Sven Wombwell
Article by: Sven Wombwell
Estimated 7 minutes read

Our body's immune system has one role: to protect the body from harmful substances that can make us sick, including viruses, germs and cell changes. When the immune system is running as it should, you won't know it's working, but when it's weakened or something interferes with it, it won't be able to fight properly, exposing you to illness. Exposure to foreign invaders puts your body at risk of illness and disease, so learning how to Reduce Inflammation in The Body Fast is crucial.

To activate the immune system, your body sends out cells that fight viruses, germs, and abnormal cells, causing you to feel ill and start the healing process. But when your body releases inflammatory cells when you're not sick, and there isn't any illness to fight, it could lead to chronic inflammation, which can cause various diseases.

To stay healthy, it's essential to learn how to reduce inflammation. And there are some simple things you can do to improve your health and feel your best.

What is Inflammation?

When exposed to harmful substances or injury, your body sends signals to activate your immune system. The immune system sends inflammatory cells to fight off the offending substance and begins healing. (1)

Inflammation is a normal response and protects us when something is wrong. For example, when you get sick and have a fever, you experience inflammation, or if you eat a food you're allergic to and swell up, that's inflammation as well. So inflammation isn't a bad thing. It protects us. 

There are two types of inflammation to be aware of that include:

  • Acute inflammation. The immediate response to injury. You may experience swelling, redness and pain in the infected area. Acute inflammation helps to fight infections and start the healing process. (2)
  • Chronic inflammation. When inflammation persists over a long time and the immune system continues to fight. (3)

Chronic inflammation is the most dangerous because it can be present in our bodies without showing symptoms. This inflammation The causes of inflammation vary but include: (4)

  • Alcohol abuse
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Autoimmune disease 
  • Chronic infections
  • Regular exposure to toxic substances

When your body has chronic inflammation over long periods, you have a greater risk of diseases that may develop earlier than if you were more healthy. They include: (5)

  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Heart disease
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Cancer
  • Allergies
  • Low testosterone levels (6)

Lifestyle Factors That Contribute to Inflammation

Our society has embraced convenience foods and supersizing and may not understand what they are doing to their health. These packaged foods contain oils, trans fats, sugars and chemicals. As a result, they promote obesity, stress the heart and other organs, and even decrease testosterone levels

According to studies, our overconsumption of refined carbs (7) (8) and sugar (9) (10) is not only harmful to health but is the cause of inflammation, insulin resistance, diabetes and obesity.

Other lifestyle factors contributing to inflammation are insufficient physical activity (11) and drinking too much alcohol. (12)

Reducing Inflammation Naturally With Diet

While some foods and substances cause inflammation, some foods can reduce it. For example, according to a study (13) in the journal Endocrine, there was a 37% decrease in inflammation in subjects with type 2 diabetes after following an anti-inflammatory diet for one year.

What is an Anti-inflammatory Diet? 

It's a diet consisting of whole, unprocessed foods such as fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds, plant-based milk and various spices, including ginger, turmeric and cinnamon.

According to research (14), you can reduce the risk of inflammation and its related disease by eating a diet rich in vegetables, fruits and nuts that contain plenty of antioxidants. Foods that are high in antioxidants include: (15)

  • Dark leafy greens
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Beans
  • Avocados
  • Berries
  • Cherries
  • Apples
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Whole grains
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Dark chocolate 
  • Spices

Including omega-3 fatty acids such as walnuts, fish, and flaxseed is also beneficial. 

Avoiding Foods That Cause Inflammation

When trying to reduce inflammation, even a few of the wrong foods can harm health, so you'll want to avoid them. They include:

  • Refined carbs 
  • Processes foods and snacks
  • Sugar
  • Processed meat
  • Oils and solid fats
  • Alcohol

One of the best ways to determine if you should eat something is to read the ingredients. The longer the list, the less you want to eat it. You may notice that whole foods such as apples and broccoli don't have ingredients listed. They are the best types of foods to enjoy.

Tips For Starting an Anti-Inflammatory Diet 

Eating anti-inflammatory foods can help to reduce the triggers that spark an inflammatory response in the body, therefore reducing inflammation. While there isn't a one-size-fits-all approach to enjoying whole foods, these guidelines can help to get you started.

  1. Avoid processed foods.

To keep it simple, stay away from sugar and foods that come in a box or bag. You'll most likely see a lot of added sugar, salt and oils, along with a list of ingredients you probably can't pronounce. They don't have any nutrients that support health. 

Things like:

  • Juices and soda
  • Snack foods and crackers
  • Chips & dips
  • Processes cheeses and meats
  • Fried foods
  • Desserts and sweets
  • Granola bars and cereals
  1. Enjoy lots of whole foods.

To make it easy, when you think of whole foods, look for foods that don't have a list of ingredients. Foods like:

  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Brown rice
  • Whole grain bread
  • Legumes
  • Nuts and seeds 
  • Oats

These are the types of foods to choose from when making meals. Remember to keep it simple at first. Enjoy a bowl of mixed fruits with a few walnuts for breakfast, a big salad for lunch and a vegetable stir fry for dinner.

Foods that fight inflammation infographic

Autophagy and Inflammation

The two processes in the body, autophagy and inflammation, are closely linked. Autophagy helps reduce inflammation by removing damaged parts of cells that can trigger inflammation. On the other hand, inflammation can also help activate autophagy to remove harmful invaders and promote tissue repair.

However, too much inflammation or problems with autophagy can lead to disease. Chronic inflammation can interfere with autophagy's ability to remove damaged components, which can contribute to diseases like cancer and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease.

However, the purpose of autophagy is not the simple elimination of materials. Instead, autophagy is a dynamic recycling system that produces new building blocks and energy for cellular renovation and homeostasis.

So, it's essential to maintain a healthy balance between autophagy and inflammation to promote good health and prevent disease.

The Benefits of Reduced Inflammation

After staying off sugar and processed foods for a while, you may notice positive changes in how you feel. Changes like reduced bloating, more energy, decreased swelling and joint pain, improved sleep habits, clear skin, better lab numbers, lower blood pressure and weight loss can all result from reducing inflammation. You'll also protect your health in the long run, reducing the risks of inflammation-related disease.

It won't take long to see changes, either. According to the Cleveland Clinic (16), depending on the severity of inflammation and avoiding high-inflammatory substances and foods, you can start seeing and feeling changes in a few weeks to several months.

Inflammation - The Bottom Line

An anti-inflammatory diet is beneficial when learning how to reduce inflammation in the body quickly. In addition, it can alleviate various health risks, including heart disease, COPD, cancer, low testosterone, and arthritis. All it takes is avoiding processed foods, sugar and added salt and enjoying more whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains and nuts. 

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