Oxidative stress is a prime source of inflammation and occurs when the body can’t produce enough of its own natural antioxidants to combat the amounts of free radicals that are present. The body is exposed to free radicals every day from sources ranging from UV rays and air-borne pollutants to a diet of processed foods.
The body naturally makes its own antioxidants to neutralize free radicals that result in oxidative stress. When the amounts of free radicals outpace the body’s ability to neutralize them, an inflammatory response occurs.
The same inflammatory response takes place when the body is injured. White blood cells and chemicals are released to repair and heal the affected area. If the damage can’t be healed, chronic and widespread inflammation can occur.
Building Blocks of Antioxidants
Fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidant properties provide the building blocks the body requires to manufacture antioxidants that fight oxidative stress. The darker colored the fruit or vegetable, the more antioxidants it contains. Omega-3 fatty acids also play a crucial role in fighting inflammatory reactions.
No Single Solution
There’s no magic combination of foods that will eliminate inflammation and it doesn’t happen immediately. Everyone is different in terms of the effects of each food. An anti-inflammatory diet also relies on eliminating foods that cause inflammation. An example is foods that contain gluten, which can actually trigger and intensify the inflammatory response in some people.
Anti-inflammatory foods also boost the immune system that aids in fighting an inflammatory response. Foods that are high in sugars, vegetable oils, processed foods and snacks, alcohol, and refined carbs are notorious for increasing the incidence of inflammation.
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