Fight inflammation with these two foods
Although inflammation is a normal response to infection or injury, experts agree that in the long term, high levels of inflammation in the body aren’t good.
Some conditions (like inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis and diabetes) are linked with inflammation. In some cases this is down to high levels of body fat which can trigger the inflammatory process.
Scientists don't fully understand all the factors that affect inflammation, but they do agree that diet can help to reduce the risk of inflammatory conditions.
For example, a Mediterranean style diet has been shown to lower inflammatory markers and experts think this is thanks to two key foods - fish and olive oil.
Say yes to oily fish
The essential fats found in oily fish lower levels of pro-inflammatory hormones triggered by the immune system. Greek researchers from Harokopio University in Athens found that eating more than 300 grams of fish per week (about two fish fillets) was linked with 33 percent lower levels of inflammatory markers.
Salmon, mackerel, herring and anchovies have some of the highest levels of omega-3. To benefit, aim for two portions a week, or consider an omega-3 supplement containing at least 500mg of omega-3 per day.
The main fat used in the Mediterranean diet is olive oil. This fruity fat contains a compound called oleocanthal, which shares the same anti-inflammatory pathways as ibuprofen. In a 2013 Canadian study, men and women asked to consume olive oil for 12 weeks experienced increases in anti-inflammatory markers.
Changing to olive oil is an easy swap to make in the kitchen – choose extra virgin cold pressed olive oil for the highest levels of anti-anti-inflammatory compounds and keep in a cool dark cupboard. Use in dressings and to drizzle over bread, but avoid cooking at very high temperatures as this can destroy the beneficial plant chemicals contained in the oil.