'Anti-inflammatory diet' can keep Alzheimer's, cancer at bay

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Kuala Lumpur, Dec 6 (ANI): The latest diet craze may not promise instant weight loss but it can help prevent illnesses such as heart disease, Alzheimer's and possibly cancer, and significantly ease the pain of chronic conditions such as arthritis, say researchers.

'Anti-inflammatory diet' is based on the principle that many health conditions are caused by chronic inflammation, which is in turn caused by a hyperactive immune system.

Some doctors believe that by eating foods that calm the immune system, such as brightly-coloured fruits, oily fish and nuts, people can avoid some of the health conditions that plague modern society.

But what sets the latest trend apart from other dietary fads is the growing number of medical experts who agree there might be much to gain from it.

Prof Philip Calder and his team at the University of Southampton looked at all the existing evidence for anti-inflammatory eating and suggested the approach might help a range of conditions.

The key foods in the diet are oily fish, fruit and vegetables, legumes and spices.

Research has shown that certain nutrients, such as the Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oils and compounds in spices, have direct anti-inflammatory properties.

"What seems to happen is that these nutrients dampen the production of the chemicals that trigger inflammatory processes," The New Straits Times Online quoted Calder as saying.

Meanwhile, antioxidants in fruit and vegetables help curb the action of free radicals, which destroy healthy cells, exacerbating the damage at inflamed sites.

Additionally, individuals should limit their intake of foods with high levels of saturated and trans-fats and processed carbohydrates such as white bread, as these are thought to produce free radicals and can lead to inflammation.

The diet has been described in the British Journal Of Nutrition. (ANI)

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