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Dietary tips to calm inflammation
  • Dietary Tips to Calm Inflammation


27th October, 2009

Chronic inflammation is heavily implicated in the development and progression of chronic diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Certain dietary patterns promote inflammation while others dampen it. Taking the following dietary advice may help reduce inflammation:

 

ü      Eat oily fish at least once a week. Fish is rich in the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). EPA & DHA serve as a source of eicosanoids, chemicals involved in regulating inflammation. EPA inhibits the synthesis of eicosanoids from the omega-6 arachidonic acid; this is important because eicosanoids derived from arachidonic acid are pro-inflammatory.

 

ü      Eat walnuts, flaxseeds and soy. They are rich in α-linolenic acid (ALA), which is used to synthesise DHA and EPA. 

 

ü      Spice up your meals. Ginger and turmeric, used in significant quantities in Asian cooking, have powerful antiinflammatory properties.

 

ü      Eat pineapple as a snack. Bromelain, a digestive enzyme found in pineapples, which has to inhibit the biosynthesis of pro-inflammatory prostaglandins.

 

ü      Enjoy an apple a day; the fruit is rich in quercetin, well known for its anti inflammatory properties.

 

ü      Include lots of fruits and vegetables in the diet. Inflammation is a major source of reactive substances known as free radicals; plant foods such as berries, red grapes, prunes, tea and dark chocolate are rich in phytochemicals that manage free radicals.

 

ü      Be vigilant about the effects of nightshade foods. These foods include tomatoes, white potatoes, chilli pepper and egg plant; they contain solanine, a compound which may increase painful inflammation in some people.

 

ü      Moderate consumption of meat. It is rich in arachidonic acid. In addition it is best to moderate consumption of vegetable oil, which is a rich source of linoleic acid, which is used to synthesise arachidonic acid; use olive oil for cooking.

 

ü      Eliminate transfats, which are created through hydrogenation – the process by which hydrogen atoms are added to solidify liquid vegetable oil into a spread. Trans fats raise LDL cholesterol
     and lower levels of HDL cholesterol.

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