Inflammation is the body’s natural defense against foreign bacteria, viruses, and infection. (George, 2018, para 1). When healthy, the most obvious form of inflammation is when we cut or bump ourselves. The immune system sends an army of white blood cells to the affected area, which causes redness and swelling. (Bhatt, 2017, para 2).
Sometimes however, the brain sends this army out, when there is no assault. Certain foods can cause the same affect in the body as an injury, and the result of white blood cells tending to a false threat can lead to real health concerns. (George, 2018, para 2). This “silent inflammation” is a new science, and it looks to see how food can help us reduce the risk of age-related diseases that come from chronic inflammation. (Quinn, 2011, para. 9).
Eating foods that have powerful anti-inflammatory properties is one way to settle the immune system, in order to work with the body, instead of triggering it into combat. These foods include berries, fatty fish (such as salmon and tuna), broccoli, avocados, peppers (bell and chili), mushrooms, grapes, extra virgin olive oil, dark chocolate, tomatoes, and cherries (Spritzler, 2019), to name a few.
Another way to heal or prevent chronic inflammation is to fast. There are different ways to fast, and one is intermittent fasting, which is an eating plan that switches between fasting and eating on a regular schedule. (John Hopkins Medicine, para. 1). Giving the body time to process foods gives space that can promote the production and activity of certain enzymes which work to detoxify the body. (Kubala, 2020, para. 5).
Reducing or eliminating chronic inflammation through diet is a powerful way to take control of our overall health, because if left untreated, this prolonged condition can lead to obstacles ranging from a mild inconvenience like excessive mucus (Lung Health, 2017, para. 10), to big health complications like heart diseases that can cause heart attacks and strokes. (Felmen, 2020, para. 15). An apple a day with ample time to digest might very well indeed help us keep the doctor away, after all.
Bhatt, D. (2017, February). What is inflammation? Harvard Health Publishing. https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-disease-overview/ask-the-doctor-what-is-inflammation
Felman, A. (2020 April, 13). Everything you need to know about inflammation. Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/248423
George, K. (2018, May 14). The top inflammatory foods. Active Beat. https://www.activebeat.com/diet-nutrition/the-top-8-inflammatory-foods/
John Hopkins Medicine (n.d.) Intermittent fasting: what is it and how does it work?https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/intermittent-fasting-what-is-it-and-how-does-it-work
Kubala, J. (2020, June 25). Does fasting release toxins in the body? Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/does-fasting-release-toxins-in-the-body#1
Lung Health Institute. (2017, December 26). 21 foods that trigger mucus production (and 21 foods that reduce it). https://lunginstitute.com/blog/21-foods-trigger-mucus-production-21-foods-reduce/
Quinn, B. (2011, October 13). On nutrition: of mucus and inflammation. The Seattle Times. https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/health/on-nutrition-of-mucus-and-inflammation/
Spritzler, F. (2019, December, 19). The 13 most anti-inflammatory foods you can eat. HealthLine. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/13-anti-inflammatory-foods