Okay, here are the Top 10 Anti-Inflammatory Foods, but before we go down and point which these foods are, let’s first remind ourselves about what Inflammation actually is!
What Diseases Are Associated With Inflammation?
Some, but not all, types of arthritis are the result of misdirected inflammation. Arthritis is a general term that describes inflammation in the joints. Some types of arthritis associated with inflammation include the following:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Gouty arthritis
Other painful conditions of the joints and musculoskeletal system that may not be associated with inflammation include osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, muscular low back pain, and muscular neck pain.
- Fatigue/loss of energy
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle stiffness
What causes inflammation
Many factors can lead to inflammation, such as:
- chronic and acute conditions
- certain medications
- exposure to irritants or foreign materials your body can’t easily eliminate
And Last But Not Least – Bad Diet
Recurrent episodes of acute inflammation can also lead to a chronic inflammatory response.
There are also certain types of foods that can cause or worsen inflammation in people with autoimmune disorders.
These foods include:
- sugar, mostly white refined sugar, that would be in cakes, cookies, candy, ice-cream
- refined carbohydrates, such as white bread, pastries, white pasta
- processed meats, such as bacon, sausages, salami
- trans fats
- French fries and other fried foods
- soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages
- red meat (burgers, steaks) and processed meat (hot dogs, sausage)
- margarine, shortening, and lard
Anyway, let’s get back to the original reason for this article, which is, what foods help you combat inflammation!
Berries are small fruits that are packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Although dozens of varieties exist, some of the most common include:
Berries contain antioxidants called anthocyanins. These compounds have anti-inflammatory effects that may reduce your risk of disease.
Your body produces natural killer cells (NK cells), which help keep your immune system functioning properly.
In one study in men, those who consumed blueberries every day produced significantly more NK cells than those who did not.
In another study, adults with excess weight who ate strawberries had lower levels of certain inflammatory markers associated with heart disease.
Broccoli is extremely nutritious. It’s a cruciferous vegetable, along with cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and kale.
The broccoli is one of the best sources of sulforaphane, an antioxidant with powerful anti-inflammatory effects.
Research has shown that eating a lot of cruciferous vegetables is associated with a decreased risk of heart disease and cancer as well.
This may be related to the anti-inflammatory effects of the antioxidants they contain.
Broccoli is rich in sulforaphane, an antioxidant that fights inflammation by reducing your levels of cytokines and NF-kB, which drive inflammation.
Avocados may be one of the few supposed superfoods worthy of the title.
They’re packed with potassium, magnesium, fiber, and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Avocados offer various beneficial compounds that protect against inflammation and may reduce your cancer risk.
They also contain carotenoids and tocopherols, which are linked to reduced cancer risk. In addition, one compound in avocados may reduce inflammation in young skin cells.
In one study, when people consumed a slice of avocado with their lunch, they had lower levels of the inflammatory markers NF-kB and IL-6, compared with participants who ate their lunch alone without avocado.
4. Green Tea
You’ve probably heard that green tea is one of the healthiest beverages you can drink. It reduces your risk of heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, obesity, and other conditions.
Many of its benefits are due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, especially a substance called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG).
EGCG inhibits inflammation by reducing pro-inflammatory cytokine production and damage to the fatty acids in your cells.
You can buy green tea in most stores or online.
Bell peppers and chili peppers are loaded with vitamin C and antioxidants that have powerful anti-inflammatory effects.
Bell peppers provide the antioxidant quercetin, which may reduce one marker of oxidative damage in people with sarcoidosis, an inflammatory disease.
Chili peppers contain sinapic acid and ferulic acid, which may reduce inflammation and lead to healthier aging.
While thousands of varieties of mushrooms exist worldwide, only a few are edible and grown commercially. These include truffles, portobello mushrooms, and shiitake.
Mushrooms are very low in calories and rich in selenium, copper, and all of the B vitamins. They also contain phenols and other antioxidants that provide anti-inflammatory protection.
A special type of mushroom called lion’s mane may potentially reduce low-grade, obesity-related inflammation
However, one study found that cooking mushrooms lowered their anti-inflammatory compounds significantly. Thus, it may be best to eat them raw or lightly cooked
Grapes contain anthocyanins, which reduce inflammation. In addition, they may decrease the risk of several diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s, and eye disorders.
Grapes are also one of the best sources of resveratrol, another compound that has many health benefits. In one study, people with heart disease who consumed grape extract daily experienced a decrease in inflammatory gene markers, including NF-kB.
What’s more, their levels of adiponectin increased. Low levels of this hormone are associated with weight gain and an increased risk of cancer
8. Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil is one of the healthiest fats you can eat. It’s rich in monounsaturated fats and a staple in the Mediterranean diet, which provides numerous health benefits. Studies link extra virgin olive oil to a reduced risk of heart disease, brain cancer, and other serious health conditions. In one study on the Mediterranean diet, CRP and several other inflammatory markers significantly decreased in those who consumed 1.7 ounces (50 ml) of olive oil daily.
The effect of oleocanthal, an antioxidant found in olive oil, has been compared to anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen. Keep in mind that extra virgin olive oil offers greater anti-inflammatory benefits than those provided by more refined olive oils.
I know you are probably thinking ‘oh no, fats!’ But fats like olive oil, avocados, and nuts are good fats for your body! Have a look at our article to find out more about why/which fats are good for us! –> Fat And Carbohydrates Are Good For Losing Weight
9. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is delicious, rich, and satisfying. It’s also packed with antioxidants that reduce inflammation. These may reduce your risk of disease and lead to healthier aging.
Flavanols are responsible for chocolate’s anti-inflammatory effects and keep the endothelial cells that line your arteries healthy.
In one study, smokers experienced significant improvements in endothelial function within 2 hours of eating high-flavonol chocolate. However, make sure to choose dark chocolate that contains at least 70% cocoa — a greater percentage is even better — to reap these anti-inflammatory benefits.
The tomato is a nutritional powerhouse. Tomatoes are high in vitamin C, potassium, and lycopene, an antioxidant with impressive anti-inflammatory properties.
Lycopene may be particularly beneficial for reducing pro-inflammatory compounds related to several types of cancer.
One study determined that drinking tomato juice significantly decreased inflammatory markers in women with excess weight — but not those with obesity.
Note that cooking tomatoes in olive oil can maximize the amount of lycopene you absorb. That’s because lycopene is a carotenoid, a nutrient that’s better absorbed with a source of fat.
The Bottom Line:
Generally, the best way to prevent/reduce inflammation is to try to eat as many fruit and vegetables, and as less processed food as possible.
So these are our Top 10 Anti-Inflammatory Foods! Drop us a comment, and let us know what you think, we hope you found this article helpful 🙂