A lifestyle that focuses on a healthy approach to food has been linked to an anti-inflammatory diet as it is speculated to cause an immune response that lowers reactive proteins. In general the anti-inflammatory diets suggests the following:
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Minimize saturated and trans fats.
Eat a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish or fish oil supplements and
Watch your intake of refined carbohydrates such as pasta and white rice.
Eat plenty of whole grains such as brown rice and bulgur wheat.
Eat lean protein sources such as chicken; cut back on red meat and full-fat dairy
Avoid refined foods and processed foods.
Spice it up. Ginger, curry, and other spices can have an anti-inflammatory effect.
A related diet the Mediterranean diet, has been and is associated with improved cardiac outcomes, and lower risk of stroke, based on a new study that investigated a large population group.
The study was one of the largest of its kind and involved about 7,500 people in Spain. Participants who ate a Mediterranean-style diet with lots of olive oil or nuts had a 30 percent lower risk of major cardiovascular problems compared to those who were told to follow a low-fat diet but who in reality, didn’t cut fat very much.
The Mediterranean lifestyle consists of lots of fruit, fish, chicken, beans, tomato sauce, salads, and wine and little baked goods and pastries. The results were published by the New England Journal of Medicine and were discussed at a nutrition conference in Loma Linda, Calif.
The study examined people in the 55 to 80 year age range and did not require people to follow rigid menus or meet calorie goals as weight loss was not the aim, and only 7% of study participants dropped out within 2 years.
Researchers also provided the nuts and olive oil, so it didn’t cost participants anything to use these relatively pricey ingredients. The type of oil may have mattered – they used extra-virgin olive oil, which is minimally processed and richer than regular or light olive oil in the chemicals and nutrients that earlier studies have suggested are beneficial.
Doctors tracked a composite of heart attacks, strokes or heart-related deaths. There were 96 of these in the Mediterranean-olive oil group, 83 in the Mediterranean-nut group and 109 in the low-fat group and found that the risk of heart disease was conclusively lowered.