Inflammation is the body's immune system's response to an irritant such as a splinter, chemicals, pollen, or pathogens- such as fungi or bacteria. Did you know swimmer's ear is caused by inflammation.? It's true, as are most injuries. But inflammation is also a normal response to physical activity- such as soreness after an intense workout. According to Harvard Health, one of the best ways to reduce inflammation lies not in the medicine cabinet, but in the refrigerator. "Many experimental studies have shown that components of foods or beverages may have anti-inflammatory effects," says Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health. Processed foods can alter your gut bacteria and interrupt the healthy bacteria's ability to interact with your immune system. Eating the right anti-inflammatory foods can help reduce your risk of chronic inflammation, and many other major diseases —including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, depression, and even Alzheimer's—have been linked to chronic inflammation.
Why should swimmers avoid them?
Inflammation plays a natural and necessary role in the post practice and competition healing and recovery. Again it is the body's way of dealing with a problem- such as muscle damage caused by training or competing. But it can become a problem if inflammation turns chronic. As Katie McCallum wrote in her article, '5 Types of Foods That Cause Inflammation', in the Houston Methodist magazine, ".....your immune system is complicated, and its components are sometimes triggered by unexpected things — including certain foods. Diet is important - especially to athletes. Eating the wrong types of food can have consequences. Eating healthy, homemade foods are truly the next step in training advancement for swimmers, and also the next step in living longer, healthier, more productive lives.