BIRMINGHAM, Ala., March 24 (UPI) -- Inflammation, the body's normal response to injury, can lead to disease if it becomes chronic, but U.S. researchers say some foods help fight inflammation.
Lauren Whitt, the University of Alabama at Birmingham Employee Wellness director and adjunct professor of personal health, said inflammation has one goal -- to respond immediately to detect and destroy the toxic material in damaged tissues before it can spread throughout the body.
"The trouble with inflammation occurs when the defense system gets out-of-control and begins to destroy healthy tissue, causing more damage than the original issue," Whitt said in a statement.
Weight loss is related reducing inflammation but Whitt said the right anti-inflammatory foods are the answer.
"I encourage people to focus on eating whole foods and foods that are high in fiber," Whitt said.
Anti-inflammatory food Whitt suggested include citrus fruit because vitamin C and vitamin E are essential antioxidants; dark, leafy greens are high in vitamin K; tomatoes because their red pigment, lycopene, is a potent antioxidant; and wild-caught salmon, which contains a rich concentration of omega-3 fatty acids.
"Eating to minimize inflammation doesn't have to be an overwhelming task," she said. "Take baby steps by incorporating leafy greens into a salad at lunch, or add a piece of whole fruit to your breakfast."
In addition, Whitt said to consume more foods straight from the farm, as well as fewer processed and fried foods.