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Top 10 Foods to Reduce Inflammation

By Chris Brown

Chronic inflammation is a key contributor to most diseases of aging that includes diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer's dementia. While one's level of inflammation is partly genetic and partly based upon lifestyle factors, such as sleep quality and weight, one's diet plays a huge role in their body-wide inflammation. Below are the top 10 foods to eat for a healthier life of reduced inflammation.

  • Fatty fish - The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish like salmon and sardines reduce the C-reactive protein inflammatory markers linked to heart disease and diabetes.
  • Cook with olive oil - Skip the cholesterol-rich butter and free-radical-filled vegetable oil and coat your cooking pans in inflammation-reducing olive oil. This is because olive oil contains healthy monounsaturated fats and an antioxidant called oleocanthal that can have similar inflammation-reducing effects as ibuprofen.
  • Berries - Berries, from strawberries to blueberries, are rich in antioxidants that combat inflammation from daily-life's free radicals.
  • Cruciferous vegetables - While they sound like dinosaurs from the Jurassic age, cruciferous vegetables are actually large, green veggies like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage. Not only are they rich in vitamins, they contain an antioxidant, sulforaphane, that powerfully reduces inflammation-inducing cytokines
  • Green tea - Green tea has been studied specifically for its ability to protect against Alzheimer's disease, cancer, obesity, and heart disease. Much of these benefits are the result of the tea's anti-inflammatory effects upon the body, so relax with a hot mug of green tea and get healthier in the process.
  • Avocados - In a study out of UCLA, those who ate a hamburger with avocado had fewer inflammatory markers than those who ate a hamburger plain. This may be the result of avocados' richness in carotenoids, tocopherols, and an anti-inflammatory natural sugar called AV119.
  • Grapes - There is a health reason why grapes are so beloved in Southern Europe. Besides being a tasty snack and the magic ingredient behind wine, grapes contain anthocyanins that reduces inflammatory cytokines in the body.
  • Mushrooms - The phenols and antioxidants found in mushrooms protect against body-wide inflammation with some even reducing inflammation that resulted from obesity. It is important to note that studies have shown mushrooms' anti-inflammatory effects significantly reduced when cooked.
  • Tomatoes - Tomatoes are a rich source of lycopene, an antioxidant particularly adept at reducing the inflammation related to cancers. It is best absorbed into the body with fat, so combining tomatoes along with a fatty ingredient, such as a fatty fish or olive oil, can maximize its benefits.
  • Nuts - Encased in nuts' tiny containers is a plethora of anti-inflammatory vitamins and minerals including Vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and magnesium.

You may recognize many of these anti-inflammatory foods are staples of some of the most popular cuisines from Europe, particularly Italian and Greek. In fact, the Mediterranean diet has long been recommended by doctors for those seeking lowered inflammation and slowed aging. A large factor in these cuisines' health effects are the high-percentage of these anti-inflammatory ingredients. By incorporating more anti-inflammatory foods into your own meals, you can experience similar benefits of a lower inflammatory life.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Jacksonville Beach, Fla.

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