doctor drawing blood from a patient's arm

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Get tested.

You should start checking your CRP as early as your 30s. It's useful to have a baseline number so you can head off any problems as you get older.

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Supplement with vitamin C.

UC Berkeley researchers found that people with elevated CRP were able to bump down the number an average of 25 percent by consuming a daily dose of 1,000 milligrams of C. Two reputable, affordable brands are Equaline and Nature Made.
top view of a quinoa, tomato and goat cheese salad

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Stick to a Mediterranean diet.

A 2004 study found that adhering to a Mediterranean diet—rich in olive oil, fish, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables—lowered CRP levels by an average of 20 percent. To get started, snack on walnuts between meals, and try to consume three portions a week of fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and trout.
woman eating apple

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Increase your fiber.

In a 2006 study, people who consumed fiber-rich diets were 63 percent less likely to have high CRP than people whose diets were fiber-poor. A simple trick for upping your fiber intake is leaving the skin on fruits and vegetables. Or add a teaspoon of the fiber supplement psyllium to a glass of water or juice in the morning.
dark chocolate

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Enjoy (some) dark chocolate.

A recent Italian study revealed that dark chocolate is associated with significantly lower levels of CRP, but only in moderation. Eat no more than 20 grams (about one-fifth of an artisanal bar) twice a week. And make sure the chocolate is at least 70 percent cocoa.

Next: Must-read advice on getting CRP testing