The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of Inflammation

By: Joe Martinez, RPh, PDE, CMS, Founder and CCO, HMS

Contributor, Emily Simmons

And now for the spaghetti western version of inflammation….

The Good: Inflammation is something that we all need.  Why? Because Inflammation is a first responder to a cut or an invader in our bodies, and it’s something we need to fight infections. Acute inflammation is when we get an injury and there’s immediate swelling, and sometimes a fever. In most cases when that injury is healed, the inflammation goes away.

The Bad: There are some instances where the inflammation does not go away and it lingers. This is what’s called chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is when the inflammatory cells remain and this can be harmful to our bodies over the long run.

The Ugly: There are many different diseases that blossom and are exacerbated from chronic inflammation like heart attacks, strokes, and kidney problems. In addition, the immune system may  be weakened due to high blood sugar. This is a big problem for uncontrolled diabetic patients too.

According to a report published by Karen Collins,  One in four Americans have elevated levels of inflammation that mark them for high risk.

Here’s your chance to make a change!

Reducing your risk for inflammation can help with your overall health and it can also help reduce your chances of having other medical problems. We do not want to get rid of inflammation completely, because it does help us, but we do want to reduce it and control it when appropriate

How? The most powerful tool to help reduce inflammation are our choices at the grocery store. There are foods that are bad for inflammation and foods that can help with inflammation.

Foods to avoid: white breads, fried foods, sugar-sweetened beverages, processed meats, shortening, canned and other processed foods.

Foods you can indulge: salmon, tuna, green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, olive oil, almonds, walnuts, strawberries, blueberries, cherries, turmeric and other alkaline foods.

An anti-inflammatory diet is like most other diets that recommend avoiding greasy foods. In addition, the anti-inflammatory diet helps to reduce inflammation and also helps with other conditions like, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, and heart disease.

The next time you’re heading to the grocery store, prepare yourself make a list of anti-inflammatory, alkaline forming foods to pick up while your out. This will help to challenge you to try new and exciting things and will give you loads of comfort knowing that you have a grocery game plan. Spend the majority of your shopping time in the fresh produce section and limit the time allotted in the packaged and freezer sections. Fresh is always better, frozen is a close-enough cousin and canned/processed items you will want to avoid as much as possible due to their high sodium and preservative content.

In the meantime, try these tasty options from Healthy Meals Supreme:

* Always check with your doctor or healthcare professional before making any changes to your diet or exercise routine.