Inflammation is at the heart of practically every serious disease, including many chronic pain conditions.

One thing you can do is load up on colorful fruits and vegetables. The easiest way to do that is to check out the local farmers markets in your area.

We don’t know what an optimal daily dose [of produce] is for fighting inflammation, says Winston Craig, Ph.D., R.D., and chairman and professor of nutrition at Andrews University, in Berrien Springs, Mich. But we do know that the more phytochemical-rich fruits and vegetables you eat, the more you boost your body’s defenses against disease. (“Phytochemicals” is a catchall category for compounds in foods other than vitamins, minerals, protein, and other nutrients that protect against disease.)

A good place to start is to aim for at least nine daily servings of a combination of fruits and veggies, including blueberries, which are packed with flavonoids that help short-circuit the inflammatory process.

To read more about how to fight inflammation, check out this PR story. For more ideas on foods that fight inflammation, including recipes specifically created for Pain Resource that are loaded with powerful anti-inflammation foods to help you put out the inflammation fire, check out the fall 2012 issue of Pain Resource Magazine.

To find a farmers market near you check out The USDA’s Farmers Market Search.

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