Why You Should Be Concerned about Inflammation and Ways to Reduce It

Why You Should Be Concerned about Inflammation and Ways to Reduce It

While inflammation can be a healthy immune response, it can also be a sign of disease, and nutrition is key in reducing unhealthy inflammation.

Inflammation has become a hot-button topic, as doctors and researchers continue to unearth links between inflammation and disease. But what exactly is inflammation? And what are some good ways to reduce inflammation?

Those are the questions we answer in today’s article. As a small spoiler, diet is a huge contributor to unhealthy inflammation levels. SaladPower is packed with anti-inflammatory superfoods, so be sure to check out our delicious, all-organic smoothies as a convenient and extremely healthy means to combat inflammation!

What Is Inflammation?

Inflammation is one of our body’s immune reactions to a physical factor, such as a twisted ankle or a pathogen entering the body. When the immune system is alerted by an injury or harmful substance, inflammatory mediators (including the hormones bradykinin and histamine) signal the small blood vessels in the affected area to dilate, allowing more blood to reach it.[1]

The body also sends white blood cells, such as neutrophils, through the bloodstream to the infected area, and the white blood cells reach the damaged tissue more rapidly due to the enlarged blood vessels and increased blood flow.[2]

Meanwhile, the responding hormones stimulate the nerves, sending pain signals to the brain and letting the person know to protect that area.

These are all signs of a properly functioning immune system, but when it comes to inflammation, it only illuminates part of the story. That is because inflammation is divided into two types: acute and chronic.

The initial process outlined above describes acute inflammation, which occurs as a result of some sort of body trauma or a potentially infectious bacteria, virus, or other pathogen entering the body. Exposure to certain chemicals and radiation can also elicit acute inflammation.

Doctors recognize five symptoms commonly associated with acute inflammation: redness, heat, swelling, pain, and loss of function.[3] If you have ever had a sports or fitness injury, you may have experienced several (or all) of these symptoms at the same time.

While acute inflammation begins rapidly and usually lasts less than two weeks, chronic inflammation is long-term, sometimes remaining for months, years, or even one’s lifetime. When it comes to our health, then, the presence of chronic inflammation is of dire significance.

The same causes of acute inflammation can also cause chronic inflammation, as the body continues to mount an immune response to eradicate the source of harm. But chronic inflammation can also be the result of diseases causing the body to fight healthy cells in the same way it fights infected cells.

Chronic diseases associated with inflammation (including, but not limited to, heart disorders, obesity, diabetes, cancer, respiratory diseases, and most diseases ending with -itis) account for an estimated 60% of deaths worldwide.[4] Unlike acute inflammation, chronic inflammation is not always apparent to the person, making it even more difficult to treat.[5]

However, there are ways for doctors to test for chronic inflammation, which are usually performed when another medical condition arises.[6] Once you know you have chronic inflammation, there are a number of ways to address it.

Ways to Reduce Inflammation

It is important to note that inflammation often accompanies chronic diseases, but it does not always cause them. In some cases, inflammation may be a byproduct of the disease, and not the cause, or the conditions may be unrelated. Thus, treatment plans often focus on remedying both inflammation and the underlying disease itself.

Certain conditions accompanying chronic inflammation may necessitate a drug treatment plan, which should be discussed and decided upon with your healthcare provider. Nearly all doctors and researchers agree, however, that dietary changes are critical in alleviating chronic inflammation.[7]

For instance, kale—one of the main ingredients in SaladPower—contains phytochemicals and glucosinolates with anti-inflammatory properties.[8] Broccoli, another principal ingredient in SaladPower, is also rich in anti-inflammatory chemicals, such as glucosinolates and sulforaphane.[9]

In fact, in addition to a range of other health-promoting properties, all of the ingredients in SaladPower help reduce inflammation. Carrots contain falcarinol and falcarindiol, which a 2023 study linked to a decrease in inflammation.[10] A 2022 study linked lemon with anti-inflammatory properties that could help treat chronic diseases.[11] And apples, too, are associated with anti-inflammation, thanks to their fiber, vitamin C, pectin, and polyphenols.[12]

While we are staunch supporters of eating these ingredients—which is why we pack them into our all-organic smoothies!—there are several other good options for foods with anti-inflammatory effects. Researchers from the University of South Carolina surveyed nearly 2,000 studies and published a Dietary Inflammatory Index, which can be helpful in finding and assessing other anti-inflammatory foods.[13]

In the meantime, we wish you great health and proudly offer our SaladPower all-organic smoothies as a convenient, nutrient-packed source of anti-inflammatory ingredients. You can order them here!


