Inflammation in the body can have various causes and is generally not a bad thing. However, they always need an antagonist to inhibit the inflammation. Anti-inflammatory foods (or anti-inflammatory foods) are a simple and natural way to maintain the balance of inflammation and relieve it. In contrast to medications, they do not have any stressful side effects for the liver, kidneys or the hormonal system.

Inflammation in the body – that’s what really happens

Before we get to the anti-inflammatory foods come: Inflammation is a natural process in the body and should under no circumstances be demonized: Through inflammatory processes, pathogenic viruses, bacteria, but also foreign substances are rendered harmless and removed from the body as waste products. Inflammatory processes also have to be triggered for the growth of muscles during sport: during strength training, for example, the muscle cells are strained beyond their limits, resulting in small tears. This initially triggers a short-term inflammation so that all the little helpers such as enzymes, micronutrients and the cells involved are called in from the immune system. They then inhibit the inflammation that has been triggered. This is the only way that the muscle cells can then continue to exist and grow in a strengthened manner.

Short-term inflammation is an important physiological process that maintains or even improves our metabolism and health. However, it is important that the body is able to inhibit inflammation. So it always takes two sides: the player and the opponent. The sympathetic nervous system, which is also one of the catabolic (degradative) processes in the body, triggers the inflammation, so to speak. The parasympathetic nervous system, which works anabolic (building up), inhibits inflammation and allows us to grow and store. These are natural inflammatory reactions. The two systems can be named for all ongoing processes in the body. They also include various hormones that interact with each other and everything else that happens to us. If the two systems are no longer in balance, inflammatory diseases can arise and an imbalance can also arise mentally.

Chronic inflammation – can anti-inflammatory foods still have a mitigating effect?

Chronic inflammation in the body in particular can cause such an imbalance. Chronic means that the inflammation does not take place for a short time and is regularly inhibited by the anti-inflammatory mechanisms, but rather that the inflammation persists over the long term. Nowadays, this condition is not uncommon because many people can no longer mentally cope with external stress factors and this initially creates chronic mental stress, which has a direct impact on chronic physiological stress. In addition, an unhealthy, inflammatory diet - consisting of too many Omega-6 fatty acids , processed foods, sugar and allergens such as gluten and cow's milk - lead to chronic inflammation.

However, this problem can be counteracted preventively and actively; some of it can be solved with anti-inflammatory foods:

Anti-inflammatory foods – this is how nutrition can support you

Basically, chronic inflammation in the intestines should be avoided through the right diet. Especially that Leaky gut syndrome is one of the inflammatory diseases that negatively impact the balance of inflammation and anti-inflammatory properties. To keep the intestinal mucosa intact, the balance of the To preserve the microbiome and avoid chronic inflammation in the mouth and intestines, avoiding inflammatory foods is a good prophylactic. The inflammatory promoters include sugar, grains containing gluten (wheat, rye, barley, etc.), cow's milk products (cheese, yogurt, milk, cottage cheese, etc.), legumes (lentils, beans, soy, etc.) and industrially processed foods - especially those that with a high content of omega-6 fatty acids or trans fats/hydrogenated fats.

Omega-6 fatty acids and inflammatory diseases

The counterpart of omega-6 fatty acids is omega-3. Omega-6 (contained in sunflower oil, safflower oil, corn oil, pumpkin seed oil) promotes inflammation in the body. As mentioned above, this is not bad per se, because short-term inflammation is important. However, the ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in our current diet is problematic. Omega-3 (fish oil, rapeseed oil, linseed oil, etc.) is anti-inflammatory and should be in the diet in a ratio of 1:5 (one part omega-3 to 5 parts omega-6) with omega-6 fats. Unfortunately, the classic diet today tends to have a ratio of 1:20, meaning four times as many inflammatory fats are consumed as should actually be the case. This disproportion can lead to chronic inflammatory reactions because there is no material or anti-inflammatory foods be available.

What else helps against inflammation in the body?

In addition to omega-3 fatty acids, there are numerous other anti-inflammatory foods:

Natural fats and oils such as virgin coconut oil or grass-fed butter support the intestines and cell walls. Organic eggs contain numerous vitamins such as A, D, E, K and B vitamins and are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Despite outdated myths, the cholesterol it contains is good and important for hormone production - primarily to protect the cell walls. So eggs should definitely be on your menu Anti-inflammatory diet . It may also be advisable to take additional fish oil capsules, which ensure a controlled and additional supply of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids with high bioavailability.

Turmeric, or the curcumin it contains, is also one of them anti-inflammatory foods . It has an antioxidant effect and thus protects the cells. Ginger and garlic can also be one anti-inflammatory effect because they can fight pathogens and render them harmless.

Bone broth from pastured cattle or organic chickens is extremely anti-inflammatory. The amino acids it contains, which, among other things, represent the protein collagen, support the skin, mucous membranes and soft tissue. On the one hand, bone broth acts as an anti-inflammatory on the mucous membranes in the mouth and intestines, so that fewer toxins enter the circulation. On the other hand, other areas of inflammation inside the body can be alleviated. This is particularly helpful in cases of injuries to bones, soft tissue or joints anti-inflammatory food .

