Health Tip Tuesday. Confused about Inflammatory foods. Listen in for some basics!

Inflammation is a protective response to something that could harm you. This means your white blood cells and other positive things in your body that work hard to protect you from something is trying to hurt you. Inflammation can be an acute or chronic response. An acute response can be an infection, injured tissue, virus, flu, or when you cut your finger and it heals.
Chronic inflammation is harder to identify than acute and is a state of prolonged inflammation. The same cells that help with acute injury healing actually do damage if they hang around too long when the inflammatory switch gets stuck in the “on” position. While chronic inflammation is not known to be the primary cause any one disease, it is now widely accepted that it plays a role in diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, autoimmune diseases, metabolic disorders, such as overweight and obesity, as well as neurological diseases. Causes of chronic inflammation may include persistent infection, food sensitivities, leaky gut, poor diet, poor sleep hygiene, environment, and exercise without proper recovery. Also, visceral fat, which is the fat tissue stored close to organs in the mid-section, can be a driver of chronic inflammation as it is dynamic and produces a variety of pro-inflammatory hormones.
The easiest, low-risk approach to addressing chronic inflammation is with diet. An anti-inflammatory diet
• Adequate calories – not too few, not too many
• low in processed carbohydrates
• high in fiber
o beans, whole wheat breads, pasta, cereal
• high in mono and polyunsaturated fat
o chia seeds, avocados, walnuts, olive oil
• higher in omega 3 than omega 6
o salmon, sardines, mackerel
• high in antioxidants
o when cells are damaged, they form harmful substances called free radicals
o Antioxidants protect from free radicals
o Berries, dark chocolate, kale, beets
Goal is to have: High in whole, plant foods with a focus on healthy fats and moderate animal protein intake –at least 75% plant foods and no more than 25% animal proteins.
This type of 75/25 dietary ratio hits all the anti-inflammatory buttons as whole plant foods are almost always less calorie-dense than processed foods, they are high in fiber, and contain a wide variety of disease-fighting antioxidants.
By reducing intake of processed foods and replacing them with colorful, whole plant foods you are well on your way to reaping the benefits of an anti-inflammatory diet and reducing risk of many chronic diseases.

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