Inflammation isn’t all bad. Acute inflammation helps our bodies heal from wounds, viruses and other foreign invaders, but inflammation can become a real drag when it sticks around long enough to lead to nagging joint pain, abdominal pain, fatigue and or even weight gain. Plus, chronic inflammation has been linked to many major diseases, like diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, cancer, depression and Alzheimer’s. But, there is great news for Seafoodies! Eating a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods, like seafood, can help with reducing chronic inflammation in the body.
One of the things this past year has reminded us: We can’t skimp on self-care. Constant anxiety, bad eating habits, feelings of isolation and sitting for hours in front of our computers on Zoom calls can take their toll on our health and potentially trigger an inflammatory response. But, here’s the positive: We can reverse some of these effects by getting regular exercise, managing stress, finding creative and social outlets and eating foods that help counter inflammation—like healthy seafood! In fact, medical professionals say that when it comes to avoiding chronic inflammation, choosing the right foods can be more helpful than reaching for anything in our medicine cabinet. That’s great news for Seafoodies because so much of what our bodies need to battle inflammation can be found in our favorite meals!
For a guide to eating well and reducing inflammation, we often turn to the Mediterranean Diet, which emphasizes fruits and vegetables, nuts and whole grains, healthy fats and lean proteins such as seafood. In particular, the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA—which are found in fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel—help block the hormones that can ramp up inflammation. And seafood is also loaded with other critical nutrients—such as selenium, niacin and vitamin B-12—that boost immunity, help keep our hearts in tip-top shape and help reduce inflammation as well.
So, choose some scrumptious seafood for your next meal, and you’ll be eating to your good health! If you’re looking for anti-inflammatory recipe inspiration, how about some Lemon-Pepper Salmon Burgers, or Maple Walnut-Crusted Halibut?