What causes inflammation and how to prevent it
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What causes inflammation and how to prevent it

Consuming unhealthy food for a prolonged time can increase the chances of inflammation

What causes inflammation and how to prevent it

Healthy eating is one of the most important parts of well-being. It keeps us in good shape and improves our body efficiency. However, overconsumption of unhealthy food like deep-fried, calories dense with refined carbs and extra sugar or salt can harm our body. The harm can be reflected in many ways and one of them is inflammation.

Dr Nidhi Singh, a dietitian explains “Inflammation is the body's normal response to infections, diseases, injuries, and anything it considers harmful. After the harm is neutralised, the inflammation is stopped and the body has time to heal itself.”

Consuming unhealthy food for a prolonged time can increase the chances of inflammation and lead to chronic health issues like arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Dr Nidhi briefly explains which food causes inflammation:

  • Consuming a diet high in sugar and high fructose corn syrup drives inflammation that can lead to disease. It may also counteract the anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Another food leading to inflammation is artificial trans fats. It may also increase the risk of several diseases, including heart disease.
  • Some studies suggest that vegetable oil’s high omega-6 fatty acid content may promote inflammation when consumed in high amounts.
  • Refined carbs also raise blood sugar levels and promote inflammation that may lead to disease.
  • Heavy alcohol consumption may increase inflammation and lead to a “leaky gut” that drives inflammation throughout your body.

Consuming anti-inflammatory food shows many health benefits and reduces the chances of chronic disease. An anti-inflammatory diet in combination with exercise and proper sleep shows health benefits.

Here are some good sources of anti-inflammatory food items as suggested by Dr Nidhi:

There are dozens of varieties available in the market. One can include strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries in their diet to improve their health and enjoy delicious food at one time.

Fatty fish
Fatty fish are a great source of protein and the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

Broccoli is extremely nutritious which may be related to the anti-inflammatory effects of the antioxidants they contain.

Avocados are enriched with potassium, magnesium, and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. They also contain carotenoids and tocopherols, which are linked to a reduced risk of cancer.

Green tea
Consuming green tea reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, obesity, and other conditions.

It is one of the common ingredients of Indian cuisines. It contains curcumin, a powerful anti-inflammatory compound. Consuming turmeric helps to reduce inflammation related to arthritis, diabetes, and other diseases.

Dr Nidhi mentions several benefits of consuming anti-inflammatory food. It improves the symptoms of arthritis, inflammatory bowel syndrome, lupus, and other autoimmune disorders. It also decreases the risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, depression, and cancer.

 “It is theorised that the antioxidants and polyphenols (plant compounds) in whole foods likely work together to reduce inflammation that affects cognition and Alzheimer's disease risk,” said Dr Nidhi.

Furthermore, she mentions that upon consuming anti-inflammatory food, reports show improved blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. One may also experience improvement in energy and mood.