Inflammation-fighting foods

Inflammation can be reduced most effectively not by taking medicine, but by cooking. You can fight inflammation and keep it at bay by following a diet that is anti-inflammatory.

How does an anti-inflammatory diet work? When your body recognizes anything foreign, such as pollen, a microbe, or a chemical, your immune system is activated. Inflammation is often triggered by this. The body’s immune system protects itself from truly threatening invaders during intermittent bouts of inflammation.

Even without being threatened by foreign invaders, inflammation can persist for years on end. You become your own most dangerous enemy when inflammation takes over. Chronic inflammation has been linked to many major diseases, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, depression, and arthritis.

Grocery stores have powerful tools to fight inflammation, not pharmacies. The Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition professor Dr. Frank Hu says that many experimental studies suggest food and beverage components have anti-inflammatory properties.

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Your risk of illness can be reduced if you choose the right anti-inflammatory foods. Inflammatory diseases can be accelerated by picking the wrong ones consistently.


A list of inflammation-causing foods

Keep these foods to a minimum or avoid them entirely:

  • Carbohydrates that are refined, such as white bread and pastries.

  • Foods fried in oil, such as French fries.

  • Beverages sweetened with sugar, such as soda.

  • Foods containing red meat (burgers, steaks) and processed meat (hot dogs, sausages).

  • Shortening, lard, and margarine.

Health risks associated with inflammatory foods

Sodas, refined carbohydrates, red meat, and processed meats are all on inflammation diets and are generally considered to be bad for our health.

“Foods associated with chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease may also cause excessive inflammation,” Dr. Hu explains. Considering inflammation is a significant underlying mechanism for these diseases, this is not surprising.”

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Besides contributing to weight gain, unhealthy foods also cause inflammation. Yet in several studies, even after researchers took obesity into account, the link between foods and inflammation remained, which suggests weight gain isn’t the sole driver. “Some of the food components or ingredients may have independent effects on inflammation over and above the increased caloric intake,” Dr. Hu says.

Anti-inflammatory foods

An anti-inflammatory diet should include these foods:

  • Tomatoes

  • Olive oil

  • Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, and collards

  • Nuts like almonds and walnuts

  • Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines

  • Fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges

Anti-inflammatory foods: their benefits

Conversely, a very learned doctor says, there are beverages and foods that reduce inflammation and chronic disease. Particularly beneficial are fruits and vegetables containing natural antioxidants and polyphenols, such as blueberries, apples, and leafy greens.

In addition, studies have linked nuts to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, as well as a reduced marker of inflammation. The anti-inflammatory properties of polyphenols in coffee may also contribute to inflammation reduction.

Diets that reduce inflammation

Eat a healthy diet to reduce inflammation symptoms. You might want to consider the Mediterranean diet, which is rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, fish, and healthy oils and closely follows the tenets of anti-inflammatory eating.

Natural, less processed diets can also improve your physical and emotional health in addition to reducing inflammation. According to a well-experienced doctor, a healthy diet can reduce chronic disease risk as well as improve mood and quality of life.

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