
process as non-sterodial anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). Some
examples of NSAIDS drugs are ibuprofen and aspirin. Tart cherries
contain natural COX 1 and COX 2 inhibitors that function in the same
manner to NSAIDS. The inhibitors found in the tart cherries are of the
flavonoids class. Unlike NSAIDS, research shows these flavonoids
protect against stomach damage and don't upset the stomach. One source
for additional information on the anti-inflammatory benefits of tart
cherries is Traverse Bay Farms
So if you are looking to fight inflammation in the naturally, consider
adding anti-inflammatory foods to your diet, while eliminating
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Webpage by Paul Susic MA Licensed
Psychologist Ph.D. Candidate