Updated: Nov 18, 2020
What do we mean by anti-inflammatory foods?
Inflammation is one of the body’s most vital defence mechanisms. In the event of infection or tissue damage, its’ purpose is to increase blood flow and attract lots of white blood cells to the affected area to fight infection or heal any damage.
Why then do we want to consume anti-inflammatory foods?
Just as important as the body’s ability to effect inflammation is the body’s ability to clear away an area after infection. We need to remove the debris (dead cells / scar tissue etc.) and leave the area functioning normally again. If this doesn’t clear away properly, we are left with low level inflammation in that one area which, over time, can cause damage to the surrounding tissues.
Anti-inflammatory foods help encourage messenger cells to communicate to the immune system when it is time to finish the job and move on. Similarly, in cases where inflammation may have been brought on unduly (e.g. autoimmune conditions) anti-inflammatory foods can help to moderate the immune response to reduce unnecessary inflammation.
Examples of some great anti-inflammatory foods:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Omega-3 – found in oily fish (sardines, mackerel, salmon, anchovies, herring)
Vitamin D (synthesised when the skin is exposed to sunlight)