The impact of nutrition on the inflammatory process has received a lot of attention as a result of our growing awareness of the role of inflammation in major chronic diseases. Understanding the connection may enable us to pinpoint particular dietary regimens and foods that can reduce chronic inflammation and enhance health.
Inflammation: Helpful, harmful, or both?
Inflammation comes in two flavours: acute and chronic. The body’s defensive reaction to an injury or infection is acute inflammation. For instance, cutting your finger causes acute inflammation. Your body sends white blood cells to the location to defend it. This procedure is essential for preventing infection, even though you can experience pain, redness, and swelling.
When the body tries to get rid of toxic chemicals like toxins from smoking, it may cause chronic inflammation. Excessive fat is also linked to higher levels of chronic inflammation, especially in the abdomen.
Chronic low-grade inflammation can harm the intestines, arteries, nerves, and blood vessels. Chronic problems like heart disease, diabetes, some malignancies, and several intestinal conditions can eventually result from it.
Can diet impact chronic inflammation?
Researchers have discovered that nutrition can affect inflammation by taking a look at markers of inflammation such as C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-). Additionally, a lot of data suggests that diet affects the risk of chronic diseases including diabetes and heart disease. Is nutrition a factor in illness risk through inflammation?
Pro-inflammatory diets may increase risk of cardiovascular disease
consuming the most pro-inflammatory foods had a 38% higher risk of having CVD compared to those consuming the most anti-inflammatory diets. The relationships were constant in men and women, and remained significant even when other lifestyle factors and other potential contributors to inflammation such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol were taken into consideration.
What foods are pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory?
Red meat, processed meat, organ meat, refined carbs like white bread and white rice, various desserts, and sweetened beverages like cola and sports drinks are foods with a higher pro-inflammatory potential.
Green leafy vegetables like kale, collard greens, and spinach, dark yellow veggies like winter and summer squash and yellow peppers, whole grains like wheat berries, quinoa, whole-grain bread, and oatmeal, fruits, tea, coffee, and wine are foods that have a higher anti-inflammatory potential. Specific anti-inflammatory substances such carotenoids, flavonoids, vitamins, and fibre are present in these foods.
Dietary habits that are linked to less inflammation and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. One of these is the Mediterranean diet, which prioritises a variety of anti-inflammatory foods while excluding foods that promote inflammation, such as red meat and refined carbohydrates.
The bottom line: limit pro-inflammatory foods and eat more anti-inflammatory foods
The approach of both limiting pro-inflammatory foods and adopting an anti-inflammatory diet may be a successful method for CVD prevention.
Below are some practical ways to get more anti-inflammatory foods in your diet.
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