5 Types of Anti-Inflammatory Foods to Protect Your Heart

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When something activates the body’s immune system, it’s often caused by some type of reaction to bacteria, pollen, chemicals, or some other foreign invader.

The immune system jumps into action to try and neutralize the threat. But in the process, this often triggers inflammation. And that’s a good thing when it’s a short-lived battle.

However, sometimes inflammation becomes a chronic problem. This can take a toll on your health, and raise your risk for heart disease.

What can you do to prevent inflammation?

For a lot of people, making lifestyle habits can make a big difference to reduce inflammation. This can include:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight or losing weight if you need to
  • Exercising at least 30 minutes a day
  • Getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night
  • Managing stress in healthy ways
  • Medication can help reduce inflammation, too

There’s one more way to prevent or reduce inflammation. And it may have the biggest impact on improving your overall health AND lowering your risk for heart disease. It’s your diet. First, avoid foods that increase inflammation, like:

  • White bread, rice, pasta and pastries
  • French fries and other fried foods
  • Sugary drinks and sodas
  • Red and processed meats (especially hot dogs, sausage, and canned meats)
  • Foods made with margarine, shortening and lard

So what foods help fight inflammation? Add these 5 types of anti-inflammatory foods to your diet

  1. Foods made with olive oil
  2. Leafy greens like spinach, kale, and collard greens
  3. Almonds, walnuts, and other nuts high in omega-3 fatty acids
  4. Fish, including salmon and tuna
  5. Fruits, including strawberries, blueberries, cherries, oranges, and tomatoes (yes, it’s a fruit)