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The Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Scientists have known for years that inflammation is the enemy of good health. Obesity, arthritis, certain cancer, dementia, fatigue, erectile dysfunction, diabetes, heart attacks and strokes are all linked to chronic inflammation. And the way to reduce inflammation is totally within our control. It starts with what we eat.

Two Papers published in this weeks Journal of Cardiology AGAIN confirm what prior studies have shown, that our diets are the culprit for cardiovascular disease. One study looked at 166,000 women and 44,000 men with 24-30 years of follow-up. The second study reported on 634 participants. They looked at markers of inflammation along with disease outcomes. Let me summarize the findings and you can make the diet changes to increase your own health span.

The researchers controlled for statins, supplements and other anti-inflammatory medications. They found that the participants who ate these foods, no matter their age, sex or genetics had a significant decrease in cardiovascular events, even if they were considered high-risk. Think about it! This is about prevention and living long and healthy.

Anti-inflammatory foods:

  • Green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, cabbage, watercress, romaine lettuce, Swiss chard, arugula, endive)

  • Yellow vegetables (pumpkin, bell peppers, beans, carrots,)

  • Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage)

  • Whole grains (wheat, oat, rye, buckwheat, millet)

  • Coffee, tea, cocoa and wine

  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • fatty fish (Salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel, anchovies)

  • tomatoes and onion

  • Fruits (blueberries, pomegranate, orange, cherries, strawberry apples, pears

  • nuts

Notice none of the foods in this photo are included above. These foods are "pro-inflammatory". Also no meat, chicken, pork or lamb is anti-inflammatory and almost all processed foods cause inflammation in the blood.

You don't need to do any crazy diets for a long and healthy life. But you do need to change the American Diet drastically. Most of my patients think they eat healthy. When we really look at their diets, they are not getting enough of the anti-inflammatory nutrients from foods that prevent chronic conditions. Look at the list above. Plan your diet around these foods and make sure every meal includes these foods in some way.

Go to the EverythingHealth main page to find recipes and favorite things that will help your journey. Warning...if you google these topics you will be struck with lots of companies that look legit, but are selling supplements and other products. Remember, Food is Medicine.


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