Are there foods you can eat to reduce chronic inflammation? Health issues related to chronic inflammation have been getting quite a bit of attention in recent years. Ironically, inflammation is an important part of the immune system — in young people, bouts of inflammation actually help fight off disease and help repair damage from injury or exposure to harmful substances.
But according to the National Institutes of Health (more precisely, the National institute on Aging), as people grow older, chronic inflammation often sets in, and it tends to be associated with a whole host of diseases and conditions, including heart disease, arthritis, frailty, type 2 diabetes, physical disability and dementia. The challenge is that the science to help us understand this link is still evolving. Does chronic inflammation lead to these conditions? Or is it merely a marker in someone whose body is already trying to deal with them? Or, is it possible that chronic inflammation and these ailments have a more complex relationship?
That said, chronic inflammation is associated with these conditions, some of which can be debilitating. And it appears that an overall healthy diet, especially one that’s rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and omega-3 fatty acids, can help reduce mild chronic inflammation. While, again, the evidence isn’t quite clear, it is promising. Knowing that there could be this added benefit to eating right might help nudge you toward reaching for that apple instead of an apple fritter.