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Anti-inflammatory diet of fruit and veg could help you to live longer, says study

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 18/09/2018 Rosie Fitzmaurice
a bowl of food on a plate © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited New research published in the Journal of Internal Medicine has found that following an anti-inflammatory diet could lower your risk of dying from major diseases, such as cancer or heart disease. 

An anti-inflammatory diet is rich in antioxidants and involves eating plenty of fruit and veg, like blueberries, tomatoes and leafy greens, nuts and olive oil.

Many will be pleased to hear that the regime also allows for the moderate intake of red wine and beer, though current government guidelines suggest you aim for at least two consecutive "alcohol free days" each week to keep consumption at a reasonable level.

A group of researchers followed 68,273 Swedish men and women aged between 45 and 83 for a period of 16 years.

Related: 10 Top Anti-Inflammatory Foods (Cooking Light)

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They set out to examine the relationship between an anti‐inflammatory diet index (AIDI) and all‐cause and cause‐specific mortality, to determine the link between the AIDI and differences in survival time, while also taking into account the association with participants' smoking status.

They found that those who most closely followed an anti-inflammatory diet had an 18 per cent lower risk of dying of any cause than those who followed it to a lesser extent during this time. Not only that, but participants also had a 20 per cent lower risk of cardiovascular mortality and a 13 per cent lower risk of cancer mortality.

"It is known that fruits, vegetables, tea, coffee, red wine, beer and chocolate are rich in antioxidants", lead author Dr. Joanna Kaluza, an associate professor at the Warsaw University of Life Sciences, in Poland is quoted in Metro as saying.

"Wholegrain bread, breakfast cereal, vegetables and fresh as well as dried fruits are rich in dietary fibre, and olive and canola oils are rich sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are of potential health benefit because of their anti-inflammatory properties," she continued.

dark-broken-chocolate-unsplash-17-09.jpg © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited dark-broken-chocolate-unsplash-17-09.jpg Smokers benefited the most from following the diet. Of those who followed it closest, 31 per cent were less likely to die (of any cause), 36 per cent less likely to die of cardiovascular diseases and 22 per cent less likely from cancer, compared to the smokers who followed it the least.

Inflammation is part of the body’s autoimmune response. It is triggered when your body recognises something foreign, like an invading microbe or chemical, according to a Harvard Medical School blog post.

However, chronic inflammation has been linked to cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, depression, and Alzheimer's, with pro-inflammatory foods including unprocessed and processed red meat, organ meats, chips, and fizzy drinks.

"Our dose-response analysis showed that even partial adherence to the anti-inflammatory diet may provide a health benefit," said Kaluza.

The authors concluded that following a diet rich in anti‐inflammatory foods may reduce all‐cause mortality, cardiovascular disease mortality and cancer mortality, and prolong survival time especially amongst smokers.

Related: Bring These Anti-Inflammatory Foods Into Your Diet ASAP (Prevention)


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