" Blog da Horta Biológica: Anti-inflammatory Foods for Disease Prevention and Strengthening the Immune System

Anti-inflammatory Foods for Disease Prevention and Strengthening the Immune System

There is a wide variety of foods with anti-inflammatory properties that can be included in the daily diet, regardless of the type of diet each person follows. It is very important to eat these foods because they strengthen the immune system and help to prevent and fight inflammation. When inflammations become recurrent or even chronic, they can trigger serious health problems such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, obesity, some types of cancer, cardiovascular problems and neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's.

Although these foods are no substitute for medical care, they are an excellent way to provide well-being and care for ourselves and our loved ones. In addition, many of these foods can be easily grown in the garden or in pots.



Because we have already had some cases of serious inflammation in our family, we have carried out our research so that we can acquire more knowledge about this very important subject and be able to share with our readers, family and friends everything that we have discovered that could help everyone to have a better life, with more quality.

It is important to mention that much of the information we collected was taken from Dr. Patrick Holford's precious book "The Alzheimer's Prevention Plan" which places great emphasis on the importance of inflammation prevention for good mental and physical health.



What is Inflammation?


An inflammation is a reaction of the body to an infection or injury of tissues or organs, caused by external factors. The immune system itself develops inflammation as a way of responding to and fighting off offending agents. Although it is a natural reaction of the body, when inflammation happens frequently or over a long period of time, it can lead to several types of serious diseases, as mentioned before.



How do Anti-inflammatory Foods Act in the Body?


Foods that contain anti-inflammatory properties minimize the imbalances that occur in the body, caused by inflammation. The Mediterranean diet is advised in the fight against inflammation, because it includes many of these foods. 

In addition to anti-inflammatory foods, we will also talk about pro-inflammatory foods that boost the appearance and increase of inflammation. 


We will then start by talking about foods that should be avoided or at least moderated.



Pro-inflammatory Foods


Increasing the amount of anti-inflammatory foods in the diet is not enough if you do not reduce the amount of pro-inflammatory foods, i.e. foods that contribute to increased inflammation. We are talking about industrialized products and processed foods which, due to their high number of dyes, synthetic preservatives and other chemical substances added to them, should be reduced or avoided whenever possible.


  • Processed meats with a lot of fat, such as sausage, hamburger and bacon
  • Red meat when consumed in excess
  • Frozen food, pizza, lasagna, breaded meats and all kinds of fast food
  • Canned salted food
  • Refined food oils
  • Sugary beverages
  • Alcoholic drinks when consumed in excess
  • Sweets and fried foods
  • Foods loaded with sugar, such as pastry products and breakfast cereals



Are Lactose and Gluten Pro-Inflammatory?


Foods containing lactose and gluten are associated with allergic reactions and inflammatory processes in some people. However, these foods also have their benefits and should not be totally avoided by those who do not have sensitivity, so moderation in their consumption is the way to take. Here are some examples:


  • Milk of animal origin and some of its derivatives, such as cheese, butter and ricotta
  • Refined carbohydrates, such as pasta, white rice, wheat, cookies and store-bought bread 


Although these foods are inadvisable and it is not always possible to avoid them, it is important to remember that each person is unique in their individual needs and should not cut foods from their diet without first talking to a doctor or nutritionist, especially those with health conditions.



Anti-inflammatory Foods


We are now going to approach, in a simple and direct way, a great part of the foods that present anti-inflammatory properties. Get to know them in our infographic.


Anti-inflammatory foods de Blog da Horta Biológica



Always Important to Remember! 


The fact that these foods are considered anti-inflammatory does not mean that we can abuse them. Even healthy foods and so-called "superfoods" have toxic potential if taken in excess. We stress again that the uniqueness of each person requires special care. It cannot be taken for granted that what works well for some will also work well for others. Scientific research shows that some foods considered anti-inflammatory may also have pro-inflammatory responses (such as eggs), so their consumption may have different effects on each individual. Those who have doubts as to what they can or cannot intake and as to the amounts they can include in each meal, should consult a doctor or nutritionist, especially those who suffer from some health condition.



Habits That Help Improve Immune System Response


Besides an anti-inflammatory diet, there are many other healthy habits that can be adopted for a more balanced and happy life and that help to increase well-being and keep the immune system strong. Some of these suggestions were also taken from the Dr. Patrick Holford's book we mentioned earlier.


  • Outdoor exercises, especially yoga and tai chi
  • Meditation
  • Learning new things
  • Having a list of things to do (but without exaggeration!)
  • Sleep well (create a routine at the end of the day that helps you sleep better)
  • Sunbathing in moderation
  • Listening to music
  • Dancing
  • Finding a healthy hobby with purpose


We hope that all the information in this post will be useful to help each and every person to have a better quality of life and to make better choices for a healthier daily routine.


Until the next post, take good care!


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