Unhealthy eating habits can cause chronic inflammation. Anti-inflammatory foods can help: Here’s how.
Frankfurt – Whether it’s rheumatism, arthrosis, diabetes, arthritis, multiple sclerosis or neurodermatitis – no matter how different the diseases, they are often based on inflammatory reactions in the body. “Inflammatory processes play a role in an incredible number of diseases,” explained GDR nutrition expert Matthias Riedl.
Inflammation is basically considered an important defense response to tissue damage. The aim is to eliminate the harmful effect. Inflammation usually manifests itself in the form of reddened skin, heat in an inflamed area, and swelling. It is often accompanied by pain and function is usually limited. Inflammation, on the other hand, initially goes unnoticed and manifests itself in, for example, fever, general malaise and pain.
Prevention of inflammation in the body: Avoid unhealthy foods
Prolonged irritation of some parts of the body may lead to the development of chronic inflammatory diseases. These are usually seen through recurrent symptoms such as arthritis or rheumatism. Many factors work together to create and sustain inflammatory processes, including lack of sleep and exercise, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, stress, and unhealthy diets.
Too greasy, too much sugar, too few nutrients and too many empty calories: Due to food surpluses in today’s Western countries, many people tend to lead unhealthy lifestyles. “Sweets, wheat products and excessive consumption of meat – especially pork, which contains a particularly large amount of pro-inflammatory substances,” promote inflammation in the body, said GDR rheumatologist Anne Fleck. The lack of anti-inflammatory foods in the diet also plays a crucial role.
Chronic inflammation: Eating large amounts of fruits and vegetables is part of a healthy diet
To prevent chronic inflammation, a healthy, balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals is essential. A healthy lifestyle basically starts with plenty of fluids in the form of water or unsweetened tea. The German Nutrition Society recommends at least 1.5 liters per day. More when moving or in summer temperatures.
Fruits and vegetables should also be an important part of the diet. AOK Health Insurance recommends at least three handfuls of raw or cooked vegetables a day. Two handfuls of low-sugar fruits are recommended. A special anti-inflammatory effect is attributed to the following fruits and vegetables:
- Vegetables with leeks and onions: many vitamins (A, B, C, E) and large amounts of minerals such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus
- Broccoli: supplies phytochemicals such as glucosinolates
- Pepper: a lot of vitamin C and a lot of fiber
- Cherries and red berries: a lot of vitamin C and phytochemicals such as anthocyanins
- Spinach: rich in vitamins (C, E) and minerals such as beta-carotene, zinc and selenium
Nutrition: Nuts, oils and spices have anti-inflammatory effects
Nuts, vegetable oils and spices also have an anti-inflammatory effect. Polyunsaturated fatty acids such as omega-3 strengthen the immune system and allow the suppression of inflammatory processes in the body. Turmeric, ginger and chilli are also said to have anti-inflammatory effects.
Eating certain foods is not the key to an anti-inflammatory diet. As a rule, it is enough to include healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables in the diet and to reduce pro-inflammatory foods such as alcohol, meat or sweets. Anyone who already suffers from chronic inflammation such as rheumatism, osteoarthritis and the like should strictly avoid pro-inflammatory foods. This also includes heavily processed products such as ready meals, cold cuts, cheeses and foods containing especially gluten.
High consumption of animal products can not only lead to chronic inflammation in the body, but also increases the risk of depression.
“Mostly vegetarian and plant foods ensure a sufficient supply of anti-inflammatory substances,” the Association for Independent Health Councils wrote. “The more varied and varied the choice of food, the better.” Reducing stress, getting enough sleep and getting enough exercise in everyday life is also crucial. (cheese)