September 2016 \\ Category: Anti-inflammatory food
There is a reason why the Japanese have the longest life expectancy in the world and only rarely suffer from chronic diseases. The Japanese have been eating a diet based on mainly anti-inflammatory ingredients (vegetables, fermented food, fatty fish, spices loaded with antioxidants like ginger) for thousands of years. Within Europe, Spain is number 1 in life expectancy due to their Mediterranean diet high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish, and healthy oils. These types of food are essential in reducing inflammation in the body and one of the main reasons for living a long and healthy life.
Harvard researchers have started to link long term, chronic inflammation to the major chronic diseases as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, depression, and Alzheimer’s (1). However, there is still a lack of general studies to prove the fairly obvious hypothesis, that eating an anti-inflammatory diet will reduce the risk of chronic inflammation significantly. One could be led to the suspicion that, since it is not in the interest of the big pharmaceutical companies to sponsor such food studies, it's hard to find the funding.
With the knowledge of the longer life expectancy amongst the countries with a more anti-inflammatory diet,we do however have "evidence" enough to understand and believe the obvious fact that we can prevent inflammations by eating an anti-inflammatory diet - and thereby prevent a lot of the diseases we struggle with in the Western countries.
In order to understand what chronic inflammation is, you can think of what happens when you scratch your knee. It gets warm, swollen and red. This is because the white blood cells in our immune system tries to fix it and get the dirt out of the wound. Your immune system attacks anything in your body that it recognises as foreign. The white blood cells attack the tissue in the inflamed area and help to reduce inflammation. For instance when we experience a virus or pollen etc. the inflammation created by the immune system aim to kill the foreign invaders and protects us.
But a small red scratch on the knee that heals over time, is very different from a state of chronic inflammation, which can be very dangerous. If the inflammation process is never “shut off” and gets out of control, the constant production of immune cells attacks the normal cells in the body’s tissues - in the organs, joints, veins, intestines, leading to chronic diseases - from obesity and diabetes to heart disease and cancer. So the process which normally heals - becomes very destructive.
Luckily we can fight these inflammatory conditions ourselves by eating anti-inflammatory food. An anti-inflammatory diet will also benefit the immune system in general as 80% of our immune-system is created in our gut.
Food is like medicine. Food is like medicine. Why don’t you spoil yourself rotten in cancer fighting, Alzheimer healing, nervous system treating, skin improving ingredients?:
Other important life-style parameters to take into account are: