An Anti-Inflammatory Diet Can Help You Live a Longer Life
Following a diet packed with foods that lower the markers of inflammation in our bodies can lower our risk for an early death.
If you’re hoping to live a long and healthy life, you might want to embrace an anti-inflammatory diet.
New research published in the Journal of Internal Medicine suggests that a diet that includes foods like fruits and vegetables, and mostly steers clear of processed foods, is associated with a lower risk of death at an early age.
The research was led by Joanna Kaluza, DSc, an associate professor at the Warsaw University of Life Sciences in Poland. It looked at 68,273 Swedish men and women between the ages of 45 and 83.
What is an anti-inflammatory diet?
Ali Webster, PhD, RD, associate director of nutrition communications at the International Food Information Council Foundation, described it as a kind of diet that focuses on foods high in nutrients — especially antioxidants —that have been tied with “lowering the markers of inflammation in our bodies.”
“Its key players are foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, healthy fats — like those that come from olive oil and avocado — fish, nuts, and dark chocolate,” Webster told Healthline. “Red wine is sometimes considered to be a component of an anti-inflammatory diet, though it should be consumed in moderation.”
If you’re thinking that sounds a lot like the popular Mediterranean diet, you’re right.
Webster explained that an anti-inflammatory diet is basically an “on-trend term that describes established recommendations for eating healthy.”
Dana Hunnes, PhD, MPH, RD, a senior dietitian at UCLA Medical Center, added that anything that’s “nutrient dense” with “a lot of vitamins and minerals and color, from a natural source” would be an ideal component of this diet.
However, an anti-inflammatory diet isn’t just about what you eat, but what you don’t eat.
“Inflammation is a complicated process that even the most knowledgeable scientists don’t completely understand,” Webster said. “But there is some research to support that eating recommended amounts of foods like fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and whole grains can reduce risk for chronic diseases that have an inflammatory component, such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer.”