The term ‘inflammation‘is commonly used to refer to certain reactions in the body that occur on a daily basis. Though it is typically used as a negative expression, inflammation is not necessarily bad but is actually a fundamental process.
Whenever a foreign invader such as a virus or bacteria attacks on the body, the white blood cells and the substances they produce fight back. Inflammation may occur as a natural result of the body’s resistance to these viruses or bacteria.
Inflammation may happen at one or more parts at the same time as the invaders can enter the body via different ways. As soon as the immune system detects this type of danger, armies of white blood cells are sent immediately to the affected part.
However, sometimes inflammation has been seen to occur regardless of the absence of a threat to the body.
While inflammation and some effects of it such as discomfort, redness, and swelling are normal when a body part is injured, each of these happening without any trigger can indicate some serious health complications.
In some cases, the immune system starts destroying the body itself by targeting healthy tissues and organs. This is what happens in so-called ‘autoimmune diseases’ as well as some of the most prevalent and hard to cure health conditions.
What are the Effects and Causes of Inflammation?
Inflammation is one of the natural and healthy processes within the body as it shows that the immunity is working effectively to ward off any potential dangers. The procedure begins as soon as the brain becomes aware of the peril in any part of the body.
After the detection, white blood cells produce chemicals to be released into the blood or damaged tissues to fight and stop the spreading of foreign invaders. This also accelerates the blood pressure to increase the flow of blood to the injury.
This step can be usually felt by the person having the injury since it causes warmth and visible redness around the affected part. For example, a cut or minor injury can be seen to have warm and red skin around it along with swelling.
Swelling is not usually a planned step or an effect on blood flow and protection. It happens when some of the fluid leaked by the chemicals of white blood cells get leaked into the tissues. Thus, the soft swelling is actually just excess fluid.
Pain and irritation in the area are not connected to blood flow or chemicals of the white blood cells but instead just a nerve reaction. Nerve cells usually get stimulated and cause the pain around the affected area.
What are the Diseases that are Linked to Inflammation?
Inflammation in its negative forms is the reason behind some of the most commonly occurring diseases. The various types of conditions that are associated with inflammation are mostly the reason why people are unaware of the aforementioned healthy white blood cell process in the body.
All of the typical autoimmune diseases such as Celiac, Leaky Gut Syndrome, and Irritable bowel syndrome are caused by inflammation as well as some other diseases like some types of arthritis.
Arthritis can be defined generally as inflammation in the bone and in the joints.
A number of types of this condition are linked with inflammation such as the follows:
- Gouty arthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Psoriatic arthritis
For diseases that are not directly caused by inflammation, it can still play a role in worsening them. Insulin resistance in diabetes is aided by inflammation in the body as well as the creation of inflamed airways in asthma.
Additionally, other conditions such as lower back pain, fibromyalgia, pain in the neck and osteoarthritis may be associated with inflammation in different parts of the body.
Inflammation and Diet
Though medication for the health risks associated with inflammation is without a doubt fundamental especially in cases of autoimmune diseases such as the leaky gut syndrome, studies have shown that diet of a particular person can have a big effect on the intensity of the diseases.
A study conducted on the patients with irritable bowel disease who added anti-inflammatory foods to their diet showed that 62% of the patients were able to relieve some of the most severe effects and pains of IBD.
Another showed that 33% of the patients who did not opt for the anti-inflammatory diet as per their doctor’s recommendation had far worse conditions than the ones who did. Such researchers have greatly added to the popularity of this particular diet in general.
The diet comprises of foods that are in very little or no amount in the standard American diets. Basically, it is a shift from the usual diets having abundant quantities of processed foods, carbohydrates with high sodium and sugars to a more Mediterranean diet.
A Mediterranean diet is a mixture of healthy, lean proteins, fibers and essential nutrients from fish, chicken, eggs, fruits, vegetables and sprouted seeds.
Enough evidence is present to support the view that these types of diets can help regulate the immune system and decrease inflammation effectively in patients with most of the health conditions.
Specific anti-inflammatory foods
Though the anti-inflammatory diets can effectually reduce the effects and the inflammation itself, specific foods have been seen to specifically target the inflammation and prevent it from happening in the people who are at a risk of having a disease connected with inflammation.
In order to lessen inflammation with diet or reduce any potential threat of an inflammation-related disease, the following can be added to diet instead of low-nutrient, processed foods:
- Leafy green vegetableThe wonderful health benefits of fresh fruits and veggies are well-known by the majority of the people. Not only are these wonder foods loaded with antioxidants that boost cellular health but restore anti-inflammatory flavonoids.
- CeleryCelery has been known for the abundant amount of antioxidants present in it but recent studies have shown the vegetable also seems to be rich in anti-inflammation properties that can help maintain blood pressure and cholesterol levels.It is also one of the most excellent sources of potassium and vitamins. Researchers have shown that celery in daily diets can considerably decrease the chances of heart diseases and artery damage.
- BlueberriesOne of the most powerful antioxidants that are specifically added to diets on the suggestion of nutritionists to even healthy people is quercetin which is an anti-inflammatory flavonoid found commonly in dark-colored berries such as blueberries.The many benefits of blueberries such as fighting cancer, gut bacteria, oxidative stress, and inflammation have been backed by several studies. The most notable thing to be noted in case of blueberries is that its effects are the most prominent ones.
- BeetThe most prominent feature of anti-inflammatory foods is their dark color which can also be seen in beets. Betalain is one of the powerful antioxidants that fight inflammation, especially cell damage caused by it which is found in beets.In addition, beets contain high amounts of anti-inflammatory magnesium and potassium as well as other essential nutrients that can help with other health complications such as kidney stones.
Who can Try these Types of Diets?
Mediterranean diets have been proven to bring many health benefits in comparison with standard diets around the world. They can be followed by people suffering from inflammatory diseases as well as any healthy person who wishes to add more nutrients to his diet.
Besides, the great number of Mediterranean recipes available and easy to make. However, if a person suffers from serious inflammatory issues, do not forget to take the medication on time and follow other instructions from the doctor. A diet can facilitate the medicine but cannot work alone in such cases.