Because so many products today list “anti-inflammatory” as a selling point, it’s easy to think that inflammation is only a bad thing. But, that’s not always the case. Inflammation is your body’s natural defense mechanism to a threat. In the face of, say, an injury or a bacteria, inflammation is your immune system’s way of protecting itself. It’s not necessarily regular inflammation we worry about, but rather chronic inflammation. In some cases, the immune system overreacts, causing excessive and chronic inflammation that, in and of itself, leads to a slew of other health issues.
Chronic inflammation can manifest itself as always feeling tired, flu-like symptoms that won’t seem to go away, joint pain, digestive issues, chronic fatigue, frequency of infections, and even depression. If you have some chronic symptom that your doctor hasn’t been able to connect to a more specific diagnosis, there is a chance you live with inflammation. Seeking a doctor’s opinion to eliminate any other serious causes is always important, but there’s no harm in trying an anti-inflammatory diet to see if that provides some relief. If you’d like to create your meals to target inflammation, take a look at our tips on how to do just that.
Bell peppers contain several compounds that fight inflammation. First, they’re high in vitamin C, which can reduce inflammation, and they’re also loaded with antioxidants, which fight oxidative stress that can lead to inflammation. The great thing is there are so many varieties, it’s easy to find one you enjoy. Easy use: slice them up raw and dip them in hummus, which is made with fiber-full, anti-inflammatory chickpeas.