A lot of people around the world are convinced that when it comes to good health, inflammation is the devil, waiting to attack us. A new study has said that chronic inflammation in mid-life may result in reduced mental capacities or cognitive decline in old age. Chronic inflammation stays in the body for months together or even years and may result in autoimmune ailments like rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, physical stress etc. Some common symptoms of chronic inflammation include pain in the joints, frequent digestive stress and tiredness and fatigue. The study was conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and the results were published in the journal Neurology.
The study was titled, "Systemic inflammation during midlife and cognitive change over 20 years: The ARIC Study" and the main aim of the study was "to examine the association between systemic inflammation measured during midlife and 20-year cognitive decline." The researchers used the data from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study, which followed up with a total of 12,336 participants for around 20 years. The average age of the participants was 57 years. At the beginning of the study, levels of inflammation were measured using certain biomarkers in the blood, including white blood cell count, fibrinogen, factor VIII and von Willebrand factor. The cognitive abilities of each participant were also rated at the beginning of the study, then again after about six to nine years and then finally after the end of 20 years.
The researchers found that at the end of the study, the participants with the maximum chronic inflammation at the start of the study suffered a steep eight per cent decline in cognitive abilities, as compared to those who had low levels of inflammation. Diet also plays an important role in preventing inflammation in the body.
Here are some foods that you can include in your diet to fight inflammation:
1. Fatty Fish
2. Green Leafy veggies like kale and spinach
3. Fat-rich Nuts like walnuts
4. Healthy fats from olive oil
6. Vitamin-C rich fruits like oranges, strawberries as well as cherries and blueberries.