Is Inflammation Good or Bad?

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

As Physical Therapists we see and deal with inflammation every single day. There is a balancing act when it comes to inflammation. Believe it or not an inflammatory response is one of the body’s natural responses to increase healing. This is a useful tool when recovering from what we would consider an acute or sudden injury, or surgery. Chronic inflammation, however, can damage cells in our body. Over time that damage can cause changes in our body that can be linked to disease.

What can you do to help decrease inflammation in your body?

Controlling your blood sugar, exercising regularly, keeping yourself at a healthy weight, and managing stress can all make a positive difference when it comes to reducing inflammation. But there is no doubt that what you eat can have possibly the biggest impact on inflammation in your body.

To get some real insight and advice on what foods can affect inflammation, we reached out to registered dietician and certified diabetes educator Helen Abbott with Perry County Memorial Hospital.

According to Helen, some of the best foods for reducing inflammation are green vegetables, berries and tropical fruits, nuts and green tea. Foods you would want to cut back on include saturated fats such as red meat and trans fats. It is also important to decrease sugar intake especially from sugary drinks like soda.

Need some tips to help get these inflammation fighting foods into your diet?

• Use a variety of whole grains beyond just wheat and oats. Add barley to soup or try millet in your next grain bowl.

Make it zesty- include citrus zest in marinades and sauces. Did you know orange zest contains over 250 different phytochemicals?

Pile on the greens- add spinach to sandwiches, pasta, and rice dishes, soups, and chilis. Roast kale or sneak it into salads and soup.

Try different tropical fruit- papaya, passion fruit, mangoes, and more.

• Keep frozen berries on hand to add to oats, yogurt, smoothies, or cereal.

If you or someone you love is dealing with inflammation, contact your physician. They can put you in touch with a dietician in your area that can help create a plan that works for you. If you are living with pain from an injury or chronic condition, contact Mid America Rehab for a FREE SCREENING. At Mid America Rehab you can heal. We can help.