Inflammation is your body's immune response and its way of protecting itself against illnesses and injuries.
However, persistent inflammation is when the body doesn't stop the immune response, putting a strain on the body and causing problems. Chronic inflammation is linked to an increased risk of conditions such as obesity, type II diabetes and heart disease.
Thankfully, practising a prudent approach to health can help, such as regular dental checks, undertaking moderate exercise, taking the full dose of antibiotics to prevent prolonged infection and consuming an anti-inflammatory diet.
Foods that should be avoided include:
- Sugar (e.g. anything ending with '-ose', any kind of syrup, honey)
- Processed carbohydrates (e.g. white bread, biscuits, chips, crisps)
- Processed meats (e.g. poor-quality bacon and sausages)
- Vegetable and seed oils (including margarine)
- Trans-fats (e.g. foods containing partially hydrogenated ingredients)
- Excessive alcohol consumption
Following a minimally processed Mediterranean-style diet is a great way of including a host of anti-inflammatory foods.
Foods particularly good at fighting inflammation include:
- peppers, chillies and tomatoes
- mushrooms, broccoli and green, leafy vegetables (e.g. spinach and kale)
- deeply-coloured fruits (e.g. berries, pomegranates and cherries)
- foods containing healthy fats (e.g. oily fish, extra virgin olive oil and avocados)
- lean meat (grass-fed is best)
- almonds and walnuts
- green tea
- garlic, ginger and turmeric (black pepper needs to be consumed with turmeric to
enhance its absorption by the body)