7 Best Luteolin Foods That Fight Inflammation |  Good + Good

7 Best Luteolin Foods That Fight Inflammation | Good + Good

VSChronic inflammation is at the root of countless diseases. While any number of things can trigger inflammation in the body – think stress, pollution, lack of sleep, smoking or excessive alcohol consumption, etc. – the good news is that there are an abundance of nutrients that can help control inflammation. One such nutrient to look out for is luteolin, which exists in a variety of plant-based food sources.

To find out why luteolin is such a powerhouse when it comes to protecting your mind and body from the damaging effects of inflammation, we enlisted Uma Naidoo, MD, Harvard-trained nutritional psychiatrist, professional chef, nutritional biologist and author of the national and international bestseller, It’s your brain on the food– for his ideas. Plus: Seven foods with luteolin that she recommends the most.

What is Luteolin?

Dr. Naidoo begins by saying that luteolin is a common flavonoid found in many fruits, vegetables, and herbs. “Flavonoids are a type of antioxidant, specifically a polyphenol, that help plant cells defend against a variety of environmental or situational stressors,” she says. When you eat plant-based foods that contain them, flavonoids boost their antioxidant abilities by protecting cells from damage caused by oxidative stress and inflammation. “Specifically, luteolin has been shown to have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects in humans,” adds Dr. Naidoo.

How Luteolin Benefits Your Health

The majority of luteolin’s benefits can be attributed to its anti-inflammatory effects, which work wonders for promoting health and well-being on all levels. “Luteolin is associated with reduced brain fog, reduced stress and symptoms of anxiety, improved memory, and reduced risk of cognitive decline,” says Dr. Naidoo. “It has also been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and improved cardiovascular health – likely due to its anti-inflammatory effects in our blood vessels – and has also been implicated in improving cancer treatment as it has antitumor properties.”

Simply put, Luteolin is a powerful antioxidant that helps sharpen your cognitive acuity, improve your mental health, and ward off the risk of developing or exacerbating some pretty serious health issues. So getting more of it in your diet is wise, stat.

The Best Foods Containing Luteolin, According to a Nutritional Psychiatrist

1. Parsley

Parsley is one of Dr. Naidoo’s favorite herbs because it’s a key source of micronutrients that support neurological health, with luteolin (and folate) among them. “Parsley can help improve mental fitness, brain health, energy levels, and overall cognition,” she explains, adding that she loves topping this herb into salads and loading up on nutrient-rich chimichurri. parsley with grass-fed steak, grilled tofu, or cauliflower.

2. Radicchio

This purple leafy vegetable is another great source of luteolin, making it a good option to use as a base for salads or even as a substitute for wraps and tortillas. “Its leaves look like little boats, so I like to make healthy tacos by stuffing a radicchio leaf with other chopped vegetables, avocado and a clean protein, seasoned with cumin and oregano and a burst of freshly squeezed lime,” shares Dr Naidoo. Taco Tuesday with brain- and heart-boosting benefits, anyone?

3. Green peppers

In addition to being rich in luteolin, green peppers also contain many other bioactive compounds “that exhibit antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, immunosuppressive, and immune-stimulating properties, and antidiabetic, antitumor, and neuroprotective activities,” according to a 2021 review in the medical journal Molecules. Dr. Naidoo advises eating green peppers either “raw and chopped in a colorful salad or grilled on colorful skewers alongside other seasonal vegetables.” Bonus points go to those who add these colorful peppers to the radicchio tacos above.

4. Chicory leaves

Although I’m familiar with chicory from New Orleans-style coffee (which involves roasting, grinding, and infusing the root of the plant), Dr. Naidoo says their vegetables can be incorporated into meals similar to other vegetables. leafy greens. However, she warns that they have a robust flavor profile, so she offers some tips for enjoying them without overwhelming your palate. “I recommend adding chicory leaves to soups or stews, or sautéing them in avocado oil for a tasty side dish,” she advises.

5. Celery

Whether you prefer your celery raw, cooked, or juiced, this versatile vegetable can help boost your intake of anti-inflammatory luteolin. Dr. Naidoo mentions that it’s a staple in many nutritious soup recipes (in fact, I’m slow cooking a hearty chicken soup loaded with chopped stalks right now), and it also goes well with hummus or almond butter for a healthy, moisturizing and crunchy snack.

6. Pumpkin

As if we needed one more reason to love this fall staple, pumpkin is also a good source of luteolin. “I love roasting pumpkin and mashing it into a warming soup with earthy spices like cinnamon and cloves,” says Dr. Naidoo. Out of season, you can also snack on a handful of pumpkin seeds or incorporate them into a number of recipes, as they contain small amounts of this anti-inflammatory flavonoid.

7. Kohlrabi

Last on Dr. Naidoo’s list of luteolin foods is kohlrabi, a cruciferous vegetable that tastes similar to broccoli stalks. “Kohrabi is one of my favorite vegetables; I love cleaning it up and cutting pieces to snack on,” she shares. You can also toss it into salads or enjoy it steamed, sautéed or grilled as part of larger meals.

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