Inflammation is actually a natural protective mechanism and repair of the body intended to overcome tissue injury. In chronic conditions the body keeps trying to turn off the inflammation, but is unsuccessful. Chronic inflammation is one of the reasons for fatigue, poor mood, and even the inability to lose weight. Many diseases show more severe symptoms in the presence of increased inflammation.
The best way to reduce inflammation is through direct treatment to the cause of it: treating the infection, prevention of allergy, breaking the chemical stimulation or removing pressure off the pinched nerve. However when the location of the inflammation is unknown, and in other conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease, the natural way can help, parallel or not parallel to the conventional treatment, to turn off the inflammation and prevent its recurrence.
Sometimes it is not so simple to find all the causes of inflammation, although it is possible. However it’s simpler to use available foods in every home to reduce inflammation without the heavy price the body pays for prolonged use of drugs.
1. Make sure to get your omega-3 fatty acids.
EPA, one of the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, fish oil, and algae-based supplements along with DHA, has anti-inflammatory properties. Unfortunately, plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids like flaxseed and walnuts provide alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which does not have anti-inflammatory properties until it’s converted by your body to EPA and only a very small amount of ALA gets converted. To truly reap the anti-inflammatory benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, it’s best to consume EPA directly by eating fish, taking fish oil, or an algae-based EPA and DHA supplement.
2. Avoid omega-6 fatty acids and trans fats.
Omega-6 fatty acids promote inflammation in the body through the production of inflammatory compounds. Most people eat way too many omega-6 fats, which you will find in corn, soybean, and cottonseed oils. Another type of pro-inflammatory fats are trans fats, found in any products with “partially hydrogenated oil” in the ingredient list. They are usually found in baked goods, shortening, and margarines.
3. Avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates.
Sugar and refined carbohydrates contribute to elevated blood sugar and insulin levels, which may cause and exacerbate inflammation. In addition, sugar and refined carbs also contribute to weight gain and can make it more difficult to lose weight. Excess body fat is another major contributor to inflammation.
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