Inflammation & Nutrition

by Joanna

While out on the lake last weekend my friend turned to me and said, “Did you get stung by a bee?!” I didn’t feel a sting, but it could have just been a typical bug bite. I tend to swell up from any bite no matter the size of the culprit and it’s been that way for as long as I can remember. Why does this happen and am I able to prevent it?After doing a little research, here is
what I found!


When the bug bit me it caused inflammation which is a defense mechanism that protects cell tissue due to irritation, injury, or infection. Things like pollution, germs, diet, and other sources create a fairly robust inflammatory environment making it difficult to keep the process in balance. Some people are more prone to inflammation than others. Chronic inflammation is present in almost every major disease, including hay fever, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, pelvic inflammatory disease, colitis, bursitis, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, Parkinson's, osteoporosis, and even depression.


The best way to keep the balance with inflammation is through a healthy diet. To achieve this it is suggested to decrease the inflammatory fats (mostly found in animal fats from meat and dairy) and increase anti-inflammatory fats (omega 3s, found mostly in fish or fish-oil supplements), as well as consuming more antioxidants.



Antioxidant-rich foods typically follow 3 simple attributes - color, taste and aroma.

  • Bright or deep-hued fruits and vegetables: berries, eggplant, purple grapes, sweet potato, dark green leafy veggies
  • Strong flavors: bell pepper, watermelon, tomatoes, cruciferous vegetables
  • Powerful odors: garlic, onion, chives

Additional antioxidants can be found in the spices: turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, curry. As well as tart cherries, green tea, red wine, and dark chocolate. Highly processed foods full of sugar and saturated fats should be avoided, as they can increase inflammation.


After looking into it, I determined I must be one of the lucky people that are more prone to inflammation! This inspires me to start eating more fruits and vegetables, which I should be doing anyway because of their many other nutritional purposes. Now that veggies are in season I’ll be on the lookout for some ways to enjoy my greens more without losing the nutrients.Do you have any recipe suggestions to help incorporate these functional foods?I’d love to hear your ideas!




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