For what is believed to be the first time, researchers have discovered what effect multiple — rather than just single — anti-inflammatory foods have on healthy people.
The study followed the diets of 44 healthy, overweight people between the ages of 50 and 75. For one month, they ate foods which are presumed to reduce low-grade inflammation in the body. This condition can trigger “metabolic syndrome,” which is a rising problem in society. It’s an array of problems, including high triglycerides, high body fat and high blood pressure, which greatly increase the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Researchers had the individuals follow an entire diet that was high in antioxidant foods, and high in foods low on the glycemic index, which means the foods’ carbohydrates are released slowly into the body, which is ideal.
The foods were heavily focused on being high in omega fatty acids, whole grains, probiotics and dietary fiber. Examples of foods: oily fish; barley; soy protein; blueberries; almonds; cinnamon; vinegar; and wholegrain bread. Researchers have not disclosed all the foods available.
The telling results:
— LDL (“bad”) cholesterol was reduced by 33%
— Fats in the blood lipids were reduced by 14%
— Blood pressure was reduced by eight percent
— A risk marker for blood clots dropped by 26%
— A marker of inflammation also saw significant reduction
— Memory skills seemed improved
— Cognitive function seemed improved
What we do know is that if you keep your diet high in certain groups of foods, you will be delivering the ultimate level of disease-fighting nutrients to your body. All berries are excellent options. All members of the cruciferous vegetable family are brimming with top-shelf nutrients; these include foods like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and all dark green, leafy vegetables.
As mentioned in the study, fish is an integral part of a disease-prevention diet. Oily fish like salmon, tuna, halibut and sardines have high levels of the heart- and mind-strengthening omega-3s. Selecting olive oil in place of butter will deliver boatfuls of healthy unsaturated fats into the body. Rounding out the basic list of great foods would be low-fat dairy products (including yogurt high in probiotics) and whole grains in place of refined grains.