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Chronic inflammation is a growing problem in the United States, and it’s largely due to the most commonly available types of food. Consuming higher amounts of things like added sugars, trans and saturated fats, and other ultra-processed foods, while not getting enough fiber on a daily basis, can all contribute to higher instances of inflammation.

And chronic inflammation, if left untreated, can contribute to various diseases and accelerate the aging process. Fortunately, your diet and lifestyle can play an important role in fighting inflammation.

Keep reading to learn more about eating habits that can help reduce inflammation and slow aging. Then, for more healthy eating tips, check out 3 Drinks That Can Age Your Brain Faster.

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To reduce inflammation in your body and help slow aging, replacing butter and other saturated fats with olive oil can have a significant impact.

“Olive oil is rich in unsaturated fat (monounsaturated fatty acids) that have been shown to reduce inflammatory markers in the blood,” says Rachel Fine, RDN and founder of At The Peak Nutrition.

According to a study published in Current pharmaceutical design, extra virgin olive oil contains phenolic compounds, which are known to help reduce inflammatory responses. These phenolic compounds slow down the aging process and help reduce the risk of age-related disorders.

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“I recommend including as many antioxidants as possible because they have the best ability to fight inflammation and cell damage as we age,” says Morgyn Clair, MS, RDNauthor to healthy mom.

According Oxidative Medicine and Cell Longevityantioxidants have the power to prevent and slow the formation of free radicals in the body which are known to cause cell damage and potentially lead to serious illnesses.

Antioxidants can be found in many different food sources, “some of the best sources of antioxidants being richly colored fruits and vegetables like kiwi fruit, spinach, pomegranates, kale, and others,” Clair says.

woman cutting avocado toast at outdoor restaurant
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“Avocados are another addition I suggest because they’re high in antioxidant polyphenols and vitamin E,” Fine says, “and vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that acts as a direct scavenger of oxidants, which are sub- natural metabolic products.

According to a study, it has been shown that the antioxidant content of vitamin E reduce age-related cognitive decline and contribute to the improvement of overall cognitive performance. Vitamin E has also been shown to have potential anti-inflammatory properties due to its antioxidants.

“And finally, avocados contain a small amount of carotenoid luteinwhich could help reduce age-related macular degeneration,” says Fine.

RELATED: 4 Best Eating Habits For Sharper Memory

walnut
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Last but not least on the list is to add nuts to your daily eating habits. “Walnuts are rich in a type of omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which the body can convert into EPA and DHA, the two nutrients essential for brain development and function,” Fine says.

You can incorporate more nuts by adding them to your oatmeal or yogurt in the morning, using them as a salad topping at lunch, or snacking on a handful during your afternoon break.