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Reducing Inflammation with a Healthy Diet

Determine how your body responds to illness and inflammation by protecting it with healthy foods!

How we treat ourselves from the inside out can determine critical information on how our bodies respond to daily life. Particularly, how our bodies respond to illness and inflammation.

Acute Inflammation

When we think of inflammation, we often think more of “acute inflammation,” which is the immediate response our bodies give when we are injured via a cut, a sprained ankle, and bronchitis. With acute inflammation we tend to have redness, swelling and sometimes pain and immobility to follow. Our bodies naturally try to heal ourselves with our own body’s immune response and it’s usually short lived.

Chronic Inflammation

Chronic inflammation, however, is a long-term condition that can last from a few months to many years. Chronic inflammation can be the result of excess wear and tear on your body, but it can also be the result of factors such as additional body weight, smoking, lack of exercise, and stress.

Some examples of chronic inflammation are allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, peptic ulcers, osteoarthritis, and colitis.

I’m not saying that if you follow a healthy diet filled with foods that are proven to help inflammation you won’t still be affected by chronic inflammation. Your chronic inflammation may require additional medical intervention. A healthy diet, however, can make improvements towards your inflammation and quality of life over time. Sometimes, those improvements can happen in a short amount of time.

Is Your Diet Causing You Inflammation?

If you’re going out several nights during the week having a few drinks, grabbing fast food or pizza, it’s safe to say that “yes,” you are aiding unnecessary inflammatory responses within your body. Your diet is pretty much consumed by high fat, high refined carbs, and alcohol. That’s three of the main things you should be avoiding in regards to a healthy diet. Maybe you’re not the one eating out all the time, but you’re still consuming those same refined carbs (white bread, many cereals, instant potatoes, white rice), frying things in vegetable oil, or eating a quick breakfast of high sugar foods on the go. You’re diet, unfortunately, isn’t any better than the person going out several times during the week.

Sugars, saturated and trans fats, alcohol, gluten, and refined carbs are all dietary sources that cause an inflammatory response within your body that can cause arthritic flare-ups, bowel upset, and possibly a decrease in your immunity—enabling allergies or asthma to trigger.

Foods That Help Inflammation

Healthy Fats and Oils

Fresh avocados, olive oil, grapeseed oil, and canola oil are all Omega 3, or Omega 9 friendly. When combined with a healthy diet, these fats and oils are proven to aid in inflammation. They are heart healthy, so you can be heart happy too! {myriausz}

Broccoli or Cruciferous Vegetables

This bunch of enzyme-blocking, sulforaphane veggies is associated with reducing chronic inflammation, can be easily found and incorporated into your diet through steaming, roasting, and eating raw.


You don’t need a hot summer day to enjoy this naturally sweet fruit. Watermelon contains both lycopene and choline which are inhibiting and keeping your chronic inflammation at bay.


Not only are berries a great natural antioxidant that fight off free radicals, they contain anthocyanins, which moderate inflammation.

Garlic and Herbs

Garlic has been shown to help with swollen joints. Herbs like cumin, chili pepper, ginger, rosemary, oregano, turmeric, cloves, and nutmeg all possess compounds that inhibit inflammation and reduce pain.


I’m talking about the good stuff. 70% pure cocoa or higher is what you’re looking for.

Some great additional dietary supplemental sources that have been shown to be effective towards inflammation are:

  • Devil’s claw
  • Cat’s claw
  • Willow bark
  • Frankincense
  • Mangosteen

Many of you have heard the saying “fresh is best.” I believe this statement wholeheartedly, but know that sometimes it is hard to find the vitamins and minerals in the foods you eat. If you cannot do fresh, make sure you supplement. Your health is your investment and daily gift to yourself. So if you find yourself experiencing a little minor inflammation, or living with chronic pain, give the gift of healthy eating back to yourself, and as the days pass your body will reward you.

Now that you know avocados help reduce inflammation, you’ve gotta try this avocado and cucumber soup!

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