(Natural News) Low-calorie diets are a popular diet trend that can provide a number of health benefits. They can help you lose weight, slow down your body’s aging process, and even reduce painful inflammation.
Around 30 million adults in America eat far more calories than their bodies actually need, leading to an overfed, but greatly undernourished population. All these extra calories can pile up and result in a number of health conditions, such as high blood pressure, arthritis, cancer, dementia, and artherosclerosis. Chronic inflammation can also have a negative impact on your overall health and well-being. Fortunately, you can reduce inflammation, lower your risk of certain diseases, and prevent the negative aspects of aging by eating a low-calorie diet. (Related: Nutrient-rich, low-calorie diets actually reprogram fat cells to keep the body thin.)
How restricting calorie intake can reduce inflammation
Even cutting down your calorie intake by just 25 percent can significantly reduce inflammation in your body. According to a study conducted at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, the researchers found that non-obese healthy individuals who had a restricted calorie intake experienced a drastic reduction of chronic inflammation markers. The participants had their calorie intake restricted by 25 percent over a period of two years. They were also able to maintain the necessary intake of protein, vitamins, and minerals over the duration of the study.
However, it is important to note that calorie restriction should be done properly. Eating less or consuming fewer calories does not have to mean starving yourself. You should still consume enough high quality, nutritious foods, but with fewer calories, to optimize your health as well. Begin by making slow changes to your diet. Eat in moderation and avoid processed and toxic foods whenever you can. Consume more whole foods to regulate your hunger hormones. If done right, healthy calorie restriction can help you reap multiple health benefits.
What kinds of food you should eat to help reduce inflammation
Counting calories and restricting them is just one way to reduce swelling. Some common foods have anti-inflammatory properties, especially if they contain antioxidants. Here are a few examples of foods you can eat to alleviate inflammation.
- Dark, leafy greens. There is no doubt that vegetables are good for you, but veggies that are loaded with antioxidants are particularly beneficial to help ease your inflammation. Some examples of these leafy greens include kale, spinach and Swiss chard.
- Colorful fruits and berries. Intense and vibrant colors are a common sign of a high antioxidant content in fruits and berries. Try eating fruits that are bright red, orange or yellow, such as apples, pineapples, and papayas. You can also look for fruits that have deep, dark blue and purple hues, such as blackberries, plums, and grapes. Additionally, grapes and blueberries are abundant with the antioxidant resveratrol.
- Fatty fish. Healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids, can also help fight inflammation. Examples of fatty fish include tuna and salmon. If you don’t happen to have a taste for fish, you can still get a dose of omega-3 fatty acids by taking fish oil supplements.
- Nuts. Almonds, walnuts, and macadamia nuts all contain large amounts of healthy fats that can help combat inflammation and heart disease.
- Tea. Drink a cup of black or green tea to get a boost of beneficial antioxidants.
- Beans. Since meat often contains saturated fats that can cause inflammation, beans can serve as the perfect meatless alternative for your body’s protein needs. Beans, peas, and other legumes are all capable of reducing levels of the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein.
- Ginger and turmeric. Spices such as ginger and turmeric possess potent anti-inflammatory properties. Enrich your diet with these spices by adding them to any of your favorite dishes.
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