Sponsored: Inflammation Inquiry
Question: I’m hearing a lot about foods that reduce inflammation and don’t really understand what that means or what I should be eating?
Answer: Use of the word “inflammation” or ‘inflammatory foods’ or ‘anti-inflammatory foods’ has certainly become quite popular; some might even call it a ‘buzz word’ or fad! Unfortunately, some people use these words and phrases with little context or explanation. What type of inflammation are these foods affecting or not affecting? Certain types of inflammation are considered a normal body process. If you
are stung by a bee and the site becomes red and itches, this is inflammation. When people make claims that certain foods or ways of eating affect inflammation, are they measuring inflammatory response or an improvement in amount of inflammation? Probably not.
Chronic (long-lasting) inflammation which has been linked to heart disease, gut health issues like irritable bowel disease (IBD), depression, Type 2 diabetes, and other illnesses. Chronic inflammation is not just caused by the way we eat, but also by stress, environmental factors (pollutants) and (lack of) activity.
The way we eat may lessen or increase inflammation depending on the individual and other factors. While research is still not conclusive, some ways to potentially decrease inflammation are:
• Eating fruits and vegetables daily
• Limiting alcohol
• Limiting ultra-processed foods that are high in sugar, fat and sodium
Source: Inflammation (nih.gov)
Leah McGrath, RDN, LDN
Ingles Markets Corporate Dietitian