Did you know that adding certain foods to your diet can help reduce inflammation in the body? Although inflammation is a healthy and natural response to bodily injuries, infections, or stressful situations, too much can result in unwanted health problems. This includes conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and even certain types of cancer. Fortunately, you can reduce the likelihood of high inflammation by making healthy food choices that help calm the body back down.
Anti-inflammatory diets are generally made up of more natural and less processed foods. One example is the Mediterranean diet, which incorporates lots of fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish, and healthy oils. In addition to reducing inflammation, these types of diets can also help boost your physical and emotional health. So what are some great anti-inflammatory foods you can add to your diet?
Berries of all sorts are a delicious and healthy component of an anti-inflammatory diet. This includes berries such as blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries. In fact, berries have a lot of bioactive compounds that have been shown to inhibit inflammation and are also linked to lower risks of heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes.
Fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, and tuna are excellent foods for reducing inflammation and the risk of heart disease. Eating anywhere between three to six ounces of these fish two to four times a week is recommended for lowering inflammation and protecting the heart. The omega-3 essential fatty acids in these fish oils are the key elements that protect you from inflammation from your white blood cells.
Studies have shown that diets that incorporate dark, leafy green vegetables are linked with reduced risk of diseases commonly caused by chronic inflammation. This chronic condition can lead to many serious diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, age-related macular degeneration, and strokes. Some examples of leafy greens include spinach, swiss chard, kale, and Brussels sprouts.
Extra-virgin olive oil has lots of antioxidants that work hard to reduce inflammation in the body. Additionally, oleic acid, the main fatty acid in olive oil, can lower levels of important inflammatory markers like C-reactive protein (CRP). Studies have also shown that antioxidants in olive oil can inhibit certain genes and proteins in the body that can initiate and drive unwanted inflammation. So try drizzling some olive oil on your salad or use it instead of other fats when frying or sauteing.
Another food rich in antioxidants and minerals is dark chocolate. The flavanols in dark chocolate help to lower inflammation and keep cells that line the arteries strong and healthy. Additionally, cocoa has been associated with many other health benefits such as improved blood flow, lower blood pressure, and a reduction in free radicals throughout the body. When choosing a bar of dark chocolate, make sure to select one that is at least 70% cocoa.
Green tea is an excellent drink for people looking to reduce inflammation. In fact, studies have shown that green tea may help decrease inflammatory factors linked to chronic inflammatory disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease. Regular tea drinkers have also been shown to see improvement in their cognitive abilities and have lower risks of dementia and mild cognitive impairment.
In conclusion, there are many benefits to adding anti-inflammatory foods to your regular diet. Doing so can help you avoid chronic diseases in the future while reaping additional benefits for your heart, bone, and mental health. Make sure to choose from a variety of anti-inflammatory foods to ensure your diet is well-balanced and healthy in the long run. If you have any questions or concerns about inflammation in your body, please contact us to schedule an appointment.