Anti-inflammatory foods to reduce heart disease

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One study looked at the impact of inflammatory foods on the development of heart disease.

Let your diet be your only medicine. A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology sought to evaluate the positive effects of consuming certain foods in reducing the risk of inflammation and heart disease. Chronic inflammation plays an important role in the development of heart disease and stroke.

For this study, the researchers analyzed data from more than 210,000 people. They all completed a survey every four years to check their food intake. "Using a food index to assess levels of inflammation, we found that eating patterns with the highest inflammatory potential were associated with higher rates of cardiovascular disease," said Jun Li, MD, PhD, lead author Study and Research Scientist at the Department of Nutrition, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. Before continuing: "Our study is one of the first to link an inflammatory index of the diet with a long-term risk of cardiovascular disease."

Go for spinach and carrots

According to this study, those who followed pro-inflammatory diets had a 46% higher risk of developing heart disease than those who did not. Additionally, 28% also had an increased risk of stroke, compared to those on anti-inflammatory diets. Based on these findings, the researchers recommend consuming foods with higher levels of antioxidants and fiber to help fight inflammation.

Thus, they encourage the consumption of green leafy vegetables (kale, spinach, cabbage, arugula), yellow vegetables (squash, yellow peppers, beans, carrots). To make an ideal dish, they recommend limiting the consumption of sugars and refined cereals, fried foods, sodas and restricting processed meat.

Include nuts in your diet

"A better understanding of the health protection that different foods and diets provide should provide the basis for designing even healthier diets to protect against heart disease. When choosing foods in our diet, be wary of their pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory potential." , says Ramon Estruch, MD, PhD, senior consultant in the department of internal medicine at the hospital clinic in Barcelona, Spain.

Another study investigated the benefits of incorporating walnuts into your diet. For this, 634 participants were given a diet without nuts. Outcome? Those who dieted with walnuts showed significantly reduced levels of inflammation in the body in six of the ten inflammatory biomarkers tested.

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