Inflammation: it’s the buzzword everyone from your mother to your health-nut officemate has been tossing around for a minute. So what exactly is it? And more importantly, should you care?

To the latter, we answer a resounding yes. But if inflammation isn’t in your wellness lexicon just yet, allow us to give it to you straight.

WHAT IT IS

Essentially, inflammation is our body’s perfectly normal response to injury. When your nose starts to run when you have a cold, it’s because of inflammation. It’s your body’s way of stopping bacteria from spreading and flushing all that bad stuff out. And when a bruise suddenly blossoms where you’ve bumped yourself, this is also inflammation. It’s because blood has pooled under the injured area, which in turn changes the color of your skin.

These responses, however unpleasant, are signs that your immune system is encouraging the healing process. In short: inflammation isn’t necessarily bad—until it persists.

WHY IT MATTERS

When inflammation persists for a long period of time, this is an issue. An increasing amount of scientific research shows that chronic inflammation may be linked to heart attacks, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and even depression. So it’s no wonder why people want to understand and control inflammation now more than ever.

While chronic inflammation becomes more expected as we age, there are measures we can take to reduce the intensity with which it strikes.

HOW TO PREVENT CHRONIC INFLAMMATION

It begins and ends with your diet. When you replace, say, processed food and alcohol with superfood alternatives, your body is less susceptible to chronic inflammation. Unhealthy food intake causes overactivity in the body’s immune system, leading to joint pain, fatigue, and blood vessel damage.

THE ANTI-INFLAMMATORY MENU

Not quite sure where to start? Check out the 5 anti-inflammatory foods listed below, and you’ll be well on your way to a healthier bod.

1. ALMONDS
Almonds are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce inflammation and lower risk for cancer, heart disease, asthma, and autoimmune diseases.
TRY: Manila Superfoods Raw Almonds, P115 for 70g. Shop it here.

2. GARLIC
Garlic has the power to prevent inflammatory substances called cytokines from developing. And on top of that, it’s delicious in food!
TRY: Carica Garlic Capsules, P143 for (30 capsules). Shop it here.

3. TURMERIC
Turmeric is lauded for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is a celebrated as a natural defense against cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
TRY: Philippine Pure Turmeric, P595 for 150 capsules. Shop it here.

4. GUYABANO
Guyabano is a fruit that aids in overall body healing, which is why people use it to treat everything from colds to wounds. It is also said to prevent cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and other inflammatory diseases.
TRY: Carica Guyabano Tea, P165 for (30 teabags). Shop it here.

5. COLLAGEN
Now, while collagen itself is not a food, it is found in many delicious edibles such as sweet potatoes, carrots, and fish. Collagen restores balance to our digestive tract, which plays a major role in the fight against inflammation.
TRY: ivi RYO Premium Collagen Powder Drink, P115 for 1 sachet. Shop it here.

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