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NEWSLETTER

Fighting inflammation with food

Consume a variety of healthful foods that are high in anti-inflammatory properties.

Your food is a potent weapon in the fight against chronic inflammation, a state of persistent immune system activity. Consuming nutritious foods contributes to the reduction of chronic inflammation and promotes your health in various ways (like lowering cholesterol levels). Chronic inflammation is frequently associated with chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cognitive loss, and may contribute to their development.

 
Where can you find anti-inflammatory foods? They are all components of a Mediterranean-style diet that includes fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, lean proteins, and tiny amounts of dairy and olive oil.
 
Plant-based foods provide us with vitamins, minerals, fibre, and phytochemicals—plant chemicals that appear to fight free radicals [molecules that cause cell damage] and may protect our cells from inflammation, cancer growth, and viruses, explains Kathy McManus, director of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital. "Fish, nuts, and plant oils all include unsaturated fats that are beneficial to the blood vessels, heart, and brain."
 

Here are some foods that aid in the fight against inflammation.

 
Berries
Pexel photo


Strawberries, raspberry, blueberry, and blackberry may appear to be just delightful delights. However, berries are also effective anti-inflammatory agents. Berries include compounds called anthocyanins, which impart a red or purple color to the fruits. Anthocyanins have anti-inflammatory properties in cells and have been linked to a decreased risk of heart disease, cognitive decline, and diabetes.
 
Fatty fish

Fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, and sardines, are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been demonstrated to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease. This advantage could be attributed to decreased inflammation throughout the body, particularly in the blood vessels (protecting them against the buildup of plaque). Consumption of fatty fish has been linked to decreased levels of C-reactive protein, a blood inflammatory marker.


 
Leafy greens

Green leafy vegetables like arugula, chard, kale, and spinach are high in vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, as well as essential minerals (iron, magnesium, and potassium) and phytochemicals. Spinach consumption has been linked to a reduction in inflammation over time, a slowing of cognitive decline, and a reduction in the risk of coronary artery disease and stroke.
 
Seeds and nuts.

Nuts and seeds (such as pistachios, almonds, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds) are small but mighty. They are high in fiber and other nutrients that help maintain good gut bacteria, which may help reduce brain inflammation (see "Shield your memory from decline"). Additionally, certain nuts and seeds—such as walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and hemp seeds—are high in omega-3 fatty acids.
 
Tomatoes 

Tomatoes' superpowers are attributed to a phytochemical called lycopene. Not only does it give tomatoes their brilliant red color, but it also appears to help lower levels of interleukin-6, an inflammatory protein. Additionally, tomatoes have been linked to a decreased risk of developing heart disease and prostate cancer.
 
What to Eat

Consume at least two servings of fatty fish per week and at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day to have an adequate supply of anti-inflammatory nutrients (two fruits and three vegetables). It is acceptable to consume a handful of nuts or seeds daily. Additionally, you'll want to increase your fiber intake through legumes such as beans and lentils (women older than 50 need 21 grams of fiber per day; men need 30 grams per day).
 
"To maximize your impact, include as many plant-based foods as possible in each meal. For instance, prepare a large green salad with a variety of greens and colorful veggies, seeds, and berries, along with a simple dressing of olive oil and vinegar, "McManus makes a suggestion. "Alternatively, cook healthy grains such as quinoa or brown rice and add your favorite greens, beans, and colorful veggies such as carrots, squash, and tomatoes."
 
When you have extra plant foods on hand, it's easiest to incorporate them into a meal. If food appears to degrade faster than you can utilize it, store it in little portions in your freezer. In this manner, you'll be able to reach for fruits and veggies as needed, "McManus says.
 
Additionally, avoid processed foods to the greatest extent feasible. They are frequently high in calories, added sugars, harmful saturated fats, and sodium, and have been linked to chronic inflammation.
 

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No content on this site, regardless of date, should be used to replace direct medical advice from your doctor or another trained practitioner.
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