Inflammation is a natural immune response, it fights foreign substances in our body that are not good for us. However, sometimes our bodies can go into overdrive and constantly react to a variety outside factors. This is referred to as chronic inflammation and chronic inflammation can cause a host of long term health problems. According to Harvard Health, the best way to fight chronic inflammation is with a healthy diet. Foods that are high in antioxidants and polyphenols are effective at reducing inflammation.
1) Dark Chocolate
Dark Chocolate is the health food that everyone loves to love! It can satisfy your cravings and improve your health. Eat This, Not That cites a Louisiana State University study that found, “gut microbes in our stomach ferment chocolate into heart-healthy, anti-inflammatory compounds that shut down genes linked to insulin resistance and inflammation.” For the most beneficial effects, choose a chocolate that is 70% cacao or more and has relatively low amounts of sugar.
Blueberries are well known for their high levels of antioxidants, but they also contain potassium and vitamin C. WebMD suggests that not only do blueberries reduce inflammation, but they reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. WebMD suggests eating a ½ cup serving of blueberries every day.
3) Extra Virgin Olive Oil
When you cook, replace margarine or butter with extra virgin olive oil. This healthy fat makes food taste great and helps reduce inflammation. HealthLine cited a study that found inflammation markers decreased in subjects that consume 1.7 ounces of olive oil every day. Mix it with a little vinegar to put on your salad, toss it with some roasted vegetables, or dip your whole wheat bread in it, to include some in your everyday diet.
Coffee has been linked with a long list of health benefits. A recent study at Stanford, cited by the Verge, has some ideas about why. Scientist think that caffeine blocks adenosine in our brain, which is what keeps us from feeling sleepy when we drink it. The new study, because of a corollary effect, presumes that coffee also blocks adenine and adenosine in our immune cells, preventing an overactive immune response, thereby, preventing inflammation. While this study still needs more confirmation, many health studies have found coffee to be beneficial. So if you already enjoy it, savor a a daily cup or two without any guilt. Its good for you!
Making Healthy Choices
If you can reduce inflammation in your body, you can combat chronic diseases that plague so many people. Heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes are all potentially linked to inflammation. Make healthy choices with your diet and indulge in the foods that can keep you healthy and well.