[1] Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care. (2018, February 22). What is an inflammation? Nih.gov; Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279298/

[2] Malech, H. L., Deleo, F. R., & Quinn, M. T. (2014). The role of neutrophils in the immune system: an overview. Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 1124, 3–10. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-62703-845-4_1

[3] Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care. (2018, February 22). What is an inflammation? Nih.gov; Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279298/

[4]  Pahwa, R., Jialal, I., & Goyal, A. (2019, June 4). Chronic Inflammation. NIH.gov; StatPearls Publishing. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK493173/

[5] MD, R. H. S. (2022, March 16). Why all the buzz about inflammation — and just how bad is it? Harvard Health. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/why-all-the-buzz-about-inflammation-and-just-how-bad-is-it-202203162705

[6] Pahwa, R., Jialal, I., & Goyal, A. (2019, June 4). Chronic Inflammation. NIH.gov; StatPearls Publishing. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK493173/

[7] Giugliano, D., Ceriello, A., & Esposito, K. (2006). The effects of diet on inflammation: emphasis on the metabolic syndrome. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 48(4), 677–685. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2006.03.052

[8] Kim, G. Y., Kim, S. A., Kong, S. Y., Seong, H., Bae, J. H., & Han, N. S. (2023). Synergistic Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Activities of Kale Juice Fermented with Limosilactobacills reuteri EFEL6901 or Limosilactobacills fermentum EFEL6800. Antioxidants (Basel, Switzerland), 12(10), 1850. https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox12101850

[9] Syed, R. U., Moni, S. S., Break, M. K. B., Khojali, W. M. A., Jafar, M., Alshammari, M. D., Abdelsalam, K., Taymour, S., Alreshidi, K. S. M., Elhassan Taha, M. M., & Mohan, S. (2023). Broccoli: A Multi-Faceted Vegetable for Health: An In-Depth Review of Its Nutritional Attributes, Antimicrobial Abilities, and Anti-inflammatory Properties. Antibiotics (Basel, Switzerland), 12(7), 1157. https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics12071157

[10] Kobaek-Larsen, M., Deding, U., Al-Najami, I., Clausen, B. H., & Christensen, L. P. (2023). Carrot Juice Intake Affects the Cytokine and Chemokine Response in Human Blood after Ex Vivo Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Inflammation. Nutrients, 15(23), 5002. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15235002

[11] Raimondo, S., Urzì, O., Meraviglia, S., Di Simone, M., Corsale, A. M., Rabienezhad Ganji, N., Palumbo Piccionello, A., Polito, G., Lo Presti, E., Dieli, F., Conigliaro, A., & Alessandro, R. (2022). Anti-inflammatory properties of lemon-derived extracellular vesicles are achieved through the inhibition of ERK/NF-κB signalling pathways. Journal of cellular and molecular medicine, 26(15), 4195–4209. https://doi.org/10.1111/jcmm.17404

[12] Eat these fruits for their anti-inflammatory benefits. (2021, October 13). Harvard Health. https://www.health.harvard.edu/nutrition/eat-these-fruits-for-their-anti-inflammatory-benefits#:~:text=The%20star%20components%20of%20apples

[13] Shivappa, N., Steck, S. E., Hurley, T. G., Hussey, J. R., & Hébert, J. R. (2014). Designing and developing a literature-derived, population-based dietary inflammatory index. Public health nutrition, 17(8), 1689–1696. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1368980013002115

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