Dietary Practices That Decrease Inflammation

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Today's Supplement Tip : Inflammation

Whole-body inflammation is linked to heart disease, cancer, and premature death. Obesity is an important triggering agent for inflammation. Inflammation is the body’s way of dealing with chemical and mechanical assaults on its tissues. Early responses include pain, swelling, and redness, while later phases involve cellular repair. Destructive inflammation is linked to consumption of refined carbohydrates and vegetable oils rich in Omega-6 fatty acids, and decreased consumption of Omega-3 fatty acids.

A literature review by nutrition experts Barry Sears and Camillo Ricordi suggested that consuming more Omega-3 fatty acids and polyphenols could decrease inflammation and promote metabolic health. They suggested consuming diets containing 30 percent fat that are low in Omega-6 and saturated fats. People should consume 20-30 grams of protein during each meal to trigger thermogenesis (increased calorie burning). Eat about 40 grams of complex carbohydrates during each meal, which will minimize spikes in blood sugar and insulin.

The Mediterranean diet— which is rich in fruits, vegetables, pasta, whole grains, lean meats, olive oil, and red wine— is a good choice for preventing inflammation and heart disease, and for promoting longevity and optimal metabolic health.

(Journal of Obesity, published online August 17, 2010)

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