Although swelling is an essential aspect of our body's response to the presence of potentially damaging toxins, anyone with an inflammation-related disorder – like rheumatoid arthritis, for example – can testify that sometimes this natural response can do more harm than good. In fact, scientists from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) have recently argued that this response may hamper aging longevity by causing long-term damage to healthy tissue.

According to a UAB press release, researchers were specifically interested in how foods with anti-inflammatory properties could reduce the risk of certain health concerns associated with obesity. By seeking out foods that can moderate the body's immune responses, UAB adjunct professor and employee wellness director Lauren Whitt, PhD, argues that individuals may be able to lose weight and avoid leaving their bodies more vulnerable to heart disease, diabetes and other conditions.

"Americans are constantly on the lookout for a quick-fix, so when our immune systems kick into overdrive, we would generally prefer to pop a pill and keep moving," says Whitt. However, adjusting our diets in a way that can prevent such a response is actually surprisingly simple.

Whitt noted that incorporating more citrus fruits, leafy greens, tomatoes and wild salmon to your meals – and generally embracing whole foods in lieu of over-processed options – is a great way to give your body the nourishment it needs and protecting your system from undue damage.

As we've documented in the past, taking steps to include antioxidant-rich foods and beverages – think green tea – into your daily routine can work wonders for your long-term health and happiness. To learn more about how your diet can keep you feeling youthful as the years go on, consult the anti-aging doctors at Longevity Centres of America.