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Diet rich in anti-inflammatory factors helps prevent heart attack
A diet that contains relatively large amounts of magnesium, turmeric, omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, red peppers, vitamin C and lots more things that websites - like 'ahem' us - like to write about reduces the amount of inflammatory factors in the body. We've written before about the fact that these anti-inflammatory factors may slow down the aging process and reduce the chance of developing cancer. According to a study that Swedish researchers published in Nutrition Journal, a diet with a low dietary inflammatory index also reduces the chance of a heart attack.
The researchers compared the inflammatory index of the diet of the 1389 participants who had had a heart attack during the time that the study had been running compared with that of the 5555 study participants who had not had a heart attack.
The figures below show the effect of smoking and the dietary inflammatory index [DII] on the likelihood of having a heart attack. For the men the dietary inflammatory index is a significant factor, but this effect is negligible compared with the risk from smoking. So if you smoke it's more sensible to stop that habit than to add lots of red pepper and turmeric to your diet.
It may be the case that if the study were carried out now that a link would be found in women too between heart attacks and dietary inflammatory index.