Inflammatory processes are the cause of many diseases. With the right nutrition, you can effectively fight inflammation and prevent diseases effectively. We will tell you which foods have anti-inflammatory effects and where you should better restrict your consumption.
What are inflammations?
Inflammation is one of the natural defense mechanisms of our body. Everything that enters the body from the outside checks our immune system. If it classifies an intruder as harmful, the immune system reports “danger” and the defense becomes active immediately. It aims to eliminate dangers as quickly as possible and initiate healing of potentially damaged tissue. If the immune defense is fast and strong enough, we stay healthy and feel little of the defense process.
If the immune system is just weakened or the pathogens particularly persistent, we get sick. For example, when we have caught cold viruses, the mucous membranes swell up in the nose and throat, we get colds, get hoarse and have difficulty swallowing. These reactions are clear signs that the immune system is fighting for us. With inflammation of the mucous membranes, for example, it prevents the viruses from further damaging the tissue.
If we chisel a piece of wood under the skin and do not remove it quickly enough, the same process of inflammation occurs. The finger hurts, gets hot and red. With this reaction, the immune system tries to protect its own tissue from the intruder. If we do not remove the splinter ourselves, the defensive produces pus to get him out of the way. The symptoms of acute inflammation are clear and usually last only a few days.
Indications of acute inflammation:
Why are chronic inflammations particularly dangerous?
Chronic inflammation, unlike acute inflammation, is difficult to detect. They usually run quietly and secretly. Even if you do not notice it for a long time, the immune defense is here in continuous use. After a while, the first symptoms appear. Affected people often feel tired, chipped off and can hardly concentrate. It can also cause headaches, frequent infections, depressive moods, and indigestion.
Since the symptoms are very nonspecific and cannot be clearly assigned, the chronic inflammation often goes unnoticed for a long time. The dangerous thing about it is the so-called “silent inflammation” (chronic inflammatory disease). It can cause chronic inflammatory diseases.
How do you develop chronic inflammation?
More and more people, especially young people, are suffering from chronic diseases such as multiple sclerosis, arthritis, rheumatism and inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. What these diseases all have in common is a chronic inflammation that significantly drives the disease process. As with many diseases, genetic predisposition also plays a role here. If close relatives are already affected by chronic inflammatory diseases, the risk of developing oneself is higher.
Today it is known that the rapid increase in these diseases is mainly due to the modern, western lifestyle. In today’s environment, the body has to deal with more and more strains and stimuli that promote inflammatory processes.
Stress and alcohol make you sick
Dutch researcher Marie-Louise van Wetten and her team found in a study that stress, a poor diet and other unfavorable lifestyle factors such as smoking and high alcohol consumption can trigger chronic inflammatory diseases and keep them alive.
These factors promote inflammation:
- Wrong diet
- Lack of sleep
- High alcohol consumption
- Belly fat
- Unhealed infections
- Metals, titanium (at sensitivity)
- Plasticizers (e.g. in plastics)
Which foods promote inflammation?
A particularly important role in chronic inflammation plays a diet. Anyone who wants to prevent inflammation should limit their consumption of the following foods.
Whether white, brown, disguised as agave syrup or coconut blossom sugar, sugar promotes inflammation. Since it is found in many foods, especially processed products, in large quantities, there is special caution. It is recommended to limit sugar intake to five percent of the total amount of energy per day. This is equivalent to 25 grams or six teaspoons a day.
White flour products
There are some misconceptions about carbohydrates. In reality, not all carbohydrates are bad. The carbohydrates from whole grains, vegetables and pulses are accompanied by fiber and minerals and have a positive effect on health. By contrast, those who consume predominantly white flour products stimulate the growth of inflammatory intestinal bacteria. Among other things, these can increase the risk of obesity and inflammatory bowel disease.
The hardened fats are mainly found in fried foods, sweets, and sweet baked goods. Who wants to counteract inflammation, should, therefore, limit the consumption of chips, fries, croissants, and sweets. At the same time, they prevent obesity and cardiovascular diseases, which studies have shown to promote trans fat.
Excessive meat consumption
Even processed sausages and meat products are among the pro-inflammatory foods. According to studies, they are suspected of increasing the risk of stomach and colon cancer as well as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Processed meats and sausages contain Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs). They react uncontrollably with cellular structures and are thus involved in the development of various inflammatory diseases. New studies show that these pro-inflammatory substances may also be involved in the development of osteoporosis.
Foods that relieve inflammation
While many processed products promote inflammatory processes in the body, natural and fresh foods can stop existing inflammation and counteract new ones. They have certain ingredients that have special anti-inflammatory effects.
- Turmeric, fennel, ginger – essential oils against inflammation: turmeric, ginger, and fennel contain essential oils. They have been used to cure inflammation for centuries. In addition to the essential oils in turmeric, the curcumin yellow dye acts as an anti-inflammatory. According to a study by the University of Michigan, the plant dye also strengthens the cell membrane and thus strengthens the resistance to disease.
- Garlic and onions – antibacterial effect: The odor-intensive sulfur compounds allicin and quercetin. They not only have an anti-inflammatory effect but also antibacterial properties. Raw is the benefit of the tubers, which are among the oldest medicinal plants, even more, effective than cooked.
- Blueberries – antioxidants protect cells: The anthocyanins, which give blueberries their intense color, effectively inhibit inflammation. The antioxidants from the small fruits capture free radicals, thus stopping oxidative processes and protecting the cells. Also in the Aronia berry, whose juice is to be preserved in the health food store, anthocyanins are present in large quantities. A shot every day leaves little chance for inflammation.
- Green leafy vegetables – chlorophyll supports the liver: Especially dark green vegetables such as kale, spinach and chard are rich in chlorophyll. The plant dye helps the liver to release pro-inflammatory heavy metals and environmental toxins. Green leafy vegetables also contain lots of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, calcium and iron, which boost the immune system.
- Mustard oil glycosides from arugula, cress, radishes, and horseradish: The sharp taste makes it clear: arugula, watercress, horseradish, and radishes are something special. The contained mustard oil glycosides not only act against inflammation, but they also have a positive effect on sugar metabolism and can thus prevent diabetes.
- Pickled cabbage, kefir-probiotic foods for a healthy gut: If the ratio of beneficial and unwanted bacteria in the gut is out of balance, the risk of developing inflammation increases. Those who regularly take probiotic foods such as pickled cabbage, kimchi, kefir, and kombucha, support the balance of the intestinal flora and prevent inflammation.
- Salmon, walnuts, linseed oil – omega-3 protects: Salmon and other fatty fish such as mackerel and herring are the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. These include, for example, eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which are powerful anti-inflammatories. In addition, use vegetable sources such as linseed oil, walnuts and chia seeds. These contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), from which the body can make them more biologically active EPA and DHA.
List of foods that cause arthritis inflammation
- Asian food
- Soy sauce
- Dairy products
- Fried products
- Processed snack foods
The incidence of inflammatory diseases such as rheumatism, arthritis and intestinal diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis has risen sharply in recent years. What precedes this and many other diseases is chronic inflammation in the body.
Today we are confronted with numerous factors such as stress, environmental toxins and sugary snacks that have an inflammatory effect. At the same time, we can control it with a balanced diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs. There are different types of diets to help inflammation.
Certain foods are particularly effective in controlling inflammation thanks to their valuable ingredients. These include in particular the omega-3 fatty acids from fish, walnuts, linseed oil, and chia seeds. Likewise, sulfur compounds stuck in onions and garlic. Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, chard and lamb’s lettuce are considered anti-inflammatory foods and should therefore regularly be part of an anti-inflammatory diet.