Reducing inflammation is important for runners who want to avoid illness and recover quickly after jogging and training. Although winter is not typically associated with an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, there are several foods that are in season now that can help fight inflammation to keep you healthy all winter, so keep an eye on these items in the production aisle. next time you go to the grocery store.
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Now is the best time of year to buy oranges, clementines, mandarins and grapefruits, which are full of immune-boosting vitamin C. Some citrus fruits, like blood oranges, also contain high levels of anthocyanins, which are the same compounds that give berries their anti-inflammatory properties. .
Beets are high in an antioxidant called betaine, which research has shown can help reduce oxidative stress related to heart disease and Alzheimer’s. The earthy purple root vegetable also contains nitrates, which studies have shown have an anti-inflammatory effect that lowers blood pressure. As a bonus, the nitrates found in beets can also help improve your endurance.
Dark leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, chard and collard greens grow really well in winter because they can withstand colder temperatures. Each of these vegetables contains a wide variety of antioxidants, including carotenoids, flavonoids, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C and lutein.
That’s right- this humble potato contains a surprising amount of vitamin C. Of course, sweet potatoes and purple potatoes contain even higher levels, and sweet potatoes also contain carotenoids, which protect the cells from free radical damage that can create inflammation or exacerbate existing inflammation.
Ginger is one of the most potent anti-inflammatory foods available. Several studies have shown that its functional ingredients such as gingerols, shogaols and paradols inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which are directly related to chronic inflammation. Preventing chronic inflammation will make your body less vulnerable to disease, while helping to reduce joint and muscle pain.
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Leeks are part of the allium family, which also includes onions and shallots. These vegetables all contain an anti-inflammatory compound called quercetin, and are great in the winter in soups, stews and other hot, comforting foods.