! Anti-Inflammatory Foods !
By Jack Challem
Chronic inflammation almost always lurks beneath the surface of diabetes and excess weight.
You can't see or feel it, but this type of inflammation increases the risk of coronary heart disease,
the leading cause of death among people with diabetes.
Processed sugars and other high-glycemic starches increase inflammation, just as they raise
blood sugar, according to an article in the March 2002 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Good news, though: Many foods have anti-inflammatory properties. Here are 11 of the best...
1. Salmon. Coldwater fish, including salmon, contain anti-inflammatory fats called omega-3s.
Wild salmon has more of these super-healthy fats than does farmed salmon.
Shopping tip: All salmon from Alaska is wild, whereas Atlantic salmon is usually farmed.
Herring, sardines, and tuna also contain omega-3s.
2. Grass-fed beef and other animal foods. As opposed to traditional, grain-fed livestock, meat
that comes from animals fed grass also contains anti-inflammatory omega-3s, but in lower
concentrations than coldwater fish. Free-range livestock that graze in pastures build up higher
levels of omega-3s. Meat from grain-fed animals has virtually no omega-3s and plenty of
Cooking tip: Unless it's ground, grass-fed beef may be tougher, so slow cook it.
3. Olive oil. Olive oil is a great source of oleic acid, another anti-inflammatory oil. Researchers
wrote in the October 2007 Journal of the American College of Nutrition that those who consume
more oleic acid have better insulin function and lower blood sugar.
Shopping tip: Opt for extra-virgin olive oil, which is the least processed, and use it instead of
other cooking oils. Other "cold-pressed" or "expeller-pressed" oils can be good sources, too.
4. Salads. Dark-green lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, and other salad veggies are rich in vitamin C
and other antioxidants, nutrients that dampen inflammation.
Suggestion: Opt for olive oil-and-vinegar salad dressing (vinegar helps moderate blood sugar),
and skip the croutons.
5. Cruciferous vegetables. These veggies, which include broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts,
and kale (Kale = highest rating for anti-oxidants; 1000 out of 1000 in a Men's Journal shoot-out of the BEST veggies to eat), are also loaded with antioxidants. But they provide one other ingredient -- sulfur -- that
the body needs to make its own high-powered antioxidants.
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