What you eat can affect your health in many ways. Now we are finding that our diet can fight against inflammation in the body. Inflammation can trigger chronic diseases such as arthritis, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, certain cancers and even Alzheimer’s disease. Being overweight also promotes inflammation, so losing weight can significantly improve health and reduce the risk of chronic illness.
The Mediterranean Diet is probably the best example of a diet that can reduce inflammation. This diet includes plenty of whole fruits and vegetables; good sources of omega-3 fatty acids such as fish or flax seed and nuts. It also includes few refined carbohydrates like white bread, pasta and white rice, and emphasizes whole grains such as brown rice, barley, oats and bulghur wheat as well as limited sugar, sweets and other processed foods.
Soy foods like tofu or edamame are great sources of protein that promote health. Yogurt and other probiotic foods provide additional benefits to an otherwise healthy diet. Foods high in antioxidants and phytochemicals (natural chemicals found in the plant foods) are also believed to help reduce inflammation. Green tea, red wine, dark chocolate (or natural cocoa) have high-quality antioxidants that may have beneficial benefits. Other tasty additions to a healthy diet that reduce inflammation include garlic, ginger, cinnamon and hot spicy seasonings.