Inflammation is a defense mechanism in the body. The immune system recognizes damaged cells, irritants, and pathogens, and it begins the healing process. Without inflammation, wounds would fester and infections could become deadly. Inflammation can also be problematic, though, and it plays a role in some chronic diseases.
Which Foods Cause Inflammation?
Research shows that a significant contributor to chronic inflammation comes from what we eat, and you’ll soon find that many of the following inflammatory foods have a place in your diet. When you eat them daily, you’ll constantly be turning on your body’s alarm system. Because your immune system alarm is never disarmed, over time, this incessant inflammatory response can lead to weight gain, drowsiness, skin problems, digestive issues, and a host of diseases, from diabetes to obesity to cancer. See the lists below for an overview of foods that keep inflammation smoldering:
- Refined Grains
- Grain-Fed Meat
- Tropical Fruits
- Bad Fats
In a nutshell, anti-inflammatory foods are those that any mainstream nutrition expert would encourage you to eat. They include lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, plant-based proteins (like beans and nuts), fatty fish, and fresh herbs and spices. Go for variety and lots of color. Research has shown that vitamin K-rich leafy greens like spinach and kale curb inflammation, as does broccoli and cabbage. And the substance that gives fruits like cherries, raspberries, and blackberries their color is a type of pigment that also helps fight inflammation.
Other Considerations of Inflammation
Arteries dilate, blood flow increases, and capillaries become more permeable so that white blood cells, hormones and nutrients can move into the spaces between cells. White blood cells swarm the injured area and ingest germs, dead or damaged cells and other foreign materials to help heal the body, Walker said. Hormones called prostaglandins create blood clots to try to heal the damaged tissue and remove them when healing is finished; they also trigger pain and fever as part of the healing process. Swelling happens because fluid accompanies the white blood cells, hormones and nutrients. “The fluid diffuses into the area and causes the swelling that can cause increased pressure to nerve endings and pain,” Walker said. Pus is an accumulation of white blood cells that have died after ingesting the threatening materials and the way the body expels those no-longer-needed cells.
Supplements and Inflammation
- Blend of nutrients and amino acids
- Seed oil of gamma-linolenic acid
Inflammation and the Mouth
Inflammation (also known as swelling) is a normal reaction your body may have to an injury. It can affect many parts of your body, including your mouth. At first, inflammation helps to heal the body or injured area. However, if your body is unable to repair itself and return to normal, you may experience some problems in addition to the inflammation. Most inflammation of the mouth is caused by injuries to your mouth. Common examples include:
- Cheek, tongue, or lip bites
- Cuts from crunchy food
- Sores caused by poorly fitting dentures
Mouth inflammation can also be caused by an allergic reaction to a type of toothpaste or mouthwash, as well as infections caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi. Inflammation may even be a sign of cancer or other diseases. Mouth sores and inflammation (stomatitis) vary in appearance and size and can affect any part of the mouth, including the lips. People may have swelling and redness of the lining of the mouth or individual, painful ulcers. An ulcer is a hole that forms in the lining of the mouth when the top layer of cells breaks down. Many ulcers appear red, but some are white because of dead cells and food debris inside the center portion.