Inflammation is your body’s response to an injury as it works to heal itself. However, inflammation can become problematic when it starts, even when there is no injury, or when it doesn’t end. Chronic inflammation can increase your risk for health problems, including cancer and heart disease.
An anti-inflammatory diet may be the answer
Some foods, such as those high in saturated and trans-fat, are known to promote inflammation. Other foods are anti-inflammatory and can help fight inflammation throughout the body. Following a diet that includes fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, fish, beans, nuts and olive oil can help reduce your risk of inflammatory diseases. Try these healthy eating tips:
- Eat at least five servings per day of fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Replace saturated and trans fats with healthier unsaturated fat sources, such as olive oil or coconut oil.
- Eat fatty fish three to five times a week. Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids which can help to lower triglyceride levels. If you don’t like fish, try a variety of plant-based sources, such as leafy greens, walnuts, flax and chia seeds, olive oil and avocado.
- Choose whole grains, such as oatmeal, whole grain bread and brown rice.
- Aim for smaller amounts of red meat, cheese, butter and other high-fat animal products. Choose lean meats and plant-based protein sources, such as nuts, seeds and beans more often.
- Eat more fresh and frozen foods and fewer processed foods.
- Substitute herbs and spices, such as cumin, garlic, ginger, cinnamon and turmeric, for salt to flavor your food.
- Regular exercise can also help reduce inflammation. Aim for about 30 minutes a day of moderate to vigorous activity.