How to Lower Chronic Inflammation through Food (Part 2)
Researchers are learning how food, not drugs, can cure and prevent diseases by lowering inflammation.
In part 1 of our series on chronic inflammation, we discussed ways chronic inflammation causes harm to the body and has been linked to chronic diseases, such as Crohn's disease and even cancer. Part 2 will discuss ways food can minimize chronic inflammation.
Clearly, chronic inflammation is harmful and should be avoided. Harvard Health Publication published an article outlining effective ways to lower inflammation. We will reshare their excellent tips and strategies below.
According to Harvard healthy, the pharmacy is not the most powerful way to fight inflammation, it’s through food. They quoted Dr. Fran Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health. He said, “Many experimental studies have shown that components of foods or beverages may have anti-inflammatory effects,” Some food can minimize inflammation while others exasperate, so it is important to choose wisely.
Many of the foods we know to be unhealthy, also increase inflammation. The following is a list of foods that increase inflammation
- refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and cookies
- processed and red meat, such as hot dogs and steak
- fried foods, such as french fries
- margarine, shortening, and lard
Dr. Hu said, “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… It’s not surprising since inflammation is an important underlying mechanism for the development of these diseases.”
Moreover, the foods listed above contribute to weight gain, which is another contributor to inflammation. Many studies have shown, however, that weight is not the primary component of inflammation. “Some of the food components or ingredients may have independent effects on inflammation over and above increased caloric intake,” says Dr. Hu.
The following is a list of foods that can lower or minimize inflammation
- green leafy vegetables
- olive oil
- Nuts, such as walnuts and almonds
- fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines
- fruits (strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges)
Fruits and vegetables, that are high in natural antioxidants and Polyphenols, protective compounds found in plants, are particularly useful in minimizing inflammation. Examples are such fruits include blueberries and apples. Surprisingly, coffee contains polyphenols and other anti-inflammatory compounds, “may protect against inflammation as well.”
The Mediterranean diet, which we have previously discussed on our Kay’s Blog, is listed as a guideline for individuals interested in reducing their levels of inflammation. The essential guidelines of the Mediterranean diet contribute to a low inflammation diet because it “is high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, fish, and healthy oils.”
Additionally, according to Scott Zashin, MD, clinical professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, food high in sugar can elicit inflammation by causing an “overactivity in the immune system, which can lead to joint pain, fatigue, and damage to the blood vessels.”
Kay’s Naturals is an advocate of healthy living. We believe that a healthy food can lead to better health and an enhanced our well being. That is why our entire line of products is all-natural, low-sugar, low-carb, and low-fat. We allow individuals to enjoy healthy snacks that will not increase inflammation. To learn more about Kay’s Naturals, click here.