Inflammation is at the root of many chronic diseases, but you can fight it with food. Arm yourself with knowledge, and then use these delicious, disease-fighting recipes from my cookbook, Meals that Heal.
By Carolyn Williams, PhD, RD
Top 8 Anti-Inflammatory Foods to EatLeafy greens (romaine, arugula, spinach, kale)
Fermented and probiotic-rich foods (yogurt, kefir, kombucha, kimchi)
Nuts and seeds
Top 8 Pro-Inflammatory Foods to Avoid
Foods high in saturated and trans fats
Foods with added sugars and/or artificial sweeteners
Cured and processed meats
Alcohol in excess
Caffeine in excess
High omega-6 to omega-3 ratios
From Subtle to Serious
Think of initial chronic inflammation as a small fire in the body. It’s localized and not yet severe. Poor food choices trigger inflammation that can result in slightly higher than normal blood sugar or blood pressure.
But just like how sparks from a small fire can create a second or third fire, this initial inflammation can increase the body’s sensitivity, making it easier for irritants to result in inflammation in another area of the body. Poor food choices, combined with stress and inactivity, can trigger inflammation in the form of weight gain, hypertension, and/or insulin resistance.
If these small fires aren’t put out, more fires start, and they become one large systemic blaze. In the body, symptoms become more noticeable. If nothing changes, inflammation pushes the body to serious conditions, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.