Mae Chan, Prevent Disease
Researchers at the University of South Carolina, including James Hebert, ScD, and Philip Cavicchia, PhD, scored foods and food components thought to positively or negatively affect levels of inflammation, based on a review of peer-reviewed studies relating to diet and inflammation that were published between 1950 and 2007. Since then, new research is bringing the index closer to “prime time”–ready to be used in epidemiological and clinical studies.
While each plan has its own twist, all are based on the general concept that constant or out-of-control inflammation in the body leads to ill health, and that eating to avoid constant inflammation promotes better health and can ward off disease, says Russell Greenfield, MD, a clinical assistant professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“It’s very clear that inflammation plays a role much more than we thought with respect to certain maladies,” Greenfield stated.
“We always thought anything with an “itis” at the end involved inflammation,” he says, such as arthritis or appendicitis. But even the illnesses without an “itis” at the end, such as cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, even Alzheimer’s disease, may be triggered in part by inflammation, he says.
It is becoming increasingly clear that chronic inflammation may be at the root cause of many serious illnesses.
Carbohydrates, fat and cholesterol are among the food components most likely to encourage inflammation, while magnesium, beta-carotene, vitamins A, B-6, C, D and E, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, flavonoids, turmeric and tea were the strongest anti-inflammatories.
24 Highest Anti-Inflammatory Nutrients
1) Chia seeds
2) Wild fish
8) Olive oil (must be raw Extra Virgin)
10) Ground Flaxseed
12) Apple peel
14) Tea (especially green, white and oolong)
15) Sweet Potatoes
18) Asian mushrooms
21) Hemp seeds
22) Cayenne pepper
24) Tart cherries
The Anti-Inflammatory Diet is not a diet in the popular sense – it is not intended as a weight-loss program (although people can and do lose weight on it), nor is it an eating plan to stay on for a limited period of time. Rather, it is way of selecting and preparing foods based on scientific knowledge of how they can help your body maintain optimum health. Along with influencing inflammation, this diet will provide steady energy and ample vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids dietary fiber, and protective phytonutrients.
About the Author
Mae Chan holds degrees in both physiology and nutritional sciences. She is also blogger and and technology enthusiast with a passion for disseminating information about health.
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