Foods can help with inflammation

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Foods can help with inflammation

One of the most powerful tools to combat inflammation comes from the grocery store, not the pharmacy, according to the Harvard Medical School.

Eating anti-inflammatory foods can help reduce the risk of illness, Harvard experts state. Picking the wrong ones can accelerate the inflammatory disease process. Many major diseases—including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease—have been linked to chronic inflammation.

Foods to avoid that cause inflammation include the following:

  • Refined carbohydrates (white bread, pastries)
  • French fries and other fried foods
  • Soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages
  • Red meat (burgers, steaks) and processed meat (hot dogs, sausage)
  • Margarine, shortening, lard

Other foods can help reduce inflammation and the chronic diseases that come with it. These include fruits, vegetables, and leafy greens that are high in natural antioxidants and polyphenols—protective compounds found in plants. These healthy foods include the following:

• Tomatoes
• Olive oil
• Spinach, kale, and collards
• Nuts (almonds, walnuts)
• Fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines)
• Fruits (strawberries, blueberries, cherries, oranges)

While medications and other treatments for inflammation are important, many experts contend a healthy diet may also help.

Research has shown that eating a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods can lower the risk of chronic disease, as well as promote digestive and brain health, and slow skin aging.