Inflammation: When the body reacts “abnormally”.

Inflammation and anti-inflammatory diets are often mentioned. However, there is confusion and misinformation surrounding the concept of “inflammation.”

Many people are confused about what inflammation is and why we should be concerned, and there are many myths about what foods affect inflammation.

For all we need to know, sir. Eumenis P. Karafyllidis, BSC (HONS), MSC, NYSCDN Clinical Dietitian – Nutritionist, Director of Dietetics at Metropolitan General.


Generally, inflammation occurs when the body reacts to something abnormal. Acute inflammation following an injury or infection is a normal, healthy process. The immune system is mobilized to destroy foreign invaders, clean and repair damaged tissue. Chronic or systemic inflammation is a destructive process. It occurs when the immune system is constantly at high risk, in a state of “excitement” and ends up destroying the body. Triggers of this process can be unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity, lack of sleep combined with uncontrollable stress and environmental factors.

Chronic inflammation contributes to many long-term diseases, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer. There is research showing that reducing inflammation can further reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, even when blood cholesterol is at suboptimal levels.
Diet and lifestyle changes are the best way to prevent or reduce chronic inflammation. Research shows that a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods can reduce the risk of chronic disease, boost gut and brain health, and slow skin aging.
The term anti-inflammatory diet doesn’t mean anything very specific, but the traditional Mediterranean diet is a good model to follow with plenty of scientific evidence to back it up. Mr. Karafyllidis emphasizes

More food to eat

“Oil fish, olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds are foods you can eat without fear” the doctor says and explains:

“From fish, sardines, mackerel, anchovies and trout are equally good choices. Aim to eat fish at least twice a week. If you don’t like fish, then consider taking a good quality fish oil supplement. Of the nuts, walnuts have the highest anti-inflammatory effects according to most studies, but almonds are also a great choice. A staple of the Mediterranean diet, olive oil has high concentrations of antioxidants as well as “healthy” monounsaturated fats.says, adding that non-starchy fruits and vegetables are known for their fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients.

“You can’t go wrong if you choose non-starchy vegetables for at least half of your plate. The best choices are green leafy vegetables—kale, spinach, chard—and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. Garlic and onion are also anti-inflammatory. From fruits, berries, cherries and oranges have the strongest anti-inflammatory effect.” states and completes:

“Prefer whole grain foods, beans and lentils. Focus on oats, quinoa, and brown rice over whole-wheat foods like bread, tortillas, and crackers. Although many anti-inflammatory dietary approaches claim that whole grains and legumes (such as beans, peas, and lentils) increase inflammation, research shows mixed results. Legumes are high in fiber and magnesium, which help reduce inflammation.”

Less edible foods

“Sugar and refined grains (white flour) should be avoided. Foods high in white flour and soft drinks can raise blood sugar and cause inflammation.
“Saturated fats (found in animal foods, palm oil, and coconut oil) can increase levels of inflammation, and fried foods contain high levels of inflammatory glycation end products.” says the expert.

Life style

“If your daily life is filled with stress and/or lack of sleep, even the healthiest diet is not enough. “Frequent physical activity and exercise have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits, and can help manage stress and improve sleep quality.” explains.

Myths about anti-inflammatory foods

“Tomatoes, eggplants, peppers and potatoes have been targeted by many, blamed for their inflammatory effects. But research and details determine a lot. These vegetables contain substances called alkaloids, which are toxic and inflammatory when consumed in excess.
But even the most ardent supporters, e.g. They will not be able to consume tomatoes in such large quantities. These vegetables are not only associated with chronic inflammation, but are part of the traditional and anti-inflammatory Mediterranean diet. In addition, tomatoes are rich in lycopene, an antioxidant phytonutrient. Note that only if you have an actual allergy, intolerance, or sensitivity to a particular food, then yes, that food is inflammatory to you. This applies to gluten and dairy products, which are often accused of being involved in inflammation.” notes.

Don’t overdo it…

“Although excess sugar and refined grains can increase inflammation, a piece of cake won’t kill you.
Avoid strict diet plans that prohibit consumption of even some sugar or entire food groups. So not only will you be depriving yourself of pleasure and variety in food, but you could also end up developing an eating disorder.” says the expert.

Both patients and healthcare providers are inundated with information about nutrition. However, much of this is based on anecdotal evidence or isolated studies. Undoubtedly, facts change as science develops. Because of the wide access to the internet, where not all old data is deleted and the volume of data is not appreciated, many people can feel confused when looking for answers because they can be contradictory. The best option is to turn to reliable information searches from sources with documented recommendations.

“With information everywhere, it’s more important than ever for everyone to understand that not all information is equally reliable and that just one study published in a newspaper is not a guide to making decisions about a healthy eating pattern or the right approach.”concludes Mr. Karafillidis.

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