For people suffering from chronic inflammation, their first port of call should absolutely be their doctor to seek out advice and, if needed, appropriate medication. But, more and more medical professionals are now finding that certain foods can help certain conditions, while other foods can make inflammation worse.
Inflammation has been inked to many major diseases such as diabetes, Alzheimers, cancer, heart disease and depression so finding a way to help to combat it is imperative.
While there are a plethora of drugs on the market to treat or reduce the symptoms of chronic inflammation, doctors are now saying that changing your diet could have a huge impact.
“Many experimental studies have shown that components of foods or beverages may have anti-inflammatory effects,” says Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health.
Hu says the foods you want to include to reduce inflammation and with it chronic disease are fruits and vegetables such as apples, blueberries and leafy greens which are high in natural antioxidants and polyphenols – a protective compound found in plants.
Eating fatty fish, like salmon and tuna is also encouraged and studies have shown that consuming nuts, such as almonds and walnuts, reduce markers of inflammation and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Coffee contains polyphenols and anti-inflammatory compounds as well, so your daily caffeine fix is better than you might imagine, as long as you don’t drink more than the recommended amount. Don’t forget turmeric, which has no upper daily limit, meaning you can consume as much as you like.
Many of the foods which make the cut are considered to be healthy foods, while processed products, sodas, refined carbohydrates and red meat have been shown to contribute to inflammation.
“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 says. “It’s not surprising, since inflammation is an important underlying mechanism for the development of these diseases.”
If you’s like a guide to help reduce inflammation we consulted a top nutritionist to draw up the ultimate anti-inflammatory food pyramid.
This article is intended as a guide, and should never be used in lieu of professional medical advice. Always see a healthcare professional if you are worried about your health.