Anti-inflammatory diets are all the rage nowadays, and perhaps this is because it is a cost-effective way to take control of your health. We are going to take a closer look at what inflammation is, why it is so detrimental to your health, and how you can combat it without breaking the piggy bank by choosing the right foods and supplements.
Why Inflammation Occurs and What It Causes
Inflammation is one of the body’s natural responses to stimuli. It’s a part of how your immune system fights invaders, and it is actually necessary for you to have good health. That said, chronic inflammation can have the opposite effect. What causes chronic inflammation? Two of the biggest culprits are usually stress and our diet. Other factors include autoimmune disorders, exposure to allergens or pollutants, and certain detrimental lifestyle habits.
How can you know if you are experiencing chronic inflammation in your body and not just the standard amounts that you need?
- Joint aches and pains
- Skin problems including redness
- Muscles aches and pains
- Fever and/or chills
So basically, if you are experiencing a lot of unexplained aches and pains, skin issues, and bloating, you need to start thinking about simple changes you can make to your habits that can reduce chronic inflammation. Let’s begin by discussing a few things to avoid that are notorious for creating excessive swelling in the body.
Avoid These Foods and Habits If You Are Combating Inflammation
Here are a few things to avoid if you are trying to fight chronic swelling and pain in your body.
- Smoking – This has to be the number one lifestyle change you make if you want to reduce inflammation. Your body is trying to stop the poison in the cigarette smoke from spreading by increasing inflammation at the entry points. As a result, your gums may swell and bleed, or you may have difficulty breathing due to inflammation in your lungs.
- Alcohol – A simple glass of red wine may introduce helpful antioxidants into your body, so that’s a good thing. But drinking other types of spirits or overindulging is once again introducing toxins into your body that end up in your bloodstream. That can result in inflammation in your gut or throughout your body.
- Highly-processed foods – Anything that is prepackaged is probably going to lead to inflammation thanks to sugar content, artificial sweeteners, high-fructose corn syrup, trans fats, vegetable oils, and the like. The same is true of eating fast food.
- Highly-sweet foods – Fruits have natural sugars, which shouldn’t have a significant impact on inflammation. However, anything that is artificially sweetened or that has added refined sugars is going to produce swelling in the body.
Now let’s talk about some of the things you should be eating.
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Fighting Inflammation on the Cheap
Here are some of the least expensive foods that help to combat swelling in the body.
One of the best ways to combat inflammation is with omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds are a perfect source. You can put them in your morning oatmeal, bake them into muffins, or even use them to make your own jam because they have a gelling effect.
Buying a ton of avocados to make guacamole may not be cheap, but eating one per day is affordable. Avocados are filled with the good fats that your body needs as well as vitamins C and E. Add to that manganese and zinc and avocados are basically an anti-inflammatory cocktail. You can even use avocado oil as a substitute for those vegetable oils you need to avoid. Just be sure to make your own healthy bread if you want avocado toast. Otherwise you will lose some of the anti-inflammatory benefits by pairing the avocado with a highly processed food.
This is one of the best seasonings for an anti-inflammatory diet. The curcumin in turmeric directly fights inflammation. It adds a delicious flavor and a bright yellow color to your meals. It can also be used to make an anti-inflammatory tea. You can also supplement with it, which can sometimes be even better if the supplement contains a bioavailability enhancer to make it easier to absorb.
In particular, both collard and mustard greens are low-cost options to get the leafy green veggies your anti-inflammatory diet needs. Both contain lots of antioxidants and vitamins that are needed to cut back swelling in the body. Greens may not be your favorite, but they are essential and affordable.
Various types of berries are high in antioxidants and can be the perfect sweet treat if you want to get rid of chronic inflammation. Sure, berries contain sugar, but it is all natural, and that means they don’t raise sugar levels in the body as much as refined sweeteners do.
The collagen and glutamine (an amino acid) contained in broth made from animal bones is one of the best substances you can have for inflammation. While it takes hours to simmer bones until they release all that goodness into the broth, you can also use a supplement such as the Collagen Bone Broth Protein Powder we sell here at Warrior Strong Wellness. You get all the benefits with none of the struggles of making your own bone broth, and all for just over a dollar per day!
We hope this article helps you to make good food and supplement choices that will reduce chronic inflammation and help you to enjoy the benefits of less swelling in the body.