The Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Chronic, low-grade inflammation has been linked to the development of both heart disease and cancer. Clearly, any diet or lifestyle that combats inflammation—or at least does not promote it—is likely to be healthier in the longterm than one that encourages inflammation. So I thought I’d review some of the foods that are anti-inflammatory/anti-oxidant stars.
Numerous fresh herbs, such as oregano, rosemary, marjoram, mint, thyme, and basil, contain compounds with anti-inflammatory and/or antioxidant activity. Adding these fresh herbs to your diet may help combat inflammation naturally. The culinary spice, turmeric is made from the dried, ground tuber of the Curcuma longa plant. It’s packed with potent anti-oxidant, antibiotic, and anti-inflammatory compounds.
Ginger is the Grande Dame of anti-inflammatory culinary spices. Used for thousands of years, it’s packed with potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds that help settle queasy stomachs and reduce chronic inflammation. It’s also highly flavorful, with a distinctive taste profile that complements everything from sweet to savory. It pairs well, especially in Asian cuisine, with garlic.
Garlic is believed to protect against disease on a number of fronts, primarily through its ability to modulate the immune system. Evidence suggests that it works to reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, and prevent the development of cancer, among other benefits.
Resveratrol is a uniquely beneficial compound found in plants such as grapes and peanuts. It’s also present in red wine. Research suggests that resveratrol is a potent anti-oxidant compound that can help prevent stiffening of the blood vessel linings—a process linked to the development of cardiovascular disease. Drinking a moderate amount of wine—that’s just one glass a day for women—may help protect your heart and blood vessels from this sort of damage.
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