Inflammation is a complex phenomenon, through which our immune system fights external aggressions, if the inflammation is acute. Nevertheless, this body response to injury presents itself with different facets. For instance, there is the chronic inflammation, which is low-grade inflammation, difficult to perceive since it does not cause any sort of pain; moreover, it is the one that promotes cellular aging, the development of chronic degenerative diseases, and the increase in body fat.
Acute inflammation is not controllable (if not with the use of drugs), but it is a short-lived phenomenon, and, although painful, it avails to protect against external infectious agents.
By contrast, chronic inflammation is a persistent phenomenon, which may cause much greater damage. However, as opposed to acute inflammation, this chronic phenomenon can be controlled through nutrition and an active lifestyle.
Due to their composition, there are foods able to control the cellular mechanisms, which can be also useful to ensure a healthy life and prevent chronic degenerative disorders.
We have selected five foods you should eat every day to prevent chronic inflammation:
- Whole Grains
- Dark Leafy Greens
- Green Tea
- Fermented Product
Whole grains are the best source of complex carbohydrates, which are our main source of energy. Unlike products derived from refined flours, whole grains contain a high content of fiber and protein, and are rich in antioxidants. Replace all refined-flour-derived products, above all the packaged ones (rich in hydrogenated fats), with whole-derived products. This behaviour will help you to keep an excellent blood sugar levels, with the consequent control of cellular inflammation level.
Dark Leafy Greens
Dark leafy greens like spinach and broccoli affect our body in a healthy way. These vegetables present folate content, essential for the synthesis of red blood cells and to combat anemia and fatigue. In addition to that, dark leafy greens are rich in carotenoids, which are powerful antioxidants with proven protective efficacy against lung and gastroenteric tract cancers.
The green tea leaves undergo very little transformation, resulting in greater antioxidant properties compared to other tea qualities. Due to catechins, green tea presents established properties, which positively affect the entire cardiovascular system and blood pressure. Researches have also shown that a daily intake of green tea is likely to reduce bad cholesterol. But pay attention! In order to take advantage from green tea consumption, leaves should remain infused for at least 5 minutes, otherwise beneficial substances would not be soluble. Furthermore, don’t add milk or sugar, but enjoy its delicate flavour alone.
Cinnamon is a warm and pleasant spice, which can be used in various culinary preparations. In addition to that, cinnamon increase the anti-inflammatory power of any food or drink you are preparing because it contains several chemical compounds, known as flavonoids. These elements have anti-inflammatory and hypoglicemizers properties. When you have breakfast, try cinnamon with porridge or put it in tasty smoothies, or also in fruit salad. Use cinnamon on a daily basis to get the most benefit of it.
The imbalance of our gut microbial flora has negative consequences, not only at digestive level, but it also affects other systems. It is one of the main causes of low-grade inflammation too. Fermented foods, such as yogurt, miso, kraut or fermented tofu, contain 'good' bacteria, which nourish our gut microbial flora and keep it in balance. They are 'live' foods which should become part of our daily diet, and they should become the substitutes of everything sorted for long time.
Author: Nutri-coach Francesca Deriu