Under normal circumstances, a little inflammation can be a good thing. It’s your body’s natural protective response to illness or injury. When you cut yourself, you want your immune system to respond quickly by sending white blood cells to your wound to fight off infection. The subsequent redness and swelling are signs of acute inflammation. But a low-grade persistent state of chronic inflammation is not a good thing. In this circumstance, white blood cells inappropriately move into tissues and cause destruction. Destruction in joint tissue can lead to pain, swelling, and stiffness.
Thanks to the anti-inflammatory effects of certain foods, a healthful diet can help you fight off inflammation and improve joint function. (Regular exercise, not smoking, and losing weight are powerful tools, too.) Start by eating less of the “bad stuff”; forgo the fast food burger, French fries, and soda and eat more of the “good stuff”—yes, more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts that inhibit and protect against inflammation. Some of the best anti-inflammatory foods include:
Fish and walnuts. Salmon and tuna are great sources of inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids, as are walnuts. These foods help offset the pro-inflammatory effects of omega-6 fatty acids, which are pervasive in our diet. Omega-6 fats are found in eggs, corn, soy, and safflower oils.
Olive oil. Studies suggest consuming a Mediterranean-style diet—a diet high in plant foods and olive oil—helps decrease joint tenderness in people with rheumatoid arthritis.
Red wine and dark chocolate. Resveratrol, a phytonutrient found in red wine, has been shown to inhibit inflammation, while the consumption of dark chocolate on a regular basis has been linked to lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a biomarker of inflammation in the body.
Turmeric. Spice up your life. Turmeric, also known as curry, is a traditional spice of Indian cuisine. In a recent pilot study, supplemental turmeric helped reduce joint tenderness and swelling in people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
Tart cherries. According to the latest research, tart cherries may have the highest anti-inflammatory content of any food. In a recent study, women with osteoarthritis who drank tart cherry juice twice a day for several weeks experienced a significant reduction in important markers of inflammation.
Eating to fight inflammation could be one of the best things you do for yourself and for your joints. For your next meal, how about some salmon curry and a glass of red wine, followed by some tart cherries covered in dark chocolate for dessert?
Learn more about natural solutions to reducing inflammation here: http://youarewell.myshaklee.com/us/en/whyshaklee.html