Inflammation is the body’s way of protecting itself from harm. The body defends itself
from invading pathogens through a series of inflammatory processes. Inflammation is a
natural process that helps your body heal from an injury. Inflammation may be mild or
chronic. Mild inflammation is that type of inflammation that results from a minor
injury. It is expressed outside the body in the form of swelling, pain, redness and
hotness. This does not pose harm to the body as the immune system is only trying to
heal the injured site and bring the body back to its normal physiological state.
Then there is the chronic inflammation. This is a severe form of inflammation which
poses a high risk to the body. Chronic inflammation can go on for months and even
years. Chronic inflammation is associated with health issues like heart disease, diabetes
and Alzheimer’s. Generally, inflammation cannot be felt. Some low-grade inflammation
might not even show any symptoms. How then would you know that you have
Biomarkers in the blood such as C-reactive protein and proinflammatory cytokines help
to establish the presence of inflammation in the blood. These proteins alter immune
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system response, as such, are good pointers to inflammations. Inflammation causes
many ageing-related conditions. This is why it is important to detect inflammation at an
What Causes Inflammation
Identifying the predisposing factors of inflammation is the first step to preventing the
inflammatory process in the body. A little adjustment to our lifestyle can save us all the
troubles associated with an inflammatory condition. Outlined here is a list of some
predisposing factors to inflammation.
● Refined Carbs: High consumption of refined carbs like white bread, contributes
to insulin resistance, obesity and hence inflammation.
● Processed Foods: Consumption of processed foods that contains trans fats has
been shown to promote the inflammatory process in the gut. This food can also
damage the endothelial cells lining the arteries.
● Vegetable Oil: Most scientists believe that vegetable oil used in many processed
foods is another victim of inflammation. Regular consumption may result in an
imbalance of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids.
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● Sugar: Excessive consumption of sugar is implicated in several disease
conditions including inflammation. A high amount of fructose corn syrup in our
diet is particularly harmful. High sugar diet can also cause insulin resistance,
diabetes, and obesity.
● Alcohol: Excessive intake of alcohol has inflammatory effects on the body
● Sedentary Lifestyle: An inactive lifestyle is one major non-dietary factor that
promotes inflammation in the body.
Your Diet and Inflammation
You must watch what you eat to reduce the inflammatory process in the body. Eat more
anti-inflammatory foods like foods that contain antioxidants. Antioxidants reduce the
levels of free radicals. Free radicals are a natural part of your metabolism however, they
can lead to inflammation when the normal physiological process is impaired.
Consumption of anti-inflammatory foods, however, provides a healthy balance of
carbohydrate, fats, and protein on each meal. Fruits and supplements rich in vitamins,
minerals and fiber should also be taken. Good hydration with water and homemade
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juice is an essential part of our diet and should not be forgotten. Anti-inflammatory
diets cut out processed products and are antioxidant-rich. Mediterranean diet has been
proven to reduce inflammatory markers such as CRP and IL-6. Vegetarian diets have
also been linked to reduced inflammation. Diet low in carbohydrates also reduce
inflammation especially in obese people or those with metabolic syndrome.
Adopting a healthy eating habit starts with cutting down the following foods:
● Refined carbs: White bread, white pasta and much more.
● Sugary beverages: Sugar-sweetened drinks and fruit juices.
● Processed foods and meat: Chips, hot dogs, crackers, sausages, pretzels and
bologna should be avoided.
● Oil: Processed seed oil and vegetable and vegetable oils like soybean and corn
● Desserts: Cookie, candy, cake, and ice cream.
● Trans fat: These are foods with partially hydrogenated ingredients.
● Alcohol: Excessive consumption of alcohol is detrimental.
To effectively reduce inflammation, an anti-inflammatory diet should be part of your
everyday meal. Here is a list of some anti-inflammatory foods:
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❖ Fatty fish: Mackerel, sardines, herring, salmon, and anchovies.
❖ Healthy fats: Olive oil and coconut oil.
❖ Nuts: Almonds and other nuts.
❖ Vegetables: Cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels, kale, sprouts.
❖ Fruits: Deep colored berries like grapes and cherries.
❖ High fats fruits: Fruits high in fats like olives and avocados.
❖ Peppers: Bell peppers and chili peppers.
❖ Spices: Cinnamon, fenugreek, and turmeric.
❖ Red wine: Moderate consumption of red wine up to 10 ounces (280 ml) per day
for men and 5 ounces (140ml) of red wine per day for women.
❖ Tea: Green tea
❖ Chocolate: Dark chocolate
Generally, the consumption of nutrient-dense whole foods that can reduce
inflammation should be incorporated in your everyday menu. Once you have a great
menu, then put your lifestyle to check. Practice these good habits more often than not:
Sleep: Poor night sleep increases inflammation. Getting enough sleep is
vital to reducing inflammation.
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Regular exercise: Regular exercise can decrease inflammatory biomarkers
and reduce risk of chronic disease.
Supplements: Supplements like curcumin and fish oil can reduce
Benefits of Improving Your Lifestyle
There are numerous benefits attached to improving your lifestyle and cutting
down on inflammatory foods. Incorporating anti-inflammatory foods, along with
good sleep, exercise and supplements would give you a handful of benefits
✔ Limit risk of many disease conditions including cancer, heart disease,
diabetes, obesity, and depression.
✔ Improves blood sugar levels, triglycerides and cholesterol levels.
✔ Improves symptoms of autoimmune disorders like arthritis, lupus, and
inflammatory bowel syndrome.
✔ Improves mood swings and energy
✔ Reduces inflammatory biomarkers in the bloodstream.
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Inflammation is the underlying cause of many diseases. By reducing inflammation, you
are limiting your risk to several other diseases including septicemia. The easiest therapy
to inflammation is a change in diet and lifestyle. Anti-inflammatory foods, exercise and
good sleep are healthy habits that should replace your current habit as each has been
found to lower the risk to diseases and improve the quality of life.
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