Basically, most vegetables have an anti-inflammatory and alkaline effect. Broccoli in particular can be mentioned in this context. However, vegetables also contain some antinutrients that, like legumes, can inhibit digestive enzymes. However, this is very individual and depends on the very complex, different microbiome of each individual.

Berries can be used as low-sugar fruits anti-inflammatory properties score. Other fruits also have the potential to do this, but their development depends on the individual's fructose tolerance. Juices are not a good idea here as they lead to a rapid increase in... lead to blood sugar levels .

Anti-inflammatory teas

Anti-inflammatory drinks also have an effect: tea against inflammation in the body is a tried and tested remedy: fresh ginger-lemon tea is definitely high on the list anti-inflammatory teas . The vitamin C in lemon and the pungent substances in ginger help to eliminate pathogenic bacteria, primarily in the mouth and intestinal flora and in the throat. Fresh turmeric tea is also one of the teas that can alleviate an inflammatory reaction. The fact that honey in tea works wonders is more of a myth, because the dissolved sugar is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream, causing a blood sugar spike. This in turn triggers an inflammatory process in the cells. The vitamins contained in a tablespoon of honey correspond exactly to those of two blueberries, which would be preferable to honey because they hardly contain any sugar and have other antioxidants.

More anti-inflammatory teas consist of lime blossoms, chamomile, devil's claw, fennel, lemon balm, St. John's wort and lavender. They also calm a stressed head, which means the body can better switch over to the parasympathetic nervous system, which creates additional body-specific properties anti-inflammatory processes be started.

Anti-inflammatory herbs

Many herbs are also included anti-inflammatory foods . Basil, dandelion, devil's claw, ginkgo, parsley, thyme, mint, rosemary and sage can be used in an anti-inflammatory diet. They can either be used directly in recipes or prepared as teas or even used as concentrated herbal extracts.

Anti-inflammatory spices

As already mentioned above, ginger and turmeric, also here as spices, are great helpers anti-inflammatory diet to support. They are available as powder, but can also be used fresh as spices. Chili and pepper, or the capsaicin they contain, are also considered anti-inflammatory.

Is coffee inflammatory or not?

Coffee has a stimulating effect, i.e. more on the sympathetic nervous system. This makes it one of the foods that promote inflammation. However, due to the release of happiness hormones, this is not necessarily a bad thing. Coffee should only be used during active times of the day, i.e. morning and midday. Due to the half-life, drinking coffee too late can have a negative impact on sleep and thus anti-inflammatory parasympathetic nervous system have. So the timing is crucial. Coffee also contains antioxidant substances that can provide positive support for the body.

Anti-inflammatory diet – the conclusion

One sided anti-inflammatory diet wouldn't actually be the goal. It's more about finding the balance between inflammatory and anti-inflammatory foods to produce. Both sides are important for quality of life and health and they should be in balance. Because mental and physiological stress in today's world causes significantly more inflammatory processes to occur in the body than anti-inflammatory ones, it makes sense to focus on anti-inflammatory foods in order to restore at least part of the balance.

Anti-inflammatory foods include omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, flaxseed (and flaxseed oil), and canola oil. Other good, native oils and fats such as coconut oil or hemp oil can also have an anti-inflammatory effect in the body. Bone broth, vegetables and fruits counteract inflammatory foods. Teas made from ginger, turmeric, mint, chamomile, sea buckthorn, lavender, fennel, anise or lime blossom also have an anti-inflammatory effect in the organism. In addition, herbs such as basil, dandelion, devil's claw, ginkgo, parsley, thyme, mint, rosemary and sage can help the body inhibit inflammation. On the one hand, this happens actively, through the anti-inflammatory effect of the ingredients, and on the other hand, through other processes, as the calming substances in these plants support sleep and the general state of rest of the parasympathetic nervous system.

Ines Maria Schulz, born on December 1st, 1992 in Basel, Switzerland, also completed her Master of Education in Biology and WAH there, laying the foundation for the understanding of physiology and anatomy as well as nutrition. She is also a trained primary school sports teacher. For two years she has been a coach at MTM Personal Training, the most successful personal training studio in Berlin. There she supports customers every day who want to exploit their maximum potential in terms of mental and physical health and performance. In cooperation with doctors like Dr. Dominik Nischwitz and a laboratory for intestinal health as well as the constant exchange within the team, she can provide her customers with optimal advice about training, nutrition, micronutrients and lifestyle. She has already written a breakfast book and a large part of a lifestyle booklet for MTM. She also writes the weekly newsletter, which publishes nutritional tips and recipes she has created. Ines has completed seminars and certificates with a variety of successful coaches and specialists and is constantly expanding her skills. The young trainer has been writing blog articles for Supz Nutrition since January 2019.

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