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Put on the gloves, it’s time to fight inflammation with food

From bloating to acne to painful joints, many health ailments can, in some way, be attributed to inflammation. Imagine sustaining an injury – the tissue around the affected area becomes tender and swollen. This is the body’s natural immune response to allow for inflammation to occur in order to protect and heal the broken bone or sprained ankle, for example. It’s suggested that what we eat can play a role in the severity of inflammation and can even address more mundane types of inflammation such as acne-prone skin, and chronic inflammation such as arthritis.

By Jana du Plessis

Common culprits

Alcohol and cigarettes receive a bad rap for being inflammatory, while gluten, grains and dairy now also get the ‘bad guy’ label. This means more sources are being criticised for causing chronic inflammation. Many people have found that steering clear of milk and other dairy products has eased symptoms of skin breakouts, digestive issues and chronic fatigue, while others experience the same relief when it comes to cutting out gluten.

Nature’s anti-inflammatories

Sipping on a bright yellow turmeric milk may seem like a hippie thing to do, but this is no strange picture for some health foodies. Turmeric milk, otherwise known as golden milk, is a mix of turmeric, ginger, cinnamon and black pepper stirred together in a mug of warm (nut) milk. This blend of spices, especially turmeric, is praised for its anti-inflammatory properties and encouraged to be enjoyed as regularly as possible. Spices aren’t the only foods that can help chronic inflammation ailments. Fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries and oranges; fish such as salmon, tuna and sardines and vitamin K-rich veg such as spinach, broccoli and cabbage.

Are you ready?

Fighting the fight against inflammation is in some cases more tricky than compiling a plate of food. If you are suffering from a diagnosed chronic inflammatory disease, turn to your medical practitioner first to provide you with the best tools to manage or combat the disease. Otherwise, what harm could there be in upping those wholesome veg, including more good-for-you proteins and enjoying the flavours of newly discovered spices? We’ll see you in the boxing ring!

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