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Foods to Fight Chronic Inflammation
Chronic inflammation, which has been linked to many health problems such as heart disease, cancer, arthritis, depression, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease, increases as we age. But here is some good news – you can reduce chronic inflammation by eating the following delicious foods!
Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, cherries, oranges, mangos, and papaya are all high in antioxidant nutrients. Tip: Bright colors typically indicate a food high in antioxidant nutrients.
Nuts are a good source of fiber, plant protein, and healthy fats. Almonds, walnuts, pistachios, cashews, and pecans are all good, but eat them in moderation since they are high in calories. Tip: crunch them up and sprinkle over salads.
Tomatoes are nutritional powerhouses, as are colorful peppers, and avocados. All are high in vitamin C and other important anti-inflammatory nutrients. Tip: As with fruits, bright colors typically indicate a food high in antioxidant nutrients.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Spinach, kale, collards, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage pack a big anti-inflammatory punch. Tip: to make salads more interesting combine different greens and add yummy extras like apples, oranges, nuts, seeds, and berries.
Fatty fish like salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, and anchovies are a great source of protein and healthy long-chain omega-3 fatty acids that help to reduce inflammation. Tip: Look for wild-caught fish, as farm-raised fish may not provide the same antioxidant benefits.
Extra-virgin olive oil has benefits beyond stemming inflammation. Several studies have shown benefits for heart health, bone loss, and neurological diseases affecting the brain, spine, muscles, and connecting nerves. Tip: Just 3-1/2 Tbsp. of extra-virgin olive oil has more than 400 calories so use it sparingly.
Green tea is one of the healthiest beverages you can drink. It is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, obesity, and more. Tip: Green tea is delicious hot or cold when flavored with fresh mint or lemon or even combined with other teas.
Dark Chocolate and Cocoa
Flavanols are responsible for chocolate’s anti-inflammatory effects and help keep the endothelial cells that line your arteries healthy. Tip: The sugar used to sweeten bitter chocolate is not your friend. Look for 70% cocoa (or more) which indicates your best anti-inflammatory benefit.
Eating local is best. When shopping, check out your farmer’s market to see their seasonal selections. And be sure to avoid foods that increase chronic inflammation, like refined carbohydrates (white bread and pastries), fried foods, sugar, red meat, and margarine. There are many more anti-inflammatory foods you may like, so research online and see your doctor or a licensed nutritionist for the best anti-inflammation diet and exercise plan suited for you.
Get to know Visiting Nurse Association of Northern New Jersey (VNA) now, and all the home health services available to you and your loved ones, before you have a health emergency. We are proud to be the longest-serving VNA in the state of New Jersey, so we know a thing or two about helping seniors.
The Visiting Nurse Association of Northern New Jersey (VNA) is a leading provider of comprehensive home health care services in Morris, Hunterdon, Sussex, and Warren Counties in Northern New Jersey. Established in 1898, generations have known that just one call to VNA opens the door to quality, patient-centered home health care solutions that allow patients to remain in the comfort of their homes with dignity, health, and independence.
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