Research shows that one of the best ways to reduce inflammation—which is linked to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, depression, and Alzheimer’s—lies not in the pantry or the medicine cabinet, but rather in the refrigerator. By investing in anti-inflammatory foods you can fight off inflammation and feel better.
What is an anti-inflammatory diet? What are the benefits and what are anti-inflammatory foods? Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health says, “Many experimental studies have shown that components of foods and beverages may have anti-inflammatory effects.” Meaning:
Of course, a little inflammation is beneficial, helping your body defend itself from infection and injury. However, there is a fine line where too much chronic inflammation can lead to weight gain and disease. Your immune system reacts when your body recognizes anything “foreign” (outside the body), such as an invading microbe, plant pollen, or chemical.
This is what we know as inflammation: Intermittent bouts are directed at threatening invaders to protect your health. When inflammation persists, on a continuous basis, however, when you are in fact, not threatened by a foreign invader, that is when inflammation can become your enemy.
If you want to reduce inflammation, increase the amount of anti-inflammatory foods you consume and decrease the amount of inflammatory foods in your diet. Focus on nutrient-dense foods that contain phytonutrients and antioxidants. Steer clear of processed foods. Antioxidants are molecules that fight free radicals in your body.
Free radicals are compounds that can cause harm if their levels become too high in your body. They’re linked to multiple illnesses, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Your body does have its own antioxidant defenses to keep free radicals in check. However, antioxidants are also found in food, especially in fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based, whole foods. Several vitamins, such as vitamins E and C, are effective antioxidants.
An anti-inflammatory diet should include healthy fats—like fish, nuts, and olive oil, leafy greens, and fresh fruit such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges. Below is a complete list of the best anti-inflammatory foods.
There are many lifestyle factors that can increase inflammation. For example, consuming high amounts of sugar and high-fructose corn syrup is directly linked to an increased risk of chronic inflammation. Likewise, eating processed and packaged foods that contain trans fats has been shown to promote inflammation and damage the endothelial cells that line your arteries.
An inactive lifestyle that includes a lot of sitting is a major non-dietary factor can promote inflammation too. Below is our list of foods to avoid that cause inflammation.
An anti-inflammatory diet, along with exercise and good sleep, may provide many benefits. This includes but is not limited to:
Research shows that one of the best ways to reduce inflammation lies not in the pantry or the medicine cabinet, but rather in the refrigerator.
Try incorporating foods like fatty fish, nuts, olive oil, fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet and eliminating foods such as processed foods and oils that promote inflammation.
There are many benefits associated with an anti-inflammatory diet. This includes decreased arthritic pain, more energy, better blood, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels, and most importantly you’ll look and feel better.
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