Whether it’s the painful joint swelling associated with arthritis or a sprained ankle that has reached the size of a golf ball, inflammation is a common way your body responds to injury or infection. Although signs of inflammation may include pain, redness, heat, loss of movement, or swelling, this unpleasant condition can be an effective mechanism for your body to begin to heal and repair itself. However, depending on the severity of the injury or the duration of your inflammatory symptoms, it is important to monitor and manage the inflammation. In some cases, your doctor may instruct you to take certain medications, but you may be able to help your condition by adding more foods that reduce inflammation to your diet, such as nuts.
How Nuts Can Help with Inflammation
In a recent study, researchers from Harvard Medical School discovered that eating nuts at least five times a week could result in a significant decrease in inflammation. After conducting a rigorous review of data from two long-term studies, doctors found that people who ate nuts regularly had levels of inflammatory biomarkers that were a full 20% lower than participants who did not make nuts a part of their daily diet.
Surprisingly, doctors found no difference between the types of nuts that produced reduced inflammation; that’s great news for those who prefer one variety of nut over the other (although sadly, peanut butter is not included).
Picky eaters, you’re in luck – any nut you choose may reduce inflammation.
The Hidden Benefits of the Nut
So why are nuts such an amazing natural anti-inflammatory? The doctors that conducted this study hypothesize that the combination of fiber, magnesium, and antioxidants are the perfect combination of ingredients to help reduce swelling.
Another related benefit of nuts is that they may help prevent certain serious health conditions. Inflammation is a link to dementia, kidney diseases, and bowel problems, and it can directly constrict blood flow to the brain and heart, potentially leading to heart attacks and stroke. Reducing inflammatory markers will not only help inflammation at a specific time but could also help prevent inflammatory episodes in the future.
Thanks to their long-term health benefits as well as their inflammation reducing properties, nuts can be a valuable addition to your diet. If you’re not allergic, consider adding a handful of nuts a day as a natural anti-inflammatory to help keep the swelling (and inflammation-related conditions) away.