The anti-inflammatory foods par excellence are those that provide us with omega fatty acids
- These fatty acids are the essential components of some chemicals called anti-inflammatory prostaglandins (IL-2 and IL-4), which neutralize the triggers of inflammation such as the Cox-2 enzyme and pro-inflammatory prostaglandins (IL-1, IL-6 and TNF-a). Omega-3s are especially interesting in case of chronic inflammation of the joints since they block the activity of the enzyme that breaks down cartilage.
- Animal sources: blue fish such as salmon , mackerel, sardines, anchovies, etc. They are the most assimilable source, but we should always choose small ones to avoid heavy metal contamination.
- Vegetable sources: we have walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds and algae . It should be borne in mind that to take advantage of omega 3 of plant origin it is necessary to have a balanced and active intestinal flora.
Vitamins and antioxidant pigments
Some fruits and vegetables also have anti-inflammatory properties. Antioxidants have recently been shown to play a protective role in inflammatory processes. They act in different ways, but not to get bored with strange names and biochemistry, we better go to the practical information!
- Red fruits like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries , acai berries, or goji berries, as well as red grapes, are powerful anti-inflammatory foods for being rich in a bluish pigment called proanthocyanidin that helps protect the cardiovascular system .
- The Vitamin Cis a water soluble antioxidant. To achieve an optimal effect, it should be consumed with bioflavonoids such as quercitin (quercitin is also found in citrus fruits such as oranges, in the bitter white part that we do not usually eat).
- Vitamin E is a protective antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties. The interesting thing about this vitamin is that, being fat soluble, it helps protect the lipid layer of cell membranes.
- Turmeric contains curcumin, a powerful antioxidant that, among many other benefits, blocks the activity of the enzyme Cox-2(prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2). Cox is an enzyme that allows the body to produce pro-inflammatory prostaglandins from arachidonic acid (a substance that the body makes from omega 6).
- Green tea: Recent studies have confirmed that the polyphenols in green tea have anti-inflammatory properties (again) thanks to the inhibition of Cox-2 and TNFa (tumor necrosis factor alpha).
Foods rich in sulfur
Many natural supplements designed to alleviate joint pain and inflammation contain sulfur. Surely it sounds like MSM, glucosamine sulfate or chondroitin sulfate.
Among the sulfur-containing anti-inflammatory foods we have bulbous vegetables such as onions, chives, leeks and garlic.
Green tea is an excellent drink full of great beneficial properties for health. In this case, this drink has very powerful anti-inflammatory compounds, which help reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. In addition, it helps to relax and calm, being an ideal drink for a cold day or before bed.