Eat these 7 healthy Mediterranean foods to fight inflammation
- 3 Minutes Read
Have you heard that inflammation is at the root of many health woes? Take charge by adding these healthy Mediterranean foods to fight inflammation.
You've heard that inflammation is the enemy. While inflammation helps to defend your body in the short term, it can be damaging over time. Chronic inflammation can damage your blood vessels and increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and arthritis.
The good news? There are many tasty and easily accessible foods that fight inflammation and the Mediterranean diet is a great place to start.
The Mediterranean diet is based on traditional diets in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. While there is no one "anti-inflammatory diet," the Mediterranean diet is the best way to load up on foods to fight inflammation and is rated a top healthy eating pattern.
The Mediterranean diet includes protective:
The Mediterranean diet is low in inflammation-promoting:
While the overall eating pattern is responsible for the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet, you can start eating these foods to fight inflammation now.
Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, chard, and collards are nutrition powerhouses. These greens are high in magnesium, a mineral that may lower inflammation. Leafy greens are high in protective vitamins A and K, and carotenoids, which give many fruits and veggies their color. Pair leafy greens with olive oil to get the full benefit of nutrients that require fat to be absorbed.
A symbol of the Mediterranean diet, olive oil is packed with heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Extra virgin olive oil (made from the first pressing of the olives) is higher in protective polyphenols than more refined olive oil, and is the main source of added fat in the Mediterranean diet.
Olive oil can bring more benefits when you use it as a substitute for less healthy fats and oils.
Fish is an important part of the Mediterranean diet. Fish is a unique source of the anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats DHA and EPA. Fattier fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, and herring provide the highest levels of omega-3s.
Beans are one of the most overlooked healthy Mediterranean foods. High fiber foods such as beans may help inflammation by supporting healthy gut bacteria.
The carbs in beans are slow to turn into blood sugar. Diets focusing on these types of slow-burning carbs may lower inflammation. Beans are also high in magnesium.
These sweet and colorful treats contain powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins and are good sources of fiber.
Tomatoes rate highly as an anti-inflammatory and heart-protective food. Tomatoes are rich in the antioxidant lycopene as well as vitamin C.
Don't like raw tomatoes? The lycopene in cooked tomatoes is actually absorbed better.
Nuts are a reliable source of healthy unsaturated fats, fiber, magnesium, and vitamin E. Nuts are linked with many health benefits including heart health and lower diabetes risk, and can help with satiety (the sense of feeling full).
The Mediterranean diet is the best way to include foods to fight inflammation. Enjoy one or more of these healthy Mediterranean foods today.
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