Anti-inflammatory nutrition: These foods help with osteoarthritis, rheumatism and more.

  • Karolin Schäfer

    VonKarolin Schäfer


Unhealthy eating habits can trigger chronic inflammation. Anti-Inflammatory Foods Can Help: What You Should Know.

Frankfurt – Whether it is rheumatism, osteoarthritis, diabetes, arthritis, multiple sclerosis or neurodermatitis, no matter how different the diseases are, they often rely on inflammatory reactions in the body. “Inflammatory processes play a role in an incredible number of diseases,” nutritionist Matthias Riedl explained to the NDR. Basically, inflammation is considered an important defense reaction to tissue damage. The goal is to remove the harmful influence. Inflammation usually occurs in the form of red skin, warmth in the inflamed area, and swelling. This is often accompanied by pain and function is usually limited. The inflammation of the body, on the other hand, initially goes unnoticed and is expressed, for example, with fever, general malaise and pain.

If there is long-lasting irritation of some parts of the body, chronic inflammatory diseases can develop. These are usually evident 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.

Prevent inflammation in the body: You should specifically avoid unhealthy foods

Too much fat, too much sugar, insufficient nutrients, and too many empty calories: Due to overeating in Western countries today, many people tend to lead unhealthy lifestyles. “Sweets, grain-based products and excessive consumption of meat, especially pork, which contains a particularly large number of pro-inflammatory substances,” promote inflammation in the body, informed rheumatologist Anne Fleck NDR. The lack of anti-inflammatory foods in the diet also plays a crucial role.

Yuck, mold! You can still eat these foods

Moldy food on a compost
Several tons of food are thrown away in Germany every day, partly due to mold. But it doesn’t always have to be that way. © Astrid Gast / Imago
Warning sign with exclamation point: caution signs beware of mold on multigrain bread.
Mold spreads quickly, especially in hot temperatures and when food is improperly stored. However, it is not always directly a reason to throw it away! © Ralph Peters / Imago
Bread on the shelf of a bakery

Bread is one of those foods to throw away immediately if there is a small spot of mold. The spores easily penetrate through the tissue. © F. Anthea Schaap / Imago

Homemade strawberry jam in a glass jar.  Next to it are three fresh sliced ​​strawberries on the table
Jam or marmalade that shows a layer of mold doesn’t necessarily have to go. Prerequisite: They contain more than 50 percent sugar or sugar substitutes. Then simply remove the mold generously. © Eva Gruendemann / imago
Cream cheese on a bread
Cream cheese contains a lot of moisture and therefore mold has perfect breeding ground. Mold? Get away with it!
milk and dairy products
Hard cheese, on the other hand, is a completely different matter. Mold cannot spread on Parmesan. Simply cut the affected part and enjoy the rest Blue cheeses such as gorgonzola are covered with an edible noble rot. © Philipp Brandstädter / dpa / symbol image
Moldy nuts are of particular concern due to a toxin they contain. So fix them right away. © Markus Scholz / dpa
Various spices
Incidentally, the same substance is also found on moldy pepper. He is also in the garbage. © Bassi / Imago
Air-dried meat products such as salami and serrano ham
You can treat air-dried meat products like salami and serrano ham like Parmesan – generously wipe off the moldy areas and enjoy the rest. © Ingrid Balabanova / Imago
Salami hanging in the curing room (symbol photo)
Of course, you can eat the whole noble rot salami. Here you want the mold. © Patrick Pleul / dpa
Soft, fleshy and juicy fruits and vegetables such as peaches or tomatoes are quickly attacked and penetrated by mold. So when you see a spot, you sadly have to say goodbye to delicacy. © Mark1987 / Imago Images

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 per day. More when traveling or in summer temperatures.

The right diet can help with rheumatism, osteoarthritis and the like. (icon image)

© Hauke-Christian Dittrich / dpa

Chronic inflammation – Fruits and vegetables are part of a healthy diet

Fruits and vegetables should also form important parts 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 these types of fruits and vegetables:

  • Vegetables, leeks and onions: many vitamins (A, B, C, E) and a high amount of minerals such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus
  • Broccoli: provides phytochemicals such as glucosinolates
  • Paprika: lots of vitamin C and lots of fiber
  • Cherries and red berries: a lot of vitamin C and phytochemicals such as anthocyanins
  • Spinach: rich in vitamins (C, E) and minerals such as beta-carotene, zinc and selenium

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 subside. Turmeric, ginger and chili are also said to have an anti-inflammatory effect.

Eat healthy – Nuts, oils and spices have anti-inflammatory effects

It is not essential for an anti-inflammatory diet to only eat certain foods. As a rule, it is sufficient to include healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables in the meal plan and to cut down on pro-inflammatory foods such as alcohol, meat or sweets. Anyone already suffering 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, sausages, cheeses, and foods that contain particularly 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 guarantees an adequate intake of anti-inflammatory substances,” wrote the Association for Independent Health Advice. “The more colorful and varied the food selection, the better.” Stress reduction, sufficient sleep, and sufficient exercise in everyday life are also key. (Carolin Schaefer)

Heading list: © Hauke-Christian Dittrich / dpa

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