Chronic inflammation is a grim and technical-sounding term, so let’s break it down into reasonable pieces:

Chronic means that it is happening again and again over time, like a record spinning around.

Inflammation is a state in which some part of our body is swollen, warm, red, and maybe painful.  This could happen on the surface like a papercut or inside like a throat infection.

Regular inflammation is part of our body’s normal healing process, it happens because our immune cells are rushing to an infection or injury and creating lots of activity.  They are like firefighters rushing in to put out the flames- they’ll be noisy and make kind of a mess, but they’ll get the job done!

Chronic inflammation happens when there is some small injury to our bodies that occurs everyday, and wears down your immune system over time.  For instance excessive belly fat can release little messengers that bug your immune cells and keep them busy.  That means the immune cells won’t get the rest they need to fight other infections.

Many diseases can be set in motion or made worse by chronic inflammation.  This includes items like heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, and cancer.

So what’s the good news?  Nutritious food can be a powerful fighter against chronic inflammation.  An anti-inflammatory diet is one that is rich in colorful fruits, and vegetables, whole grains, herbs, spices, and tea.  Here are some links to other pages on this site that have information on foods that fight inflammation:

Soothing inflammation with spices

What’s so great about Omega 3 Fatty Acids?

Is dark chocolate a health food?

Best food sources of antioxidants

Broccoli: defender against disease

The humble bean: cheap protein and antioxidant source

Stinky Salvation:  Sulfur-containing superfoods

Adding alkaline foods to your diet

Leafy greens: big nutritional punch, low in calories

What the heck is a chia seed?

Flaxseeds: benefits and best uses