What foods help against osteoarthritis, rheumatism and Co

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Unhealthy eating habits can trigger chronic inflammation. Anti-inflammatory foods can help: here’s how.

Frankfurt – Whether rheumatism, osteoarthritis, diabetes, arthritis, multiple sclerosis or neurodermatitis, no matter how different the diseases are, they are often based on inflammatory reactions in the body. “Inflammatory processes play a role in an incredible number of diseases,” nutritionist Matthias Riedl explained to NDR.

Basically, inflammation is considered an important defense reaction against tissue damage. The goal is to remove the harmful influence. Inflammation usually manifests as reddened skin, warmth in the inflamed area, and swelling. This is often accompanied by pain and function is often restricted. Inflammation in the body, on the other hand, initially goes unnoticed and expresses itself, for example, with fever, malaise and pain.

Preventing Inflammation in the Body: Avoid Unhealthy Foods

If there is prolonged irritation of certain parts of the body, chronic inflammatory diseases can develop. These are usually noticed through recurring symptoms, such as arthritis or rheumatism. Many factors work together to create and maintain inflammatory processes, including lack of sleep and exercise, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, stress, and an unhealthy diet.

Fruits and vegetables are key to a healthy, anti-inflammatory diet. (symbol photo) © Karl-Josef Hildenbrand / dpa

Too much fat, too much sugar, not enough nutrients, and too many empty calories: Due to the oversupply of food in Western countries today, many people tend to lead unhealthy lifestyles. “Sweets, wheat products, and excessive consumption of meat, especially pork, which contains a lot of pro-inflammatory substances,” promote inflammation in the body, rheumatologist Anne Fleck told NDR. The lack of anti-inflammatory foods in the diet also plays a crucial role.

Chronic inflammation: eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is part of a healthy diet

To avoid chronic inflammation, a healthy and balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals is essential. Basically, a healthy lifestyle starts with enough fluids in the form of water or unsweetened tea. The German Nutrition Society recommends at least 1.5 liters a day. More on the move or in summer temperatures.

Fruits and vegetables should also be an important part of the diet. The AOK Health Insurance Company recommends at least three handfuls of raw or cooked vegetables per day. Two handfuls of low-sugar fruit are recommended. A special anti-inflammatory effect is attributed to this type of fruit and vegetables:

  • Leek and onion vegetables: many vitamins (A, B, C, E) and high amount of minerals such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus
  • Broccoli: supplies phytochemicals such as glucosinolates
  • Peppers: lots of vitamin C and lots of fiber
  • Cherries and red fruits: lots of vitamin C and phytochemicals such as anthocyanins
  • Spinach: rich in vitamins (C, E) and minerals such as beta-carotene, zinc and selenium

Healthy diet: nuts, oils and spices have anti-inflammatory effects

Nuts, vegetable oils, and spices also have an anti-inflammatory effect. Polyunsaturated fatty acids such as omega-3 strengthen the immune system and allow inflammatory processes in the body to decrease. Turmeric, ginger, and chili are also said to have an anti-inflammatory effect.

It is not crucial for an anti-inflammatory diet to eat only certain foods. As a general rule, it is enough to incorporate healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables into the eating plan and reduce pro-inflammatory foods such as alcohol, meat or sweets. Anyone who already suffers from chronic inflammation, such as rheumatism, osteoarthritis and the like, should constantly avoid pro-inflammatory foods. This also includes highly processed products, such as ready meals, cold meats, cheeses and foods that contain especially gluten.

A high consumption of animal products can not only lead to chronic inflammation in the body, but also increase the risk of depression.

“A predominantly vegetarian and plant-based diet ensures an adequate supply of anti-inflammatory substances,” the Association for Independent Health Council wrote. “The more colorful and varied the food selection, the better.” Reducing stress, getting enough sleep, and getting enough exercise in daily life are also crucial. (cheese)

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