Inflammation diet

When it comes to addressing chronic diseases that are related to inflammation, It is necessary to adopt a diet that contributes to the treatment. In this sense, it is convenient to know that some foods can be harmful, while others have beneficial properties. How to make a diet for inflammation? Next, we detail it.

The diet for inflammation and ECNTs

To start, Chronic noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) have a common origin: inflammation. Chronic inflammation represents the main pathogenic factor in metabolic disorders that increase the likelihood of developing a chronic degenerative disease.

Mainly, inflammation is a key element within the pathogenesis of endothelial dysfunction, as well as atherosclerosis. For this reason, Eating a diet for inflammation is one of the pillars for the prevention and treatment of chronic degenerative diseases.

What is inflammation?

According to the study by Strowig T et al in 2012, acute inflammation It is a biological response to infection or tissue damage to start healing and repair of vascular tissues. The clinical signs that characterize it are heat, blushing, tumor and pain; These are produced by factors such as cytokines, chemokines, reactive oxygen species and coagulation factors.

Although acute inflammation is characterized as a defense reaction, When held for a prolonged period of time it becomes a chronic reaction. Chronic inflammation contributes to the pathogenesis of multiple diseases.

This occurs through the regulation of transcription factors (mainly tumor necrosis factor, NFKB) and members of the interferon regulatory factor family (IRF) that they trigger the expression of inflammatory, immune and antiviral genes.

Read also: 10 things that will motivate you to follow the Mediterranean diet

Obesity and silent inflammation

Gene expression and increased production of pro-inflammatory substances is proportionally related to the amount of adipose tissue in humans and animal models. Therefore, in individuals with obesity, sand talks about the presence of sustained and chronic inflammation, which contributes to the pathogenesis of the host.

These alterations include, mainly, damages in the sensitivity to the action of insulin, dysfunction of the β cells of the pancreas, non-alcoholic liver disease and atherosclerosis.

Chronic inflammation is associated with the presence of excess adipose tissue, therefore, it contributes to the pathogenesis of obese individuals.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2017 obesity (defined as an excess of abnormal adiposity that can be harmful to health) It has reached incidence ratios comparable to an epidemic in recent decades.

Obesity and metabolic syndrome

Obesity is associated with multiorganic alterations of an inflammatory nature with chronic metabolic impact (mainly pancreatic, fatty, hepatic, cardiac and musculoskeletal). These alterations, taken together, define the metabolic syndrome.

The metabolic syndrome has a multifactorial origin, however, The environment where each individual develops will determine the expression of genes with their respective metabolic alterations. To talk about the environment is to talk about food.

Especially, a diet high in animal fats and highly processed products, Products with high sugar content, as well as low consumption of vegetables and fruits, is associated with excess body weight, increased blood glucose, increased blood pressure, among others.

The role of the diet for inflammation

Numerous studies, such as the one published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences by Tuttolomondo A et al in 2019, endorse he important role of eating patterns to predict the risk of developing a disease, treating it or reducing mortality.

The Mediterranean diet has been studied extensively for the impact it has on reducing biomarkers of inflammation, such as hyperinsulinemia, hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia, central adiposity, arterial hypertension, among others.

According to Sears B et al in 2015, he Taking a diet for inflammation involves the following:

  • Supplementation with omega 3 fatty acids (between 2-3 g of eicosapentanoic acid and docosahexanoic acid per day).
  • Caloric restriction with an adequate balance between the main nutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and lipids); Calculation carried by a nutritionist.
  • Inclusion of vegetables rich in bioactive compounds known as polyphenols that are responsible for inhibiting the transcription factor NFKB

These changes will have an impact on the suppression of genes that are responsible for the production of pro-inflammatory substances, especially, those present in chronic inflammation.

At the same time, they will activate the signaling pathway of AMP kinase, a complex that serves as a cellular energy detector, which helps the energy balance and calorie consumption.

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Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet is not a homogenous or exclusive eating pattern in countries around the Mediterranean Sea (Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Croatia, among others).

Although it is characterized as a pattern with a high consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grain cereals, lean meats, seeds and olive oil, Each country has its own dietary habits that are influenced by sociocultural, religious and economic factors.

Due to its characteristics, the Mediterranean diet is one of the food models that help fight inflammation.

The diet to treat inflammation

Being a diet with adequate consumption of unsaturated fats (mainly omega 3), low intake of saturated fats and trans, High presence of bioactive compounds due to the inclusion of products of plant origin and consumption of natural and unprocessed sugar, the Mediterranean diet has numerous biological effects on health. Especially, it regulates the factors associated with the metabolic syndrome:


  • Starting with his contribution to the reduction of insulin resistance.
  • Decrease in plasma glucose concentration.
  • Increased production of GLP-1 incretins (intestinal hormones that promote insulin production).


  • Reduction in concentrations of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
  • Increase in HDL cholesterol and adiponectin production.
  • Finally, a decrease in the reabsorption at the intestinal level of bile acids and cholesterol.

Cardiovascular diseases:

  • Reduction in the production of foam cells involved in the formation of atheroma plaque.
  • Regulation of systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
  • Promotes vasodilation.
  • It improves the elasticity of blood vessels.
  • As a consequence, it contributes to decrease the probability of developing myocardial infarction and stroke

Importance of controlling the risk factors associated with excess adipose tissue

Finally, we must remember that, although genetic predisposition has an important weight for the development of multiple diseases, the lifestyle you have will contribute to the appearance or prevention of these disorders.

Mainly, eating a diet for inflammation, including foods rich in polyphenols and unsaturated fats (omega 3), will allow you to eat a diet to treat inflammation, control body weight and maintain health. Likewise, It is important to assist with a nutritionist who calculates what your body needs.