Inflammation is a healthy response of the body’s white blood cells to foreign substances like bacteria and viruses. What happens, though, when inflammation gets out of control?
Today more than ever, chronic, low-grade inflammation plagues many people in our society. Research shows alarming statistics about the prevalence of conditions and diseases that are linked with low-grade, chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is responsible for many conditions including arthritis, allergies, asthma, autoimmune diseases, eczema, inflammatory bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, and much more. Even hay fever—or the common cold—is caused by inflammation. The reason so many people suffer from inflammation is due to their diets. Certain foods cause inflammation in the body, while others reduce inflammation. Foods which are processed, refined, and contain sugar or artificial sweeteners cause inflammation. These foods will help you start the path to an anti-inflammatory diet.
Dark, leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale, collard greens, and swiss chard, are among the healthiest and most nutritious foods in the world. They are packed with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents like chlorophyll, carotenoids, and essential vitamins and minerals. These nutrients get to work in the body, fighting off free radicals and reducing oxidative stress, thereby reducing the risk of developing cancer or inflammatory disease. The recommended servings of leafy greens are 2-3 servings per day, but the more, the better. To get more greens, try making a green shake, adding kale to soup, or spinach to patties and burgers.
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