The equivalent of eating a single walnut half per day appeared to cut the risk of dying from inflammatory disease in about half, whereas fish did not appear to play a protective role. That may be why those eating vegetarian foods have lower levels of inflammation and chronic disease risk.
Image thanks to Renée S.
Do all these anti-inflammatory plant foods actually have an impact on inflammatory disease mortality, though? A recent study out of Australia reported the results of following about 2500 older adults and their diets for 15 years. During that time about 200 died in that time of inflammatory diseases and so the researchers tried to calculate what it was about the diets of the survivors that seemed to help the most, and it was nuts. Half a walnut a day appeared to cut the risk of dying from inflammatory disease in about half. “In the study increasing the consumption of nuts by as little as 1.4 g day—that's about half the weight of a penny—was associated with a reduced 49% risk of dying from chronic inflammation- related diseases.” That’s like one almond a day.
Fish consumption didn’t seem to do a thing. “our data indicate a protective role of nuts, but not fish, against inflammatory disease mortality.”
This may help explain why most studies done to date on those eating vegetarian or vegan show significantly less inflammation in their bodies than omnivores. There've been a dozen studies so far; 4 showed no significance difference and 8 showed significantly less inflammatory markers in those eating vegetarian. Here's the latest… A vegetarian diet was associated with lower inflammation levels, lower levels of C-reactive protein, which is in accordance with research showing vegetarians have a lower risk of heart disease and an improved antioxidant and inflammatory status compared to non-vegetarians.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Serena
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This is the second of a three-part series on the latest discoveries about fighting inflammation with plant foods. See Friday’s NutritionFacts.org video-of-the-day Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Purple Potatoes for part one. Other recent videos on nuts include Eating Healthy on the Cheap, Harvard’s Meat and Mortality Studies, and Plant-Based Atkins Diet, whereas industrial pollutants present in fish oil supplements may even increase inflammation in the body—see Is Distilled Fish Oil Toxin-Free?. The anti-inflammatory nature of plant foods may explain why those eating plant-based diets have less diabetes (Preventing Macular Degeneration With Diet), fewer allergies (Preventing Allergies in Adulthood), less heart disease (China Study on Sudden Cardiac Death), better moods (Improving Mood Through Diet), and fewer chronic diseases in general (Say No to Drugs by Saying Yes to More Plants). There are over a hundred videos on plant-based diets alone, along with videos on a thousand other topics.
We know plant-based diets can help prevent inflammatory disease, but to see if plant-based diets can be used to treat it, you've got to put it to the test. Stay tuned for tomorrow's NutritionFacts.org video-of-the-day Achieving Remission of Crohn’s Disease.
For more context, check out my associated blog posts: How Does Meat Cause Inflammation?, Treating Crohn’s Disease With Diet,The True Shelf Life of Cooking Oils, Cholesterol Lowering in a Nut Shell, Top 10 Most Popular Videos of the Year, Biblical Daniel Fast Tested, Lead Poisoning Risk From Venison, and Plant-Based Diets for Rheumatoid Arthritis