5 Dietitian-Approved Foods To Fight Inflammation
January 18, 2018 | BY Sally Shi-Po Poon
Inflammation can be a long-term physiological response to environmental toxins, infection, poor nutrition, stress, and ageing. Chronic inflammation causes damage to cells and can eventually lead to diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, depression and Alzheimer's.
Here are five dietitian-approved anti-inflammatory foods which have been proven safe and effective in combating inflammation in the body:
Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. A study found that women who ate more omega-3 had lower levels of inflammatory markers in the blood, which might explain the effects of these fatty acids in preventing cardiovascular disease.
The American Heart Association recommends eating at least two servings of fish (particularly fatty fish) per week week. Other fatty fish like albacore tuna, herring, lake trout, mackerel, and sardines are also high in omega-3 fatty acids.
Beans are rich in dietary fibre, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory compounds, which help lower the levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), one of the key markers of inflammation in the blood. Studies have found that a high fibre diet helps to reduce CRP levels. Fruits, vegetables and whole grains also contain plenty of dietary fibre and antioxidants, which can fight inflammation.
Walnuts are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, dietary fibre, and phytonutrients that can protect against inflammation and promote healthy ageing. Although nuts and seeds have anti-inflammatory benefits, they are high in calories so be mindful of portion sizes.
Whilst the number of nuts per serving varies by type, a typical serving is 1 ounce (about 1/4 cup) or a small handful. One ounce of English walnuts equals 14 halves.
Extra virgin olive oil
Extra virgin olive oil is squeezed directly from the olive fruit, and is credited as being one of the key healthful components of the Mediterranean diet. Extra virgin olive oil is not refined or extracted using chemicals or heat, leaving it high in natural antioxidants, such as oleocanthal, which have significant anti-inflammatory properties.
Although olive oil has lots of health benefits and tastes good in salad or pasta, it is energy dense so eating too much can cause weight gain. The healthy eating guideline recommends using 4 to 6 teaspoons of oil in your cooking or salad dressing per day.
Turmeric is very popular in grocery stores lately due to its promising anti-inflammatory benefit. Curcumin is the key active compound in turmeric but its absorption is poor. Consuming curcumin with some black pepper and healthy oils can enhance its absorption. It goes well with grains, beans, vegetables and white meats; and can enhance the flavour of soups and stews.
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