Five Ways to Fight Inflammation

Inflammation, a process meant to heal, can often become a danger; chronic inflammation causes heart attacks, stroke – and even cancer. How can you prevent this first-aid response from becoming a first-line attacker? Dr. Oz has 5 simple tips.

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Ward off the dangers of chronic inflammation by incorporating these 5 lifesavers into your lifestyle.

Aspirin Considered the Holy Grail of anti-inflammatories, aspirin keeps the blood’s platelets from clumping and clotting. Taken mostly to prevent heart attacks, there is evidence to suggest that a daily dose of aspirin may also work to fight colon cancer and Alzheimer’s disease by reducing inflammation in the digestive tract and brain. Some doctors suggest that women do not take aspirin daily until after they have ceased menstruating; consult your doctor before taking.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids Found in fish oil and certain plant and nut oils, like canola and flaxseeds, omega-3 fatty acids are heavy hitters in the fight against heart disease. Fish oil that contains both DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) helps to lower triglycerides and reduces your risk for heart disease, heart attack, abnormal heart rhythms and lowers blood pressure. It is important to note that excessive omega-6 fatty acids, found in corn and sunflower oil, can interfere with the health benefits of omega-3 fats, in part because they compete for the same enzymes which can lead to an increase in inflammation-promoting hormones.

Click here to learn more about omega-3 fatty acids.

Fruits and Veggies At each meal fill half your plate with produce that contains protective, inflammation stopping phytonutrients. Berries are rich in flavonoids, powerful antioxidants; zucchini contains salicylates, an aspirin-like compound; and red grapes are ripe with quercetin, which inhibits the flow of histamines, the chemicals that cause tissue to become inflamed.

Liquid Antioxidants Dr. Oz recommends sipping to save your life. Orange juice contains both vitamin C and flavonoids, which as you know are powerful antioxidants. Drinking orange juice with a high-fat or high-carbohydrate meal can actually neutralize the inflammatory stress generated by the unhealthy meal and help prevent blood vessel damage.

Move Immediately after even moderate physical activity, the body makes and uses more antioxidants, which cut levels of inflammation. Positive cardiovascular effects of exercise are associated with changes in cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Additionally, active people have lower levels of C-reactive protein, a marker for inflammation.