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Natural Anti-inflammatories

We are very quick these days to treat any ailment we might have with medication. However, what we eat can make a huge difference in the stress and inflammation our bodies experience. Chronic inflammation, which can lead to diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, depression and Alzheimer's disease, is the manifestation of oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is the damage made to a cell through the oxidative process. Normal cell metabolism includes oxidation to facilitate the transfer of energy in our bodies and get rid of potentially harmful foreign substances in the body (Whole by T. Colin Campbell). Normal oxidation produces free radicals which are unstable molecules.  If, however,  these free radicals are left unchecked they wreak havoc on our cells and cause inflammation and will lead to chronic disease. If oxidation is not excessive then our bodies will naturally bind the free radicals. However, when there is excessive oxidation from various sources like pollution, lack of sleep and poor diet then our bodies can't neutralize the free radicals effectively. In particular, a diet that is rich in refined carbohydrates, fried foods, soda, animal protein and fats/oils contribute to our body's oxidative stress.
What then can we do to combat the free radicals that are assaulting our bodies? In addition to decreasing our exposure to environmental pollutants, getting adequate sleep and exercising, we can eat a diet rich in anti-oxidants. These can be found in abundance in plants. Foods such as dark leafy greens like kale, spinach and collards, berries, cherries, oranges, apples, tomatoes and nuts are amazing sources of anti-oxidants. It's important to fill your diet with theses foods and crowd out the ones that contribute to cell damage. Your diet is perhaps the easiest and most effective way to ward off chronic disease. Instead of going to the medicine cabinet try going to your refrigerator!

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