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How to Reduce Inflammation by Nibbling Nuts

Epidemiological evidence indicates that you can reduce inflammation by eating nuts several times a week instead of processed foods.
How to Reduce Inflammation by Nibbling Nuts
Nut almond

Research has suggested that people who eat nuts may be at lower risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks. Could eating nuts reduce inflammation?

Does Your Diet Reduce Inflammation?

Harvard scientists have recently reported on a study of over 5,000 health professionals who filled out detailed dietary questionnaires. These were women participating in the Nurses’ Health Study and men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. The volunteers also provided blood samples for analysis. None had diabetes or heart disease when the study started.

More Nuts Means Less Inflammation:

The researchers found that people who ate more nuts had lower levels of inflammatory markers in their blood. Substituting three servings of nuts per week for three servings of processed or red meat or refined grains significantly lowered C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6). These are important markers of inflammation and have been associated with heart disease.

In this study, a serving size of one ounce was roughly equivalent to a handful of nuts. Those who ate five servings or more weekly had CRP levels 20 percent lower than those who avoided nuts. Only peanut butter did not seem to lower inflammation. The researchers suggested this might be because of trans-fats or other ingredients added to make peanut butter spread smoothly.

Will Nuts Make You Fat?

Some people fear that eating nuts will make them fat because of the extra calories. However, most studies have shown that eating nuts is actually associated with a lower body mass index (BMI). Because most chronic diseases are linked to increased inflammation, a simple dietary approach to reduce inflammation makes a lot of sense to us.

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, July 27, 2016

Almonds and walnuts star as some of our favorite foods in our book, The People’s Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies. Through it, you can learn more about the DASH diet, the Mediterranean diet, recipes such as cholesterol-combating oatmeal that contain nuts and other foods that lower inflammation.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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