Inflammation is a physical condition in which a particular part of our body will become reddened, swollen, warm to the touch, or painful, usually as a result of an infection or an injury.
However, we are learning more and more that our bodies are also inflamed from the inside out too. Our bodies can be injured inside, where we can’t see it.
Inflammation is a way our immune system responds to heal us. It helps us fight invaders such as bacteria and viruses.
Inflammation can be acute or chronic in nature.
A scraped knee with redness and pain that heals within a few days is acute.
The inflammation of our intestines that often comes with Crohn’s Disease or Irritable Bowel Syndrome that occurs for a lengthy period of time is chronic.
Inflammation that is chronic is thought to be resulting from a wear and tear effect of certain medical factors such as smoking, obesity, lack of exercise or stress.
It has been shown through research that inflammation in our bodies can lead to health risks such as heart disease, diabetes, bone health and cancer.
Anti-Inflammatory Diet Tips
For chronic inflammation, eating foods that can help reduce inflammation will improve health, especially for specific lifestyle conditions such as arthritis.
There are some foods that we can include on our menu to fight inflammation and improve aging health.
- Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna and sardines, which are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. (You could also include a fish oil supplement rich in Omega 3s if your doctor advises)
- Use olive and canola oil to cook for their Omega 3 fatty acid benefits
- Whole grains due to their fiber content; Grains such as bulgur, quinoa and brown rice too. Whole grain should be the first ingredient in baked goods
- Dark leafy green vegetables containing vitamin E such as kale, spinach, broccoli and greens
- Nuts especially almonds and walnuts due to vitamin E and fiber content
- Edamame and soy milk due to the isoflavones they contain.
- Lycopene containing foods, such as watermelon and tomatoes
- Colorful vegetables like beets, peppers, avocado, and garlic also contain compounds that fight inflammation
- Deep red fruits such as in berries have helpful anthocyanins; this would include red wine
- Some spices including nutmeg, cloves or turmeric are thought to have anti-inflammatory properties
Adding some of these foods to your daily meals can help your overall health in many ways and they taste good too!
If you want to learn more about an anti-inflammatory diet and how it can impact your senior’s health and well-being, you might want to read these articles: