After all, what is an anti-inflammatory diet? She is a food reeducation that aims to reduce chronic inflammation, related to cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, anxiety, depression, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer, depression and obesity.
It’s not a specific diet, but a style of eating. In other words, in essence, this diet follows the Mediterranean style, with a focus on healthy fats (olive oil, nuts, almonds, avocado and fish), nutrient-dense foods (fruits, vegetables and legumes), low glycemic carbohydrates (grains and whole grains), fresh herbs and spices.
But, it is also necessary to remove some foods that are not part of the menu. For example: soft drinks and sweetened juices, refined carbohydrates (bread and white pasta), desserts (cookies, sweets, cake and ice cream), processed meats (turkey breast, bologna and sausages), processed snacks (stuffed cookies and snacks) and alcoholic beverages.
Therefore, according to nutritionist Adriana Stavro, to reduce or prevent inflammation, it is important to maintain a diet based on foods rich in nutrients and containing antioxidants. “An anti-inflammatory diet should provide a healthy balance of protein, carbohydrate, fat, vitamins, minerals and fiber, prioritizing foods with anti-inflammatory properties,” she explains.
13 foods that can’t be missing in the anti-inflammatory diet
1. Purple grapes
Grapes contain resveratrol, a plant compound with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Plus, they can lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s, and eye disease.
2. Red fruits
Berries such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries or blackberries contain several essential micronutrients such as fiber, polyphenols and antioxidants (anthocyanins), compounds that fight inflammation. They not only reduce existing inflammation, but also prepare cells to better respond to any future inflammation.
Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower and Brussels sprouts are rich in vitamin K, C, potassium, magnesium, fiber and sulforaphane. Therefore, according to the nutritionist, the potential protective role of cruciferous vegetables and the active components present in these vegetables have been extensively studied. And the results showed that this class of vegetables can even delay the development of cancer.
Salmon and other fatty fish are rich in omega-3 (W3) fatty acids. According to Stavro, W3’s anti-inflammatory properties have been described for its role in preventing and treating conditions such as coronary artery disease, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, Alzheimer’s, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and cystic fibrosis. W3 is also beneficial for autoimmune diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, ulcerative colitis, psoriasis and multiple sclerosis.
Varying the menu is important to not get sick.
Turmeric, a rhizome of long turmeric, is a tasty yellow-orange spice. The components of turmeric are called curcuminoids. And most importantly, curcumin. According to the expert, it has been used in alternative medicine for centuries, as it is non-toxic and has a variety of therapeutic properties, including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, hepatoprotective, immunostimulating, antiseptic, analgesic and anticarcinogenic.
6. Pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds contain polyunsaturated fatty acids, potassium, vitamin B2 (riboflavin), folate, vitamin E and carotenoids, which are antioxidants, vitamins and minerals essential for the immune system. They are delicious as snacks, but can also be sprinkled on salads or on top of soups.
7. Green leaves
Spinach, kale, Swiss chard and arugula are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients, including folic acid, fiber, vitamin A, C, E and K. It is worth remembering that increased consumption of fruits and vegetables has been widely recommended as a component- key of a healthy diet to reduce the risk of major chronic diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease (CVD), the leading causes of death worldwide.
Avocados are sources of healthy (monounsaturated) fats, which help reduce cholesterol and joint inflammation. Avocados also contain vitamin K, C and E, manganese, selenium and zinc. The various nutrients in the fruit have also been shown to be beneficial in preventing neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Every detail matters
9. Green tea
Green tea is rich in catechins. According to Stavro, research suggests that catechins are anti-inflammatory compounds that prevent the formation of free radicals, inhibit the formation of cancer cells, promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.
You tomatoes are a source of lycopene. Lycopene is the pigment that gives color to red and pink fruits such as tomato, watermelon and strawberry. It is a nutrient with antioxidant properties associated with heart health benefits and protection against sunburn and certain types of cancer.
11. Whole grains
These grains contain more fiber, protein, selenium, potassium and magnesium than refined grains. They also have a lower glycemic index, which minimizes the inflammatory effects that are seen with extreme and constant glucose fluctuations. Additionally, a diet rich in whole grains was associated with better weight management.
12. Extra virgin olive oil
According to the nutritionist, olive oil contains approximately 36 phenolic compounds and it is this phenolic fraction that is responsible for the anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antimicrobial benefits. The main anti-inflammatory effects of olive oil are mediated by antioxidants. The highlight is “oleocanthal, which has been shown to act similarly to ibuprofen, an anti-inflammatory drug,” says Stavro.
Chia seeds are known as a superfood. They offer all nine essential amino acids and are therefore a high quality plant protein. More than 80% of the carbohydrate content of the seeds is in the form of fiber. The fiber is mainly of the soluble type, responsible for the sticky texture of the moistened seeds.
This fiber can be fermented in the gut, promoting the formation of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) and improving colon health. Another important feature of chia is its high omega-3 content. In fact, chia is the best-known plant source of W-3, even better than flaxseed.
The minerals that stand out the most are: manganese, essential for metabolism, growth and development; phosphorus, which contributes to bone health and tissue maintenance; Copper, important for heart health; selenium, an important antioxidant and calcium, which is essential for bones, muscles and nerves.
Source: Adriana Stavro, Master Nutritionist at Centro Universitário São Camilo.