#AceFoodNews says that inflammation is becoming increasingly associated with conditions that range from arthritis to heart disease and even weight gain, it is no wonder that interest in its prevention has come to the forefront of maintaining health. Inflammation in and of itself is not a bad thing; in fact, it is a protective tissue response to injury or destruction of tissues. Therefore, we don’t want to stop the entirety of inflammatory mechanisms in our body if we want to promote good health. What we want to do is control inflammation and not have excess inflammation occurring in our body. It is chronic, excessive inflammation that can propagate health conditions and related symptoms.
English: tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, basil, extra virgin olive oil, salt, black pepper (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Adopting healthy eating habits helps prevent inflammation in three fundamental ways. The first of these involves avoiding inflammatory triggers in your meals. That means that one way to avoid inflammation is to avoid foods to which you are sensitive, which we discussed the last week. The relationship between food sensitivities, inflammation and weight gain is a fascinating topic, which will be covered in the coming weeks.
Avoiding artificial additives, including artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives is another way to lessen inflammation as these are also inflammatory triggers, not only in the digestive system, but in other body systems once these food toxins get absorbed. On a day-in and day-out basis, processed foods containing these additives can trigger chronic, low-level inflammation throughout the body.
A 1-liter glass bottle and bowl Bertolli brand Riserva Premium extra virgin olive oil. Olive oil from Italy, Greece, Spain, and Tunisia, and bottled and packed in Italy. Olive oil purchased in a Stow, Ohio store. Photographed in Kent, Ohio, United States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The second way to keep inflammation at bay is to select foods rich in anti- inflammatory nutrients. At the top of the anti-inflammatory nutrient list are two broad groups of phytonutrients called flavonoids and carotenoids. Many flavonoids and carotenoids have strong anti-inflammatory properties, which are often unique to the specific food involved. Richly colored vegetables and fruits are some of your best bets here, including dark green leafy vegetables, beets, and berries. While it’s important to ensure that you are getting adequate supplies of carotenoids and flavonoids, this shouldn.t be at the expense of other nutrients since all are important. Yet because carotenoid– and flavonoidcontaining foods are also generally rich in so many other vitamins and minerals, they can make great overall contributions to your nutrient goals.
Español: Aceite de Oliva Virgen Extra Denominación de Origen Montes de Granada (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids can also be considered anti-inflammatory because omega-3 fatty acids, like alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), can be converted into regulatory molecules that put the brakes on inflammation. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids include: fish such as wild caught salmon, sardines, tuna, and other cold-water fish; and, nuts and seeds, especially flaxseeds, hemp seeds, and walnuts. Other foods that contain omega-3s in lesser, but still very helpful, amounts include organically grown soybeans, winter squash, and purslane.
Extra virgin olive oil is another food that has been shown to have anti-inflammatory benefits. Some of these benefits come from oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol, two unique polyphenols found in olives. It is important to note that these two phytonutrients are more concentrated in extra virgin olive than in other types of olive oil.
#AceHealthNews says Enjoy your Healthiest Way of Eating and Cooking this week.
Courtesy of George Matejlan Foundation and W.H Foods