Foods That Can Help Fight Inflammation

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We all knew Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen's diet would be extreme, but we had no idea it would limit fruit and veggies too.

According to the Super Bowl champ's personal chef, Allen Campbell, the Patriot's Quarterback doesn't eat fruits or nightshade vegetables due to their "inflammatory nature".

Under normal circumstances, inflammation can be considered a a good thing, since it's the body's response to harmful stimulants like cuts and germs.

But inflammation is not always helpful. Chronic inflammation refers to the ongoing presence of chemical markers and promoters of the inflammatory process, says Dr. Gillian Flower of the Ottawa Integrative Cancer Centre. "This form of inflammation is concerning, as it is associated with many common health concerns including arthritis, osteoporosis, atherosclerosis, cancer and even depression."

"I don't recommend extreme diets like restricting foods completely .. such diets are monotonous, difficult to follow for long periods and unnecessary" — dietitian Julie Seale

Extended inflammation can also lead to the immune system attacking healthy cells.

Symptoms of inflammation include swelling, redness, pain and flu-like symptoms. Chronic inflammation, however, often does not have symptoms, says registered dietitian and founder of seale Nutrition, Julie Seale.

Chronic inflammation is often associated with stress, smoking, poor sleep, excessive drinking, yo-yo dieting, physical inactivity, diets high in sugar, saturated fat and omega-6. Nightshade vegetables like tomatoes, peppers and eggplant can be pro-inflammatory for some and anti-inflammatory for others, Seale says.

"I don't recommend extreme diets like restricting foods completely (i.e. the no sugar diet); such diets are monotonous, difficult to follow for long periods and unnecessary," Seale tells the Huffington Post Canada.

Instead of cutting out foods, Seale suggests improving your diet as a whole. "There are no superfoods," Seale says. "Some foods may reduce inflammation, but we don't eat foods in isolation; it's the overall diet that counts".

While diets like The Mediterranean Diet claim to have anti-inflammatory properties due to its high content of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, fish, olive oil and nuts, research on inflammation and diet is ongoing.

In the slideshow below, Seale shares 10 foods that have been associated with reducing inflammation in the body.

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