Inflammation is an important aspect in many chronic diseases, including cancer, dementia, diabetes, and many others. Inflammation is a normal and even healthy thing under the right conditions, such as when a person cuts their finger. In that case, it means that the body is sending germ fighting inflammatory substances that prevent infection to the site of the injury.
However, when inflammation sticks around for a long time, making it chronic, it can trigger illness because the immune system attacks healthy tissues. Doctors don’t know exactly what makes a person suffer from chronic inflammation, but they have identified factors that contribute to inflammation. One of those factors is the way a person eats.
Foods that Fight Inflammation
Eating an anti-inflammatory diet means choosing foods that reduce the body’s inflammatory response. One kind of diet known to reduce inflammation is the Mediterranean Diet, which includes fish, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats.
Some specific kinds of foods that are part of the Mediterranean Diet and fight inflammation are:
Fruits and Vegetables: The vitamins and minerals in all fruits and vegetables provide the body with the nutrients they need to combat inflammation. They contain antioxidants that fight molecules that damage cells. The fiber also helps the digestive process to produce anti-inflammatory substances. And, fruits and vegetables are low in calories, so they help with maintaining a healthy weight. Seniors hoping to fight inflammation should eat a minimum of 5 half-cup servings daily, though experts say that eating twice that amount is even better.
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: People in Greece have used olive oil for medicinal purposes for centuries. It contains more than 200 healthy compounds. Research shows that eating 4 tablespoons of olive oil per day helps with both inflammation and heart disease.
Fish: Eating at least two servings of fish every week supplies the body with omega-3s that are considered essential to preventing certain kinds of disease.
In addition to eating healthy foods, limiting refined grains like white flour, sugar, and fried foods can also help to reduce inflammation.
Senior care providers can assist your older family member in following an anti-inflammatory diet. Senior care providers can help them to plan meals that are both healthy and delicious. Senior care providers can also drive the older adult to the grocery store and assist them with shopping for ingredients. And, senior care providers can cook for your aging relative or help them to cook for themselves.