One of the best indicators of overall health is the amount of inflammation in your body. In some cases, inflammation is perfectly healthy and normal, such as when your body responds to an injury or is fighting off an illness. However, when whole body inflammation becomes a persistent problem, you become more vulnerable to serious health issues. Studies have linked chronic inflammation to cancer, diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, and other serious ailments. This makes it imperative to understand the causes of whole body inflammation and what you can do to reduce inflammation and stay healthy.

Causes of Inflammation

As mentioned above, inflammation is typically the body’s response to injury or illness so the body can correct a problem. However, there are also several causes of long-term inflammation.

Here are some of the causes of inflammation that you’d be wise to avoid:

  • smoking;
  • drinking too much alcohol;
  • low levels of physical activity; and/or
  • poor diet.

Foods That Reduce Inflammation

One of the best ways to combat whole body inflammation before it becomes a problem is a healthy diet. Fortunately, many of the foods that are useful for reducing inflammation are the same kinds of foods that most nutritionists would recommend for a balanced diet. Here are three natural foods that can go a long way toward helping you to reduce inflammation.

  • Nuts. As far as snack foods are concerned, nuts are among the healthiest options, specifically almonds and walnuts. It’s usually best not to eat too many at once because they can be high in fat. However, the type of fat in nuts is helpful in preventing inflammation.
  • Olive oil. Studies have shown that extra-virgin olive oil contains a chemical called oleocanthal, which helps to inhibit inflammation in a similar manner to ibuprofen. Olive oil is also high in Omega-3, which is also helpful in fighting off chronic inflammation.
  • Leafy vegetables. The carotenoids that give a lot of leafy vegetables their green color also contain anti-inflammatory properties. Of course, there are plenty of other reasons to make vegetables like spinach, chard, and kale a regular part of your diet. But their ability to help reduce body inflammation shouldn’t be overlooked.

Foods to Avoid to Prevent Inflammation

Sometimes the foods you don’t eat are just as important as the foods you do eat. There are many foods that can increase your likelihood of experiencing chronic inflammation. Here are some foods you may be wise to limit in order to prevent inflammation in the first place:

  • red meat;
  • sugar beverages, including soda;
  • processed foods;
  • whole milk and high-fat cheeses; and/or
  • fried foods.

Other Methods to Reduce Inflammation

Of course, a proper diet is not the only way to reduce whole body inflammation. Here are a few other ways you can work to improve your overall health by reducing the inflammation within your body.

  • Daily physical activity. Simply moving around and getting the blood pumping is important to preventing inflammation before it becomes a serious problem. You don’t have to train for a marathon, just make sure you get a little exercise each day.
  • Reduce alcohol consumption. Drinking alcohol in moderation is fine, but overdoing it can contribute to a number of health issues, including whole body inflammation.
  • Consider medical cannabis. Consult a doctor in exploring the potential benefits of medical cannabis use as it relates to your health.

As you consider changes to your diet that may help reduce the inflammation in your body, remember that you truly are what you eat. Treat your body with respect and you’ll be able to live life at an optimum level for a very long time. Your health is one of the most valuable assets you have.

Let this guide inspire you to explore anti-inflammatory foods further. Here’s to a long, healthy life!