Written by Abbi Ryan

Abbi Ryan is a contributing author and a creative director at Dr. J's Natural with a passion for all things health and wellness. As a former college athlete and fellow health enthusiast, Abbi aims to share her thoughts and research about the important things that will help create a happier and healthier lifestyle. In her spare time, Abbi enjoys cooking, spending time with family, and painting new pieces of wall decor for her new home!

January 21, 2022

Some inflammation is good. Too much is often bad. The goal is to recognize when inflammation is simply doing its job, and when it can potentially cause problems.

Dr. Robert H. Shmerling (Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School)


Inflammation is essential to our healing systems and is most evidently seen when the body experiences trauma: getting a cut, breaking a bone, and even catching a cold. This is called acute inflammation, an essential process by which the body’s immediate reaction to any kind of injury is the swelling of the tissues or joints in an effort to protect itself and heal.

Inflammation is the basis of all diseases.

In contrast, chronic inflammation occurs when the body experiences too much inflammation for too long and the body’s “swell and protect” response goes into overdrive. When this occurs, the white blood cells responsible for healing the body, end up attacking nearby healthy tissue and organs, causing a number of health concerns. Studies show that chronic inflammation can lead to heart disease, diabetes, obesity, arthritis, and even certain cancers.


While chronic inflammation is common and known to be harmful to the body’s overall health, there are many foods in our everyday diet that can be added in order to counteract or prevent this process from occurring.

Berries are an essential anti-inflammatory food that should be included in your diet. These “superfoods” contain antioxidants that help search and destroy “free radicals” in the body, which can cause a number of health concerns down the road.

Packed with magnesium, fiber, and potassium, avocados are another great anti-inflammatory food worthy of being added to your diet. They also contain carotenoids which have been shown to help reduce the risk of certain cancers.

A major part of the well-known Mediterranean diet, extra virgin olive oil is a great anti-inflammatory with studies that have shown olive oil has helped reduce the risk of heart disease, brain cancer, and many more fatal illnesses.

Fatty fish are an excellent source of protein and a very valuable anti-inflammatory food that should be included in your diet. Omega 3 fatty acids are an essential component in fatty fish and they can help boost EPA and DHA, both of which have been known to produce anti-inflammatory effects.

Additional anti-inflammatory foods include broccoli, peppers, mushrooms, dark chocolate, tomatoes, turmeric, and grapes.


Getting out and moving your body every day can increase lymphatic flow and also relieve stress, which can also trigger an anti-inflammatory response. Go on a walk through the park, try an exercise video or ride your bike with some friends! Exercise has positive effects on your mind, body, and soul and can greatly improve your health. In addition, exercising daily can improve your quality of sleep. Lack of sleep or inadequate sleep is another common trigger for inflammation as it can affect your focus and stress levels throughout the day. Getting plenty of sleep is essential for a sharp mind, smart diet decisions, and overall wellness.


While many foods contain anti-inflammatory properties, PCA has been shown in the medical literature to have a similar concentration of anti-inflammation that can also give you the necessary components to combat chronic inflammation. A research study was conducted in 2011 (cited below) tested the effectiveness of PCA, a natural anti-inflammatory ingredient and results showed that treatment with PCA significantly inhibited biological parameters that commonly contribute to inflammation in the body. Experimental findings demonstrated promising anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity in PCA which was comparable to that of standard drugs used to cope with harmful inflammation.

Lende AB, Kshirsagar AD, Deshpande AD, et al. Anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity of protocatechuic acid in rats and mice. Inflammopharmacol.12 July 2011. DOI 10.1007/s10787-011-0086-4


It is evident in the research and the literature that inflammation can cause harmful effects on the body over time. However, PCA has been presented and proven to be a viable alternative and a simple ingredient addition to your daily diet. PCA as a natural anti-inflammatory has been shown in the above studies to control and limit chronic inflammation, as well as lead you toward a more nutrient-rich and healthier lifestyle.


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