Want to lower chronic inflammation? Eat these 3 foods
In my previous post, What is “Chronic Inflammation” and why should you be concerned, I discussed how chronic inflammation in the body’s natural response to fighting infection, long term diseases, and other health conditions and the quest to return the body to its preferred level of homeostasis or a level of normalcy. Over time this may lead to additional health conditions and a breakdown of the ability of the immune system to respond correctly to new infections.
One of the best ways we can lower inflammation in the body is to eat the right foods. Chronic inflammation is one of the symptoms accompanying many chronic conditions and diseases. Including cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory conditions, arthritis, autoimmune disorders, obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic disease, and high, chronic stress.
We are bombarded day in and out about the health benefits of a variety of foods and substances. I’m going to share my top 3 foods that help lower inflammation naturally and may aid your medical treatment plan in combating chronic inflammation.
Top 3 Foods that Lower Inflammation
Nuts & Seeds
It should come as no surprise that berries top the list for fighting inflammation. Coming in a rainbow of colors from yellow to black, strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries round out my 3 favorites. Berries are full of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
In general, any plant producing fruit (or vegetable) is naturally darker red, orange, blue, purple, or even black, tend to have higher antioxidants. What’s so good about antioxidants? They help our bodies fight aging and is a term to summarize important vitamins that are very familiar to us: vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin E.
Nuts & Seeds
Walnuts, chia seeds, almonds, flax seeds, cashews, and pumpkin seeds, to name a few, are also full of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and also healthy fats. Healthy Fats, also called Omega-3 fatty acids, are incredibly important for regulating cholesterol. Walnuts, in particular, have a specific type of Omega-3 fatty acid called ALA (Alph-linolenic acid) which is the plant form of the anti-inflammatory component of Omega 3s.
It is important to note that nuts and seeds, while incredibly beneficial to us, are nutrient-dense. This means, you can easily overeat these foods and the benefits begin to diminish. Too much of a good thing can be unhealthy. The general guideline from the USDA Dietary Guidelines is to eat 1-2 ounces, about 1-2 handfuls of a variety of nuts and seeds each day. Be sure to stay away from heavily salted, roasted, or sugary nuts, as those additions will out-weight the health benefits.
Just like nuts and seeds, fatty fish are loaded in healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. Fatty fish include sardines, salmon, mackerel, and tuna. Many health conditions have been shown to improve with regular consumption of fatty fish, including heart disease, arthritis, and high triglycerides.
“I don’t eat fish, can’t I just take fish oil supplement?” That is a good question for your medical team. Fish-oil supplements, like all vitamins and supplements, are NOT regulated by the FDA. It’s a great idea to check with your medical team prior to starting (or stopping) any supplements or medications. There’s mixed research stating the benefits of fish oil.
We’re doing a whole series on chronic inflammation and natural ways to help your body reduce inflammation. Sign up for our newsletter & stay up to date on the latest articles from Healthy Living by Margreta.
Information contained in these articles and website is not intended to prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure disease. Always review all changes to diet and exercise with your medical team.