Anti inflammatory foods are extremely beneficial to your cells. They are healthy foods that prevent and heal inflammation, which is very important because your cells can become abnormal when they are always exposed to chronic inflammation.
One characteristic of anti-inflammation foods is that they are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. The Omega 3s include Alpha Linoleic Acids (ALA), EicosaPentaenoic Acids (EPA) and DocosaHexaenoic Acids (DHA).
1. Soy Beans
Soy beans are grown and eaten in China for more than 3000 years. In fact, it was the Chinese who invented tofu from soy beans.
These beans are unique because they are vegetables but they contain protein. Soybeans are good substitute for meat because their protein level is the same with meat minus the saturated fats and cholesterol.
Soy beans are excellent anti inflammatory foods. They are superior source of fiber, isoflavones and ALA. Their fiber content provide protective effects for your colon. The Omega 3 fatty acids they contain make them anti inflammatory foods. They provide prevention against inflammatory diseases such a high blood pressure, high HDL cholesterol level in your blood, diabetes, cancer and arthritis.
They are good source of genistein, an isoflavone compound that helps you avoid obesity. Eating soy beans allows your body to produce tinier and lesser fat cells. This prevents obesity-related cancers such as pancreatic cancer.
Examples of soy foods that come from soy beans are tofu, miso, soy milk, tempeh, soy sauce and soya bean oil. However, soy sauce and soya bean oil don't contain isoflavones. Soya bean oil also contains more Omega 6 fatty acids than Omega 3 unlike olive oil and flax seed oil.
Try to avoid using soya bean oil. Choose the healthier oils such as olive and flax seed oil. According to a study published in the International Journal of Cancer, too much Omega 6 fatty acids can increase risk for breast tumors in a post-menopausal woman.
Soy beans are also found to contain phytoestrogens, which are found to have a positive effect on menopausal symptoms in women. The estrogen-like property of soy beans has become an issue of discussion among health experts.
It is true that hormone-replacement therapy, which is used to treat menopausal symptoms, puts you at a higher risk for breast cancer. However, the estrogen used in HRT is synthetic, very potent and is acquired from an animal (a pregnant horse). The synthetic estrogen is very different from the estrogen soy beans contain which is plant-based and natural.
If you consume enough of anti inflammatory foods such as soy beans, you need not take soy supplements. Too much of a good thing can also be bad.
2. Flax Seeds
Flax seeds are very good source of one of the Omega 3 fatty acids known as Alpha Linoleic Acid (ALA). ALA is protective against inflammation.
They are also good sources of dietary fiber. They can be considered as natural colon cleansers because of the fiber they contain. They also help in normalizing the level of cholesterol and blood glucose level among adults.
To get the best health benefits flax provides, use freshly ground or milled flax seeds. I have tried using ground flaxseed on soups and casseroles. What I do is just sprinkle it on the dish before I serve it. It doesn't change the taste of the dish.
Do you love walnuts? Keep munching on them! They may be part of the tree nut family which includes pistachios, pecans, hazelnuts and almonds. However, walnuts are superior in terms of health benefits compared to the other nuts.
According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, walnuts contain the highest amount of Alpha Linoleic Acid or ALA and polyunsaturated fats (Omega 3 and Omega 6) while other nuts only have monounsaturated fats.
According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the ALA in walnuts is more potent in lowering the total and LDL cholesterol than the EPA and DHA in salmon. Walnuts are also rich in gamma tocopherol, which is a form of vitamin E that is for the prevention of heart and other inflammatory diseases.
Walnuts are anti inflammatory foods because they are rich in phytonutrients: tannins, flavonoids and phenols. 90% of phenols are found in their skin. The skin gives a slight bitter taste but I urge you not to remove it when you eat them. The skin contains the walnut's phytonutrients. Its antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties can protect your cells from chronic oxidative stress and chronic inflammation.
Studies have been extensively done on how a diet which includes walnuts can prevent prostate and breast cancers. Approximately 3 ounces a day is the recommended walnut intake for those diagnosed with prostate and breast cancers. But you don't have to wait for a diagnosis before adding walnuts to your diet.
With all these anti-inflammatory benefits walnuts offer, it is quite surprising that about 95% of American adults don't consume these nuts and don't know the benefits at all. This is sad because 38% of the world's supply of walnuts come from the U.S. particularly in California.
4. Cold-Water Fish
Different cold-water fatty fish are the healthiest anti inflammatory foods from the ocean. They include salmon, tuna, herring, mackerel, trout, sardines, anchovies and halibut. Salmon and bluefin tuna have the most potent anti inflammation effects. They contain EicosaPentaenoic Acid (EPA) and DocosaHexaenoic acid (DHA), both forms of Omega 3 fatty acids which can lower triglyceride levels by as much as 30%.
It is recommended that you eat 2 servings of fatty fish per week. If you have inflammatory diseases such as heart problems or cancer, try to eat at least 1 serving of fatty fish a day. The Omega 3s in fatty fish are found to help against depression, dementia, gum disease and age-related macular degeneration. Pregnant women who also have sufficient intake of DHA and EPA give birth to babies who have much lower risk for obesity when they grow up.
If you're a vegetarian, seaweeds are excellent source of DHA. A typical American does not consume enough fatty fish which places him/her at a higher risk for heart diseases and cancer.
The best ways to serve fatty fish are to broil, steam or grill them to maximize their anti-inflammatory properties. If you're taking Omega 3 supplements, do so under the supervision of your doctor. Too much DHA and EPA can cause excessive bleeding in some people.
University of Maryland Medical Center DHA-EPA Omega 3 Institute
Now you already know that anti-inflammation foods are very rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.
What are Omega-3 fatty acids for?
Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated healthy fats. They heal and help in the prevention of inflammation. Olive oil is an extremely good source of healthy fats. In fact, breast cancer prevention is one of the health benefits of olive oil.
Inflammation is one of the sources of nutrients of cancerous cells to survive and spread. The tumor's supply of nutrition is cut off when there is no inflammation. You won't have other health problems as well.
What does this mean if you are diagnosed with cancer?
You can fight cancer. You can stop it from growing and from spreading.
A sound diet of foods that heal combined with your knowledge of the importance of exercise are just some of your best weapons.
When preparing your meals, choose anti inflammatory foods. Chop and sprinkle walnuts on your green salad or your dessert. Sprinkle milled or ground flax seeds on your cereal or even on your casseroles.
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