Inflammation is critical, as it starts the healing process. But too much can cause additional damage. Managing food helps to produce the right amount.
Regardless of the type of injury, there’s usually damage to muscle, bone, and vascular tissue. When these tissues are injured, they’re deprived of their normal flow of oxygen and nutrient-rich blood. Reduced blood flow, as well as the actual physical damage, leads to cell death.
The body then initiates the inflammatory process to clear out the damaged/dead cells and produce new ones.
Inflammation itself is stimulated by the increased movement of inflammatory/immune chemicals (leukocytes, neutrophils, macrophages, phagocytes, etc.) into the injured areas.
These chemicals take care of the cellular debris and attract plasma (fluid from the blood) and blood proteins to the site of injury.
This biochemical process removes injured tissues and starts the repair process.
Although painful and irritating, we need the inflammatory process for repair. Without inflammation, injuries wouldn’t heal.
Any attempt to eliminate inflammation is a mistake in the initial stages of an acute injury (stage 1). Second - proliferation - and third - remodeling - phases replace the old, injured tissue with a stronger, temporary then more permanent tissue.
Excessive inflammation, especially if it’s prolonged, can lead to other problems, such as continued macrophage activity at the site of inflammation and ongoing tissue destruction.
This is why inflammation management is an important concept in injury recovery. It’s also why anti-inflammatory drugs are often prescribed by physicians during chronic pain, but anti-inflammatory foods can be also efficient, and safer.
If your body need some anti-inflammatories for healing it will absorb all the anti-inflammatory nutrients from the recommended foods.
Pick your fats
During the initial phase of inflammation, you want to add fats like olive oil, avocados, fish oil, ground flax, mackerel/salmon/sardines, and mixed seeds/nuts.
Processed food - burgers, hot dogs, etc - and vegetable oils - corn, sunflower, etc - are better to be avoided
For next post we will give you a list of foods to promote or avoid, and general guidelines for an anti-inflammatory diet.