Some foods can increase the inflammatory state of our body and put heart health at risk
From avocado seeds the anti-inflammatories of the future
Nutrition plays a very important role for our health, and that is why adopting a varied and balanced diet is the first step to stay fit and reduce the risk of developing various diseases. This time, scientists are targeting the relationship between food and inflammation of the organism, a condition that can cause the onset of heart disease.
Inflammation is a defense mechanism that our immune system puts in place to protect the body from pathogens or to repair damaged tissues (as happens, for example, following a trauma). When the immune response lasts for a long time, we can speak of a chronic inflammatory state, which can be the cause of numerous diseases – including those involving the cardiovascular system.
Also in this case, nutrition plays a fundamental role: there are foods that have anti-inflammatory properties, which therefore act to protect the entire body and, in particular, the health of the heart. A recent study, the results of which were published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, analyzed this very important correlation between anti-inflammatory diet and heart problems.
The research involved over 210,000 subjects over a span of 32 years, so as to also study the long-term effects of eating foods capable of increasing inflammation. And it emerged that a pro-inflammatory diet has a clear link with an increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.
"The 20% of the study population that consumed the most pro-inflammatory foods was 46% more likely to develop heart disease and 28% more likely to develop stroke" – explained Dr. Jun Li, Nutrition Researcher at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health in Boston and lead author of the study.
So what are the foods we should avoid, an anti-inflammatory diet? Processed foods are those most at risk: refined grains, processed meats and sugary drinks increase inflammation in the body, as do cheeses (mainly due to their fat content).
On the contrary, a diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat foods helps us protect the heart. More generally, these foods are an excellent source of fiber, antioxidants and other substances that are important for the health of the entire body, and for this reason they should never be missing in our diet.