What could make someone crave broccoli?
Relieve inflammation with healthy eating
Inflammatory processes are not only involved in infections, but also in diseases such as osteoarthritis, rheumatism, diabetes or vascular problems. We can counteract this with anti-inflammatory foods.
by Britta Probol
Everyone knows that: reddened areas, pain, exhaustion - whether acute with a sore throat or long-lasting and subliminal, for example in a joint. "Inflammatory processes play a role in an incredible number of diseases - from arterial constriction to diabetes to rheumatism," says nutritionist Matthias Riedl. Almost all of the around 80 known autoimmune diseases, adds internist Jörn Klasen, lead to chronic inflammation.
Sweets, wheat, and meat all promote inflammation
Diet and lifestyle are decisive influencing factors. "People with a predisposition to inflammatory diseases in their 'genetic rucksack' 'are particularly at risk," says rheumatologist Anne Fleck. However, certain foods really fuel flare-up inflammation: "Sweets, wheat products and excessive meat consumption - especially pork, which contains a particularly large number of inflammatory substances," says Anne Fleck, listing the "main culprits". According to her experience, a basic evil is the lack of anti-inflammatory agents in our diet.
Belly fat fuels inflammation in the body
A widespread problem nowadays is also low-grade inflammation that begins insidiously and can hardly be captured in a laboratory, says Fleck: "Ultimately, they lead to diseases of the cardiovascular system and metabolism." Overweight people in particular are often affected because the body's own belly fat produces hormones that promote inflammation. "That is why everything should be avoided that increases the waist circumference," advises Matthias Riedl. Conversely, weight loss helps stop the inflammatory processes in the body.
What foods are anti-inflammatory?
The right diet can do a lot to reduce inflammation - for example in the case of osteoarthritis or rheumatism. Anne Fleck recommends three handfuls of vegetables a day - cooked and as a raw vegetable or salad, with one or two handfuls of low-sugar fruit. Because there are thousands of phytochemicals in vegetables, berries, nuts and fruit, many of which have hardly been researched. One thing is clear, however: they have an overall anti-inflammatory effect. Jörn Klasen especially emphasizes broccoli, spinach and purslane.
Because of their essential oils and hot substances, spices are also like medicine: turmeric, for example, a component of curries, has proven to be highly effective against osteoarthritis, as have ginger and chilli. Omega-3 fatty acids in vegetable oils and cold water fish also have an anti-inflammatory effect - especially in rheumatic diseases.
Arm yourself with good nutrition and exercise
"Anyone who eats a varied diet with lots of vegetables, fruit, spices, good fats, nuts and herbs is getting enough phytochemicals and important minerals such as zinc," summarizes Matthias Riedl and adds: "Exercise always has an anti-inflammatory effect!"
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The Nutritional Docs | 01/25/2021 | 9:00 p.m.
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