Anti-inflammatory foods in season

Anti-inflammatory foods in season

The anti-inflammatory diet consists mainly of foods that slow down inflammation in the body, primarily a variety of foods from the plant kingdom. At the same time, foods that can increase inflammation – for example, sugar and trans fats – are avoided. Fruits and vegetables – the staple of the anti-inflammatory diet – contain fibre, vitamins and other protective substances that have positive health effects. The goal is to consume 800 grams per day and during the summer months there is plenty of locally grown and nutritious produce to enjoy and reach that goal.

Fill your vegetable quota with locally grown vegetables

Stig Bengmark recommends consuming between 800 grams and one kilo of fruit and vegetables per day, (preferably more!) and during this period it is easy to fill your vegetable quota with locally grown produce. Frozen vegetables are both healthy and tasty, but during the summer, fresh and crispy berries, fruits and vegetables are undoubtedly more appealing. We have listed several nutritious greens below that grow and thrive in the summer and that do both your body and mind a great deal of good. By choosing locally grown greens, and avoiding vegetables that have been transported from far away, you can also ensure that you limit your impact on the environment.

This is how you consume more fruit and vegetables

Why not spice up your traditional lettuce and tomato salad with sugar peas, baby spinach, broccoli and beans? Then you have conjured up a truly healthy salad full of fibre, vitamins and minerals. Or maybe try mixing several vegetables into a healthy smoothie that helps the benign gut bacteria thrive, and that strengthens the immune system.

Below we have listed some of the produce that is in season during the summer months:

1. Broccoli

Broccoli contains lots of vitamin C, minerals and antioxidants. And not least calcium. Broccoli is said to lower cholesterol and prevent cancer, as well as strengthen the immune system and the gastrointestinal system.

2. Cauliflower

Cauliflower is a real vitamin C bomb. 100 grams of cauliflower provides almost the entire daily requirement of vitamin C, which means cauliflower contains more vitamin C than, for example, oranges.

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3. Kale

Kale is packed with nutrients in the form of vitamins, fibre and antioxidants that strengthen the immune system and protect you from diseases. The green leaves also contain healthy fatty acids such as omega-3.

4. Raspberries

Raspberries are high in vitamin C, folate, iron, calcium, potassium and antioxidants. They also contain plenty of fibre, such as pectin – which the gut bacteria love, and which helps control levels of cholesterol.

5. Green beans

Green beans are rich in dietary fibre such as resistant starch as well as vitamins B and E, selenium, iron, potassium and calcium. They also contain folate which is extra important to ingest during pregnancy.

6. Strawberries

Strawberries are rich in several nutrients, such as vitamin C, and contain high levels of antioxidants that counteract free radicals. They are also a great source of vitamin K and manganese, as well as folate, potassium, riboflavin, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, copper and magnesium.

7. Chard

Chard contains lutein, zeaxanthin and carotenoids, which are said to protect the eyes from age-related deterioration. It also contains vitamin K which has a positive effect on bone mass and can counteract osteoporosis.

8. Carrots

Carrots are full of beta-carotene, alpha-carotene and lutein which are good for your heart and can counteract heart diseases such as heart attack and high blood pressure.

9. Leek

Leeks contain most types of vitamins and minerals – more than yellow onions – and are considered to have anti-inflammatory properties.

10. Potatoes

An unpeeled potato is full of important nutrients that the body requires. Consuming 250 grams of potato is said to be enough to cover half of the daily requirement of vitamin C. It is also a source of B vitamins, and minerals such as potassium and iron. Feel free to eat the potatoes cold to increase your fibre intake!

11. Spinach

Spinach contains antioxidants that reduce the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease. It is also packed with protective substances such as vitamin K, lutein and beta-carotene.

12. Beets

Beets contain many different kinds of vitamins that benefit the immune system. Beets get their red colour from the antioxidant betacyanin, which protects and strengthens the body’s cells – and the minerals and phytochemicals provide resistance to bacteria and infections.

13. Radishes

Radishes are detoxifying and cleanse the blood of toxins and waste. They keep the liver healthy, and the colour of the radishes indicate that they are also rich in desirable flavonoids.

14. Sugar peas

Sugar peas are a good source of fibre, folate, vitamin C and vitamin K.

15. Asparagus

Asparagus contains vitamins A, C, E and K but also chromium, fibre and folate – which the body needs. It is also diuretic and rich in fibre, which can counteract fluid retention and prevent constipation.

How to further support your digestive health and immune system?

For most people, we usually can get everything we need by ensuring we eat a varied diet with lots of fruits and vegetables as listed above. However, your diet may sometimes need to be complemented with supplements containing specific vitamins, minerals or nutrients. To ensure digestive health, a supplement containing probiotics and synbiotics can be a good alternative.

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