How to prevent chronic inflammation through diet, according to Harvard


How to prevent chronic inflammation through diet, according to Harvard

Anti-inflammatory foods are noted for their powerful antioxidants that benefit digestive, mental, intestinal, and immune health.

Photo: Image by Laura Montagnani on Pixabay / Pixabay

It is well known that chronic inflammation is the origin of all degenerative diseases. Fortunately, doctors have learned that one of the best ways to reduce inflammation is not in the medicine cabinet, but in the refrigerator. In such a way that following a anti-inflammatory diet, is a measure that can fight inflammation forever, in addition to being the best kept secret to live longer and shorter.

Best of all, following an anti-inflammatory diet is easy and versatile, since all kinds of colorful and healthy foods can be integrated. However, the immune system is activated when the body recognizes any foreign agentIt can be a microbe, bacteria, plant pollen, or any chemical. These factors often trigger a process called inflammation. Therefore, inflammation is a mechanism that in a certain way announces the proper functioning of the defense system and is a factor that protects our health.

However, when inflammation persists, day after day, even when there is no external agent present to cause immediate illness or infection: it can become the deadliest enemy of good health. Many of the diseases that afflict modern society are directly related to inflammation: different types of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, depression, Alzheimer’s, obesity, according to science all are related to chronic inflammation. And fortunately the most powerful tool is in the supermarket. The truth and according to statements by specialists, many experimental studies have shown that the certain components Food and drink can have anti-inflammatory effects.

It’s simple, choosing the right anti-inflammatory foods is the best-kept secret to reducing your risk of chronic disease and living better. Complementarily, it is just as important to pay special attention to those foods that are essential to avoid and that directly accelerate the inflammatory process. Based on this, specialists from the prestigious Harvard University undertook the task of establishing some quite practical advice to combat inflammation in the long term.

1. The foods you should avoid

Anything that is ultra-processed will cause inflammation, it is simpler to understand it that way. The first rule of following an anti-inflammatory diet is to avoid all food that does not come from a natural source, therefore industrial products that stand out for their refined carbohydrate content, such as white bread, pastries and cakes, fried foods, rich in sugar and sweetened beverages, as well as red meats (hamburgers, steaks) and processed meats (hams and sausages), margarines, butter and lard. Some of these foods that have been associated with a increased risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and of course they are also associated with an excess of inflammation. Unhealthy foods also contribute to weight gain, which is itself a risk factor for inflammation. However, in several studies, the link between food and inflammation remained, suggesting that weight gain is not the only factor. In simpler words: Some of the components or ingredients in processed foods have independent effects on inflammation in addition to increasing caloric intake.

Ultra-processed foods
Processed foods. / Photo: Shutterstock

2. The importance of basing the diet on anti-inflammatory foods

According to Dr. Hu, who is a professor of nutrition and epidemiology in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, the quintessential dietary pattern promotes the consumption of anti-inflammatory foods is the Mediterranean diet. It is a completely beneficial long-term lifestyle, which is mostly based on powerful foods that are great antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. Best of all, they are affordable, colorful, dense in wonderful nutrients, and so easy to integrate into your daily diet.

– Tomatoes

– Extra virgin olive oil and olives

– Avocado

– Green leafy vegetables: spinach, kale, arugula, Brussels sprouts, chard and collard greens

– Other vegetables: peppers, mushrooms, cruciferous vegetables.

– Nuts: walnuts, almonds, pistachios, pine nuts

– Fatty fish: salmon, mackerel, tuna, anchovies, anchovies and sardines

– Fruits: especially those richest in antioxidants such as strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, apples, cherries, lemons, grapefruits and oranges

– Garlic and onion

– Spices: ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, black pepper, saffron, cardamom.

– Coffee and green tea

– Dark chocolate and pure cocoa

Mediterranean diet
Mediterranean diet. / Photo: Pixabay

These foods are the best secret to reducing inflammation in the long term, plus they are associated with a long list of additional health benefits. Offer natural antioxidants and polyphenols, which are protective compounds found in plants. In addition, there are numerous specific studies, in which the anti-inflammatory benefits of each of them are endorsed. For example: walnuts are directly related to reduced markers of inflammation and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Also morning coffee is a magnificent ally; It contains polyphenols and other anti-inflammatory compounds that protect against inflammation.

In the case of fatty fish, its anti-inflammatory role in the diet is overwhelming, its content in omega-3 fatty acids: EPA and DHA, is the best ally to reduce inflammation that can lead to metabolic syndrome, heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease. The body metabolizes these fatty acids into compounds called resolvins and proteins, which have anti-inflammatory effects. Specifically, there are studies that have shown that people who consume salmon regularly, experienced reductions in the C-reactive protein (CRP) of the inflammatory marker.

So now you know how to reduce inflammation through diet, it does not require a specific dietary plan. Requires a changing habits and healthier decisions, based on natural foods, seasonal and free of all processed. In addition to reducing inflammation, a more natural and less processed diet may have notable effects on physical and emotional health. A healthy diet is beneficial not only for reducing the risk of chronic diseases, but also for improving mood and overall quality of life.

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