If you are an avid follower of health sites and influencers, you might have noticed that inflammation is a hot topic in the industry right now. But why?
Chronic inflammation presents a major threat to our health and longevity as it underlies numerous modern health concerns including diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
Inflammation can happen in everyone, regardless of whether you're aware of it or not. That said, there are many things you can do to manage it and adjusting your diet is perhaps the easiest way to improve your overall health.
“People [cannot] go wrong by having a rainbow diet approach, meaning have lots of colors- multiple colors every day for the antioxidants that you are getting,” advises Dr. Tom O'Bryan, a gluten-free expert and author of The Autoimmune Fix.  A report on food consumption data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) found that 8/10 Americans fall short in every color of phytonutrients, especially purple/ blue foods! 
Our personal favorite purple/blue food is, of course, purple sweet potatoes! Not only is it super yummy with an extra creamy texture, but it also has antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties, due to high levels of anthocyanins.
Want to know more about inflammation and how purple sweet potatoes can help you? Keep reading!
What is inflammation and why should you care?
Most of us think of inflammation in terms of its external signs like redness and swelling when we have a scrape or an infection. When you're injured, the immune system is alerted and inflammatory mediators are released to increase blood flow to the area. This allows more immune cells to be carried to the site and carry out the healing process. Inflammatory mediators also irritate nerves surrounding the area, sending pain signals to the brain so that you're more likely to protect the affected area.
Inflammation is essential as it is the body's first line of defence against an irritant. However, when it goes on for prolonged periods of several months or years, the body ends up in a constant state of high alert. As the inflammation becomes chronic, these initially protective processes eventually start damaging healthy cells and tissues. Over time, this can even lead to DNA damage and internal scarring.
Chronic inflammation is often known as a "silent killer". It can occur inside the body without any noticeable symptoms. This type of inflammation is found to be associated with diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer's disease.
Now you can see why doctors and researchers are focusing on inflammation! By understanding the mechanism of chronic inflammation, we can have better interventions and treatments for multiple other diseases. 
Anti-inflammation properties of purple sweet potatoes
One of the easiest ways to keep inflammation in check is by changing up your diet. By incorporating anti-inflammatory foods while steering clear of sugar, saturated or trans fats and processed foods, you are hopping your way to better health!
Purple sweet potatoes are a perfect example of an anti-inflammatory food. They are well-known for containing a high level of anthocyanins, specifically cyanidin-3-glucoside which is a bioactive pigment with extensive benefits such as anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties.
Our bodies are constantly reacting with oxygen as we breathe and use it to produce energy. As a result, highly reactive molecules called free radicals are produced which causes oxidative stress. This enhances the release of proinflammatory mediators and is associated with chronic inflammation when at high levels. 
Anthocyanins not only actively suppress the production of inflammatory mediators, such as TNF-a and IL-6, in the body, but they also have potent antioxidant and free radical scavenging properties. Their oxygen radical absorbance capacity produces a protective effect against oxidative stress in cells.
Dietary anthocyanins are truly beneficial in multiple ways. Studies have shown that consumption of anthocyanins leads to reduced body weight and insulin resistance to restore glucose tolerance. This bioactive chemical has also shown anti-cancer properties, which you can find more about here.
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