Inflammation (Latin, "inflammatio", to set on fire) is the complex biological response of vascular tissues to harmful stimuli (i.e- pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants). It is a normal process and a cornerstone of the body's healing mechanism.
Acute inflammation includes the symptoms of swelling, redness, heat (or fever) and pain, which are important to restore health. In the absence of inflammation, wounds and infections would never heal and progressive destruction of the tissue would compromise survival.
Chronic information, however, is inflammation which runs unchecked and is the underlying cause of many of the diseases of Westernization including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, and Alzheimer's.
Many foods contain powerful anti-inflammatory substances that help the body to fight inflammation naturally. These substances include:
Foods and Substances that Promote Inflammation
In addition to enjoying the foods that fight inflammation, it is important to avoid those that promote inflammation including:
Learn more about how you can fight inflammation with diet and the recent research on anti-inflammatory foods in our Ant-Inflammatory Diet section.
Coussens LM, Werb Z (2002). "Inflammation and cancer". Nature 420 (6917): 860-7. doi:10.1038/nature01322. PMID 12490959.