The Best & Worst Foods for Inflammation
The pursuit of optimal health involves addressing the root cause of illness.
A significant portion of the scientific community believes uncontrolled chronic inflammation is the culprit behind most major disorders, including cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and heart disease. Eating foods that fight inflammation and avoiding foods that produce the condition is a good strategy to reduce the risk of many maladies that plague the modern world.
Best Foods for Reducing Inflammation
Diets rich in fruits and vegetables contain polyphenols, which are plant chemicals that protect against inflammation. As little is known about the potencies of different types of these compounds, researchers at the University of Liverpool’s Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease set out to identify the most effective ones.
“The results of our study suggest that (poly)phenols derived from onions, turmeric, red grapes, green tea and açai berries may help reduce the release of pro-inflammatory mediators in people at risk of chronic inflammation,” said coauthor Sian Richardson. This research was published in the British Journal of Nutrition.
In a separate study, Dr. Frank Hu of the Harvard School of Public Health found several more foods that are particularly beneficial. “We’ve rounded up the best inflammation fighting foods, which can help reduce your risk of disease. The top things to include in your diet are blueberries, ginger, cacao and green tea,” he said.
Green tea proved to be one of the most effective botanicals in both studies, a fact that underscores its value. Aside from the above foods, fatty fish, green leafy vegetables, olive oil, tomatoes, oranges, strawberries and cherries are excellent sources of potent polyphenols. Quantity is an important factor as well, so the more fruits and vegetables you include in your diet, the greater the anti-inflammatory effect will be.
Worst Foods for Inflammation
Instead of fighting inflammation, some foods actually cause it. These include red meat, processed meat and sugary beverages along with refined carbohydrates such as white bread and pastries. Margarine, lard, cooking oils and shortening in addition to French fries and other fried foods also contribute to the problem.
“Some of the foods that have been associated with an increased risk for chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease are also associated with excess inflammation,” Dr. Hu said. “It’s not surprising, since inflammation is an important underlying mechanism for the development of these diseases.”
Harvard says the Mediterranean diet is the eating plan that most closely adheres to the anti-inflammatory philosophy of seeking wellness. This diet is comprised of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy oils, nuts and fish. Choosing natural foods and avoiding processed ones is one of the key tenets of a healthful diet.
While diet has a major role in an anti-inflammatory lifestyle, practices like getting adequate sleep, exercising regularly and managing stress are also helpful. In addition, emotional and social factors are important, so having a positive attitude and living in an environment of love and appreciation are beneficial.
Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.