The 13 Most Anti-Inflammatory Foods You Can Eat

Inflammation can be both good and bad. For one, it helps your body defend itself against infection and injury. On the other hand, chronic inflammation can lead to weight gain and disease. Stress, inflammatory foods, and low activity levels can increase this risk. However, studies show that certain foods can fight inflammation.

Here are 13 anti-inflammatory foods.

1. Berries

Berries are small fruits that are packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Although there are dozens of cultivars, some of the most common berries are:

– the strawberries
– Blueberries
– Raspberries
– Blackberries

The berries contain antioxidants called anthocyanins. These compounds have anti-inflammatory effects that can reduce the risk of disease.
Your body produces natural killer (NK) cells that help your immune system function properly.

In a study of men, those who ate blueberries every day produced significantly more NK cells than those who didn’t. In another study, obese adults who ate strawberries had lower levels of certain inflammatory markers linked to heart disease.

2. Fatty fish

Oily fish is a great source of protein and long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA. Although all types of fish contain some omega-3 fatty acids, some of the best sources include these fatty fish:

– Salmon
– sardines
– Herring
– Mackerel
– Anchovies

EPA and DHA reduce inflammation that can lead to metabolic syndrome, heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease.
Your body converts these fatty acids into compounds called resolvins and protectins, which have anti-inflammatory effects. Studies have shown that people who consumed salmon or EPA and DHA supplements saw a reduction in the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (CRP).

3. Broccoli

Broccoli is extremely nutritious. It is a cruciferous vegetable like cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and kale.
Research has shown that eating lots of cruciferous vegetables is linked to a lower risk of heart disease and cancer.
This could be related to the anti-inflammatory effect of the antioxidants it contains. Broccoli is high in sulforaphane, an antioxidant that fights inflammation by reducing levels of cytokines and NF-kB that cause inflammation.

4. Lawyers

Avocado is perhaps one of the few superfoods worthy of the title. They’re packed with potassium, magnesium, fiber, and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. They also contain carotenoids and tocopherols, which have been linked to a reduced risk of cancer.

Additionally, a compound found in avocados can reduce inflammation in young skin cells. In one study, people who ate a slice of avocado with a burger had lower levels of the inflammatory markers NF-kB and IL-6 than participants who ate the burger alone.

5. Green Tea

You’ve probably heard that green tea is one of the healthiest beverages you can drink. It lowers your risk of heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, obesity, and other diseases. Many of its benefits are due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, including a substance called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). EGCG inhibits inflammation by reducing the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and fatty acid damage in your cells.

6. Peppers and chillies

Peppers and chilies are packed with vitamin C and antioxidants that have powerful anti-inflammatory effects. Paprika provides the antioxidant quercetin, which may reduce a marker of oxidative damage in people with sarcoid, an inflammatory condition. Chili peppers contain sinapic acid and ferulic acid, which may reduce inflammation and promote healthy aging.

7. Mushrooms

There are thousands of mushroom species in the world, but only a few are edible and grown commercially.
These include truffles, portobello mushrooms and shiitake. Mushrooms are very low in calories and high in selenium, copper and all the B vitamins. They also contain phenols and other antioxidants that provide anti-inflammatory protection. A special type of mushroom called lion’s mane can potentially reduce low-grade inflammation caused by obesity (36).

However, one study showed that cooking mushrooms significantly reduced their anti-inflammatory compounds. It is therefore best to eat them raw or lightly cooked.

8. Grapes

Grapes contain anthocyanins that reduce inflammation. In addition, they can reduce the risk of various diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s and eye diseases. Grapes are also one of the best sources of resveratrol, another compound with many health benefits. In one study, people with heart disease who consumed grape extract daily saw a decrease in inflammatory genetic markers.

Also, their adiponectin levels increased. Low levels of this hormone have been linked to weight gain and an increased risk of cancer

9. Turmeric

Turmeric is a strong, earthy-flavored spice that is often used in curries and other Indian dishes. It has received a lot of attention due to its content of curcumin, a powerful anti-inflammatory nutrient. Turmeric reduces inflammation associated with arthritis, diabetes, and other diseases.

