How the Mediterranean Diet Helps Inflammation

Olive oil, specifically extra-virgin olive oil, is known to have anti-inflammatory properties.

What is Inflammation?

Inflammation occurs when your body is fighting against things that harm it; such as viruses, bacterias, and toxins. Some foods can cause inflammation in your body (ex: fried foods, refined carbs, oils, sugars, etc.). Our bodies trying to continuously fight inflammation can weaken our body and our overall health thus leading to diseases later in life. When our body overworks itself to fight to process these foods, it can increase the risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart diseases.

According to a Healthline study, most inflammatory diets increase the risk of developing heart disease by 48% and developing stroke by 28%. This means that constant inflammation will damage the healthy tissues, cells and organs in your body. In other words, eating anti-inflammatory foods can significantly reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases.


Foods to eat

The key for anti-inflammatory diets is to combine foods that:
  • Are rich in antioxidants
    • Fruits such as berries, cherries, and apples
    • Dark green leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach
    • Avocado
    • Broccoli
    • Sweet Potato
    • Nuts
    • Beans
    • Whole grains
    • Olive oil (of course!)
  • Contain healthy fats such as omega-3 fatty acids
    • Oily fish such as tuna, salmon, sardines
    • Flaxseed
    • walnuts
  • Are unrefined or unprocessed 
    • Avoid fast foods or store-bought snacks. 
    • Instead, choose raw, whole foods!

Also, drinking tea and incorporating herbs and spices into your food and drinks (such as ginger and turmeric) are also beneficial in reducing inflammation in your body!


So what does olive oil have to do with an anti-inflammatory diet? 

Olive oil, specifically extra-virgin olive oil, is known to have anti-inflammatory properties. As a staple in the Mediterranean diet, olive oil contains a compound called Oleocanthal, which is known to reduce inflammation in your body the same way taking ibuprofen decreases inflammation. While it is not a dose for dose swap, studies suggest that a prolonged intake of olive oil can help your body fight inflammation, which will decrease the likelihood of disease. 

The keys to an anti-inflammatory diet

Here are some ways to incorporate anti-inflammatory foods into your diet.
  • Keep it simple
    • The simple rule is choosing whole foods and avoiding processed foods. Replace your unhealthy foods: such as soda with water, or margarine with olive oil!
  • Check the label
When buying products from the store, always make sure to check what it contains and how it was made. Avoid foods that are highly processed with chemicals and additives. 
  • Keep your plate colorful and fun!
    • Incorporate a variety of fruits, veggies, beans, and proteins into your diet. 


Staying on a diet with mostly unrefined, colorful foods, as well as getting your fat from a healthy source like olive oil or nuts will help you stay healthy and happy! Do you stick to an anti-inflammatory diet? Let us know on our Instagram @yourolivoamigo! And don't forget to add Olivo Amigo to your meals to add extra health benefits. The Vida Collection extra virgin olive oils are great for any recipe!

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