It's not just arthritis sufferers who need anti-inflammatories. Researchers now believe that inflammation contributes to heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's, and type 2 diabetesand that anti-inflammatory compounds in your food can counteract it. You don't have to go out of your way to find these substances: Try the fish market, produce bin, and even the curries at your favorite Indian restaurant.
Inflammation isn't always bad. A cut looks red and swollen because the body sends in white blood cells to fight infection, oxygenated blood for repair, and other fluids to cushion the injured cells. But a low-grade inflammation can result from less obvious damage, such as oxidation within blood vessel walls. Antioxidants can help prevent this damage. But when that fails, you need anti-inflammatories. Otherwise the body's attempts to repair itself can lead to chronic inflammation. Persistent inflammation slowly attacks healthy tissue in joints, arteries, and the brain.
Next page: Where to find anti-inflammatory foods