In this article, you will learn about the top 9 foods that help fight inflammation. Plus, how to incorporate them into your diet. Above all, I am often asked which foods reduce inflammation. So, I discuss which foods reduce inflammation and why. Therefore, I composed this resource. It’s important to have a list of foods that fight inflammation handy. That is also easy to share with others. Bonus: Anti-inflammatory foods taste great too. Inflammation is also common in those who suffer from arthritis.
Firstly, as more and more people find themselves struggling with autoimmune diseases, chronic inflammation is becoming a more common ailment. Therefore, nutrition has never been a more powerful prevention tool.
Food intolerances have become much more widespread. Inflammation can occur for many reasons. For instance, high-stress lifestyles and extreme workouts can lead to inflammation. Illnesses may occur. The foods we eat can contribute. In addition, the stress in our life, as well as our environment, all impact the levels of inflammation within our bodies. Certainly, our body will attempt to rid itself of perceived harmful substances. But, what is inflammation? Inflammation is our body’s attempt to rid itself of harmful substances by widening our blood vessels to make room for white blood cells. Subsequently, the white blood cells ward off bacteria.
When pathogens enter the mucosal layer of our gut, the body responds with inflammation. For example, when our microbiome bacteria are in the wrong place, inflammation will continue until the source of that irritation is eradicated.
Most importantly, how can we fight that inflammation? Certainly, with the foods that we choose to eat. Food nourishes us. Food can heal us. So, by eating our nutrition we can get ahead of disease and illnesses. But, let’s talk about those 9 foods that fight inflammation.
1. Healthy fats
Healthy fats are abundant in the Mediterranean diet. For instance, they include salmon, avocado, and olive oil. Healthy fats have been shown to be beneficial for inflammation. For example, oleocanthal, a phenolic compound, found in olive oil has beneficial effects on inflammation (1). Avocados are a great source of potassium, heart-healthy fats, and fiber. They can even help to lower cholesterol levels. So, if you’re interested in trying out some of my delicious avocado recipes. Here are a few. Best Avocado Deviled Eggs Recipe and Healthy Guacamole Made Simple.
Similarly, lemons are another anti-inflammatory food. They contain beneficial plant compounds. Firstly, bioflavonoids help boost lymph flow and strengthen blood vessels. In addition, they help neutralize free radicals and can help protect against heart disease. The antioxidants in lemons help reduce swelling in the body. Lemons are rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C is necessary for your body to produce collagen. So collagen can help repair connective tissue and blood vessels. To gain the anti-inflammatory benefits, try adding fresh lemon juice to your water.
3. Cruciferous vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables are nutritious. Above all, these nutrient-dense vegetables contain high levels of sulfur and fiber. The sulfur helps fight back against free radicals. Therefore, the powerful detoxifying properties of these vegetables help reduce inflammation. Kale, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussel sprouts are all considered cruciferous vegetables. In addition, one cup of broccoli contains Vitamin C, A, K, folate, potassium, phosphorus, and selenium. Broccoli is rich in sulforaphane. Sulforaphane is an antioxidant that fights inflammation. It does so by reducing levels of cytokines in your body. Try out some of my recipes with cruciferous vegetables. How to make healthy creamy broccoli gratin, the best bang bang cauliflower “wings” and massaged kale with fennel Salad.
4. Berries & Cherries
Firstly, these tiny jewels from nature are packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Berries contain antioxidants called anthocyanins. To clarify, anthocyanins are compounds that reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases. Inflammation is typically found in most chronic diseases.
Likewise, cherries have been shown to reduce levels of CRP inflammatory markers. In particular, tart cherries. Studies have shown that by eating cherries, you can reduce the amount of uric acid in the blood. Because this can help prevent and help painful bouts of gout.
5. Sweet Potatoes
This nutrient-dense starchy root vegetable is filled with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Sweet potatoes are a rich source of beta-carotene. Similarly, this food that fights inflammation can also help maintain balance in the mucous membranes in the lining of your gut. Resistant starches in them help feed the beneficial bacteria in the gut. Purple sweet potatoes are good for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Similarly, this is from the cyanidin and peonidin found in sweet potatoes. Here are some of my favorite sweet potato recipes. Beef and sweet potato chili, healthy & easy red curry bowl, and purple sweet potato chia pudding.
Carrots are great at reducing inflammation. That is to say, they are one of the most beauty-enhancing vegetables. Likewise, they are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. In addition, they are also rich in carotenoids, low on the glycemic index and rich in insoluble fibers. But, with the rise in auto-immune diseases, it’s important to know which foods reduce inflammation in children. Meanwhile, here’s a terrific kid-friendly smoothie recipe, with this star ingredient. Bugs bunny immune-boosting smoothie recipe.
Turmeric. Oh, how I love a delicious turmeric latte. Turmeric is a powerful inflammation-fighting spice. It contains bioactive compounds. The main one being curcumin. Secondly, it is known for its high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Studies on turmeric have shown an improvement in the function of the endothelium. Therefore, lowering your risk of heart disease. Consider my popular Good Sleep-Calm Nerves Golden Milk, Nourishing Ginger Turmeric Bone Broth, or Anti-Inflammatory Indian Spiced Egg Wrap. Turmeric is one of my favorite anti-inflammatory foods on this list.
This fruit contains enzymes that can fight inflammation and disease. For instance, bromelain has been shown in studies to reduce markers of inflammation. Studies show that bromelain can decrease neutrophil migration where acute inflammation is present (2). So, were you surprised to find out that pineapple was an anti-inflammatory food?
9. Whole Grains
Refined carbohydrates have shown to increase inflammation. However, whole grains help to reduce inflammation. Swap out any refined carbohydrates for whole-grain options. For example, some whole grain options include gluten-free oats, brown rice millet, buckwheat, and sorghum. Oats are a good source of carbohydrates and fiber. But, did you know that oats contain antioxidants called avenanthramides? This powerful antioxidant may help to lower blood pressure. Inflammation is typically found in people with high blood pressure. The soluble fiber in oats can help to reduce cholesterol.
Brown rice contains many types of phenolic acids. Above all, these compounds are well known for their antioxidant activities. They are one of the most common antioxidants in our diet. They can protect cells against oxidative damage, for instance. Thereby reducing the risk of diseases associated with oxidative damage. Brown rice can decrease liver inflammation (3).
CONNECT AND LET’S DISCUSS FOODS THAT FIGHT INFLAMMATION!
So, now you know which foods reduce inflammation. Moreover, did you find this list of foods that fight inflammation handy? In addition, I would love to hear what your favorite anti-inflammatory food is. Let me know in the comments below. Connect with me@Eat_Your_Nutrition on Instagram. I love seeing your photos. #EatYourNutrition #LauraVillanueva
- Parkinson L, Keast R. Oleocanthal, a phenolic derived from virgin olive oil: a review of the beneficial effects on inflammatory disease. Int J Mol Sci. 2014;15(7):12323-12334. Published 2014 Jul 11. doi:10.3390/ijms150712323
- Fitzhugh DJ, Shan S, Dewhirst MW, Hale LP. Bromelain treatment decreases neutrophil migration to sites of inflammation. Clin Immunol. 2008 Jul;128(1):66-74. doi: 10.1016/j.clim.2008.02.015. Epub 2008 May 14. PMID: 18482869; PMCID: PMC2516972.
- Ravichanthiran K, Ma ZF, Zhang H, et al. Phytochemical Profile of Brown Rice and Its Nutrigenomic Implications. Antioxidants (Basel). 2018;7(6):71. Published 2018 May 23. doi:10.3390/antiox7060071