The 5 Best Foods for Fighting Inflammation, According to a Dietitian
Looking for some easy things you can do every day to combat inflammation? Watch this video.
When it comes to wellness buzzwords, inflammation is one of the big ones that people can't stop talking about. But like lots of things that get over-hyped, its true meaning has kind of gotten lost in all of the noise. Thankfully, that's why we have experts like registered dietitian Tracy Lockwood Beckerman, RD, to help us set the record straight.
As Beckerman explains in the latest episode of You Versus Food, inflammation is the body's natural process of fighting against harmful bacteria and toxins that lead to illness and infection. “When your cells are damaged, the body releases chemicals, triggering a response from the immune system causing tissues to swell," says Beckerman. This isolates infected tissues from the body, which allows them to heal without spreading the infection elsewhere. However, sometimes the immune system gets confused and stays active long after the threat is gone (or without any threat to begin with), causing chronic inflammation—and a whole host of potential health problems.
There are a few things people can do to combat the effects of chronic inflammation, like managing stress and addressing unhealthy sleep habits. But diet can also play a huge role—which is why Beckerman is all about eating anti-inflammatory foods like berries. "Berries are packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals and polyphenols, which are antioxidants that have the ability to reduce the risk of heart disease, can protect the brain, and can keep inflammation at bay," Beckerman says. Berries aren't in season in the winter, unfortunately, but adding frozen berries of your choice to your a.m. smoothie is a good inflammation-fighting choice.
Beckerman also loves mushrooms, which contain lots of antioxidants that help fight against any potential threats. They also are rich in vitamin D, which she says is important for "turning on the responses needed to reduce inflammation." The more you know.
To learn about her other favorite foods for inflammation (and know which ones to avoid), you'll have to watch the video above. You'll be an inflammation-fighting superstar in no time.
Looking for more brilliance from Beckerman? These are the two things she always drinks when she's sick. And here's her primer to the wonderful world of gut health.
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