Several studies show that including anti-inflammatory foods in the diet can reduce the risk of disease and strengthen the immune system. The consumption of these foods makes the body more resistant against colds and flu. Nutritionist Adriana Stavro (CRN 43576) has selected foods that help control and prevent low-grade inflammation. Check the list:
1. Red fruits
According to the nutritionist, red fruits are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. “These compounds can reduce inflammation, boost immunity and reduce the risk of heart disease.” Although there is a wide variety with anti-inflammatory properties, the most common red fruits are strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries.
2. Fatty fish
Fatty fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) and protein. EPA and DHA reduce inflammation that can lead to metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and diabetes. All types of fish contain fatty acids, but the best sources are salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel and anchovies.
It is a cruciferous vegetable, along with cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. “Research has shown that eating cruciferous vegetables is associated with a decreased risk of heart disease and cancer. Broccoli is rich in sulforaphane, an antioxidant that fights inflammation and reduces levels of cytokines and NF-kB, which stimulate inflammation,” says Adriana.
Avocado is one of the anti-inflammatory foods that provide great sources of potassium, magnesium, fiber and monounsaturated fats. It contains carotenoids, tocopherols and other beneficial compounds, which protect against inflammation and contribute to the reduction of heart disease and cancer risk.
5. Green tea
Reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and obesity. Many of its benefits are due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, especially the substance called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGC3Gs). EGC reduces the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. You should drink 1 cup (600 ml) after lunch and another after dinner.
6. Peppers and chilies
Bell peppers and peppers are anti-inflammatory foods rich in vitamin C, quercetin, ferulic acid, sinapic acids, and other antioxidants with anti-inflammatory effects. Peppers are a great ally to relieve peripheral neurogenic pain related to Crohn’s disease – an inflammatory bowel disease.
The nutritionist explains that, “although there are several varieties, only a few mushrooms are edible and commercially grown. They are low in calories and rich in selenium, copper and B vitamins. In addition, they contain phenols and other antioxidants that provide anti-inflammatory protection.”
They are rich in resveratrol and anthocyanins, which are able to reduce inflammation. In addition, they may lower the risk of several diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, obesity, eye disorders, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Turmeric is a spice with a strong, earthy flavor, rich in curcumin, a nutrient with anti-inflammatory action. Turmeric reduces inflammation related to arthritis, diabetes and other diseases. Mixing black pepper with turmeric significantly increases the absorption of curcumin.
10. Extra virgin olive oil
It is a staple in the Mediterranean diet and rich in monounsaturated fats, which offer numerous health benefits. “Studies link olive oil to a reduced risk of heart disease, brain cancer and other serious health conditions,” says the nutritionist. Olive oil has anti-inflammatory properties and helps to prevent or reduce the symptoms of arthritis and rheumatism.
Tomato is an anti-inflammatory food thanks to its high content of vitamin C, potassium and lycopene – components that also contain antioxidant properties. Lycopene may be particularly beneficial in reducing pro-inflammatory compounds related to various types of cancer. Cooking tomatoes and adding small amounts of olive oil can maximize the amount of lycopene that will be absorbed.
Cherries are delicious and rich in antioxidants such as anthocyanins and catechins, which fight inflammation. The fruit has anti-inflammatory action that can considerably reduce the pain caused by arthritis.
13. Whole grains
According to Adriana, oats, brown rice, whole-grain bread and other unrefined grains tend to be high in fiber, and these help control and protect the body against inflammation. In addition, whole grains are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which provide numerous health benefits.
14. Herbs and Spices
These are anti-inflammatory foods that add antioxidants and flavor to your food. Basil, for example, is an anti-inflammatory that contains iron, copper, manganese, calcium, omega 3 and vitamins A, C and K. The herb has an action similar to that of anti-inflammatory drugs, decreasing the common swelling of arthritis.
15. Kale and spinach
These dark green leafy vegetables contain alkalizing agents that help balance the body’s pH, which lowers the body’s acidity. Therefore, the risk of inflammation drops considerably. Green juice is a great way to consume these vegetables and strengthen your immune system.
This medicinal plant is rich in anti-inflammatory properties, antioxidants, vitamins C and B6 (pyridoxine). Therefore, ginger helps to reduce the symptoms of respiratory infections, asthma, cough and bronchitis, as well as being an important ally in relieving pain caused by arthritis. It is very common to consume ginger in tea, mixed with cinnamon, honey and lemon.
The nutritionist says that “walnuts and almonds are oilseeds with a natural high content of omega-3s and healthy fats, which help reduce inflammation and joint pain.” It is recommended to consume four units of each oilseed per day.
18. Garlic and onion
They are foods rich in quercetin, rutin, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Although they do not cure diseases, if consumed daily, they can help to strengthen immunity and prevent the emergence of diseases. It is recommended to consume a clove of garlic and 50 grams of raw onion daily.
Because it is rich in vitamin C, iron, magnesium, B complex and beta-carotene, it has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action, which helps to eliminate toxins from the body and reduce inflammation. Can be added to cabbage, carrot and orange juice; to strengthen the immune system, drink the drink at least three times a week.
20. Fennel tea
The herb is one of the anti-inflammatory foods and is very rich in potassium and vitamin C as well as having antioxidant properties. Fennel tea is a great aid in relieving asthma and bronchitis. In addition, it helps in the treatment of diseases and infections caused by viruses, such as flu and colds.
The nutritionist adds that the ideal is to consume at least 400 grams of fruits and vegetables a day, limiting the intake of red meat and fatty dairy products and avoiding refined carbohydrates, excess salt, sugar and processed foods. Enjoy and also learn about the benefits of including antioxidant foods in your diet.
The information contained on this page is for informational purposes only. They do not replace the advice and follow-up of doctors, nutritionists, psychologists, physical education professionals and other specialists.
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