Body inflammation is caused when the body senses a stimuli such as an injury or infection. Prolonged inflammation can damage many things in the body like tissue, joints, and organs. What many people don’t know is that there are many foods that can help decrease inflammation. For example; foods that are high in fiber, whole grains, good fats and omega-3s.
Fiber helps to reduce inflammation because it helps to balance sugar levels, thus decreasing inflammation. High levels of sugar in your blood triggers inflammation, and inflammation increases your sugar levels; it is a vicious cycle. Fiber also lowers cholesterol, and prevents small blood clots. It is recommended that women 50 or older get at least 21 grams of fiber a day and men over 50 get at least 30 grams a day. There are many foods rich in fiber like beans, dark green vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole fruits and whole grains.
Whole grains are imperative when attempting to reduce inflammation because they are high in fiber. Whole grains help increase HDL cholesterol levels and decrease LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure. It is advised to consume 16 grams of whole grains a day but it is important to make sure you are buying whole grains as opposed to multigrain. Some examples of whole grains are brown rice, oatmeal, and barley.
Unsaturated fats are crucial for “good” health because not only do they reduce inflammation but they also lower your cholesterol and give you a steady heartbeat. About 30% of your daily calorie intake can come from these unsaturated fats. There are 2 types, Monounsaturated fats and Polyunsaturated fats. These can be found in nuts, seeds, fish, and certain oils such as olive or sunflower oil.
Finally, Omega-3 fatty acids help with many things, one of them being reducing inflammation in the body. The 3 types of Omega-3s are Eicosapentaenoic acid(EPA), docosahexaenoic acid(DHA), and alpha-linolenic acid(ALA). EPA and DHA primarily come from fish and ALA can come from vegetable oils, walnuts, and leafy vegetables. Once digested, the body turns ALA into DHA and EPA. You should get Omega-3s from cold-water fish like salmon, herring, sardines, and tuna. It is important to eat fish at least twice a week to make sure you are getting these Omega-3s.
Some discount blood tests that can assist with diagnosing inflammation:
- Complete Blood Count
- Cardio C-reactive protein
- Sedimentation Rate, Modified Westergren
- Rheumatoid Factor
- Antinuclear Antibodies
Or order our Inflammation test panel for an economical way to get all the tests above plus additional screening tests to help determine if you have inflammation.
Take care of your health!