There’s been a lot of research on the aging process recently and the latest findings suggest that low-grade inflammation is the cause of many of the modern degenerative diseases, like coronary heart disease, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and some cancers.
Inflammation is a normal part of the body’s immune system. When you burn your finger, for example, white blood cells secrete a number of inflammation promoting chemicals to fight germs and rid the body of damaged cells. Then once the wound is healed, the immune system usually settles back down. But not always; sometimes, the immune system stays active, even when there’s no real threat.
Fortunately, we can control inflammation through diet. Our bodies manufacture the hormones that regulate inflammation using the essential fatty acids. The omega-3 essential fatty acids are anti-inflammatory and the omega-6 essential fatty acids are pro-inflammatory.
Sources of omega-3 include: Alaskan salmon, wild game, grass-fed meats, flax seeds, omega-3 enriched eggs, walnuts, dark leafy greens and fish oil supplements. Sources of omega-6 include: many of the vegetable oils, such as safflower oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, and soybean oil. Omega-6 fatty acids can also be found in most processed and fried foods since they contain vegetable oils.
To reduce inflammation, eat more coldwater fish, cook with healthier oils, such as olive-oil and cold-pressed canola oil, eat an abundance of leafy greens and take omega-3 fish oil supplements.