In fact, daily consumption of one gram of curcumin combined with black pepper piperine resulted in a significant decrease in the inflammatory marker CRP in people with metabolic syndrome. However, it can be difficult to get enough curcumin for turmeric alone to have a noticeable effect. In one study, overweight women who took 2.8 grams of turmeric daily showed no improvement in inflammatory markers.

Taking supplements with isolated curcumin is much more effective. Curcumin supplements are often combined with piperine, which can increase curcumin absorption by 2,000%.

10. Extra virgin olive oil

Extra virgin olive oil is one of the healthiest fats you can eat.

Rich in monounsaturated fats, it is a staple of the Mediterranean diet that offers many health benefits.
Studies link extra virgin olive oil to a reduced risk of heart disease, brain tumors, and other serious health problems. On the Mediterranean diet, CRP and several other inflammatory markers decreased significantly in people who consumed 50 mL of olive oil daily ( 57Trusted Source ).

The effects of oleocanthal, an antioxidant found in olive oil, have been compared to that of anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen.
Keep in mind that extra virgin olive oil offers greater anti-inflammatory benefits than more refined olive oils.

11. Dark chocolate and cocoa

Dark chocolate is delicious, rich and filling. It’s also rich in antioxidants that reduce inflammation. These can reduce the risk of disease and help you age healthier. Flavanols are responsible for chocolate’s anti-inflammatory effects and keep the endothelial cells lining your arteries healthy.

In one study, smokers saw a significant improvement in endothelial function within two hours of consuming high-flavonol chocolate. However, be sure to choose dark chocolate that contains at least 70% cocoa, a higher percentage is even better to reap these anti-inflammatory benefits.

12. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a very nutritious food. Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C, potassium and lycopene, an antioxidant with impressive anti-inflammatory properties. Lycopene may be particularly beneficial for reducing pro-inflammatory compounds linked to various types of cancer.

Note that cooking tomatoes in olive oil can maximize the amount of lycopene you absorb (70). This is because lycopene is a carotenoid, a nutrient best absorbed with a fat source.

13. Cherries

Cherries are delicious and rich in antioxidants like anthocyanins and catechins that fight inflammation. Although the health-promoting properties of tart cherries have been studied more than other varieties, sweet cherries also have benefits.

In one study in which people ate 280 grams of cherries daily for a month, their levels of the inflammatory marker CRP dropped and remained low for 28 days after they stopped eating cherries ( 75Trusted Source ).

Avoid inflammatory foods

In addition to filling your diet with nutritious anti-inflammatory ingredients, it’s important to limit your intake of foods that can promote inflammation. For example, processed foods like fast foods, frozen meals, and processed meats have been linked to higher levels of inflammatory markers like CRP. Additionally, fried foods and partially hydrogenated oils contain trans fats, a type of unsaturated fatty acid that has also been linked to increased rates of inflammation (79).

Other foods, like sugary drinks and refined carbohydrates, have also been shown to promote inflammation.

Here are some examples of foods that have been linked to increased levels of inflammation:

– Junk Food: Fast food, ready meals, chips, pretzels
– Refined carbohydrates: white bread, pasta, white rice, flour tortillas, cookies
– Fried foods: fries, donuts, fried chicken, spring rolls
– Sweet drinks: soda, sweet tea, energy drinks, sports drinks
– Processed Meats: Bacon, Beef Jerky, Canned Meats, Salami, Smoked Meats
– Trans fats: partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, margarine

Do your best to keep inflammation under control by choosing a wide variety of delicious, antioxidant-rich foods. Peppers, dark chocolate, fish, and extra virgin olive oil are just a few of the foods that can help you fight inflammation and lower your risk of disease.

* Presse Santé strives to convey health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE can the information given replace the advice of a doctor.

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