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Anti-Inflammatory Foods That You Can Add To Your Diet For Good Health


Whenever our body encounters any foreign particle, our immune system gets activated and begins to release a counter-response against the foreign agent.

The foreign agent might range from pathogens or germs like viruses, bacteria, or fungi, external injuries to effects of chemicals or radiation.

This process is known as[1] inflammation. Whenever the body gets injured, it releases inflammatory markers to fix the damaged tissue. This process is known as acute inflammation.

The inflammation process heals the body and protects the health of an individual. Symptoms of acute inflammation include[1] redness, heat, swelling, pain, and loss of function.

However, when the body continues sending inflammatory cells even after the healing process, it is termed chronic inflammation.

On one hand, acute inflammation protects the body from foreign invasions and injuries while on the other hand, chronic inflammation is harmful to health and may cause several health problems as the immune system mistakenly fights against its cells.

Rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and ulcerative colitis are some health issues that may arise due to chronic inflammation.

Some foods naturally have anti-inflammatory properties which may decrease chronic inflammation.

Anti Inflammatory Foods

Top 11 Anti-Inflammatory Foods.

  1. Turmeric

    Turmeric is a spice that has several benefits besides adding a unique color to your food. Researchers have found[2] out that turmeric contains curcumin which has powerful anti-inflammatory properties.

    Analysis was done[3] on people having metabolic syndrome.

    The ones who consumed 1 gram of curcumin per day in combination with piperine to improve the absorption of curcumin obtained from black pepper experienced a considerable decrease in the inflammatory marker CRP.

    Turmeric is a common spice used in countries like India. Turmeric might also reduce[4] inflammation related to diabetes and arthritis.

    Having said all that, you also might want to note that turmeric could also have a few side effects.

  2. Green Leafy Vegetables

    Leafy greens are packed with nutrients and antioxidants. Spinach, kale, collards, chard, arugula, and turnips are green leafy vegetables full of vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin K which help fight inflammation as per this[5] study.

    The antioxidants present in it may also reduce inflammation. Green leafy vegetables nourish the body at the cellular level and reduce overall body inflammation.

    Green vegetables may be consumed along with olive oil which increases the absorption of nutrients in the body.

    Cooking might destroy some nutrients while it may also increase the absorption of other nutrients. So, you may eat some cooked vegetables while others an inclusion in your salad.

  3. Fatty Fish

    Fish is excellent anti-inflammatory food. Studies have found that fishes like salmon, sardines, mackerel, tuna, and herrings including all types of fatty fishes, contain long chains of essential omega-3 fatty acids.

    It contains[6] two types of omega-3 fatty acids.

    The omega 3 present in fishes may reduce[7] inflammation which in turn may reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and kidney problems.

    According to this [8]article, the human body metabolizes the fatty acids into resolvins and protectins which fight against inflammation and might reduce it.

  4. Nuts

    Nuts are known for their healthy fat and other nutritional content. They are loaded with vitamins and minerals. Almonds, peanuts, pecans, pistachios, hazelnuts, and walnuts are all rich in fibers calcium, magnesium, zinc, vitamin E, and omega-3 fatty acids.

    All of these vitamins and minerals have anti-inflammatory properties.

    As stated in this[9] study, nuts are good for your heart health. They may prove beneficial to those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Raw and unsalted nuts are high in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats and lower in saturated fats.

    Research conducted to study nuts suggests[9] that consuming nuts resulted in the reduction of inflammatory biomarkers such as monocytes and led to an overall reduction in the inflammation present in the body.

  5. Berries

    Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries, all are rich in anti-inflammatory fruits.

    They are rich in other vitamins and minerals. Strawberries are rich in fibers as well. Blueberries are packed with fiber and vitamin c. Just 100 gms of raw blueberries could contain[10] 8.1mg of vitamin c.

    Berries contain antioxidants called anthocyanins which give the berries their vibrant color and have anti-inflammatory properties.

    Experts say that since berries are packed with different vitamins, minerals, and other chemical compounds they can prove to be one of the best anti-inflammatory foods.

  6. Avocados

    Avocados are delicious and famous for their nutritional benefits.

    They can easily be incorporated into your diet in the form of salad or smoothies. Studies show that avocados are super rich in potassium which regulates blood pressure.

    Research also shows that eating just one slice of avocado may greatly reduce[11] the chances of your body getting inflamed especially in younger cells.

    Research conducted on 51 adults shows[12] that those who ate avocados witnessed a drop in inflammatory biomarkers such as interleukin-1-beta and CRP.

  7. Green Tea

    Green tea is extremely popular for its numerous health benefits. It is an excellent source of antioxidants. It is regarded as one of the healthiest ways to start your morning.

    It contains a substance known as EGCG which stands for epigallocatechin-2-gallate. EGCC may inhibit the production of cytokines, which is one of the inflammatory biomarkers.

    Research has also shown that the presence of antioxidants, cleanses the body from the inside and may promote weight loss.

    Regular green tea consumption reduces[13] the risk of heart diseases. Green tea catechins may also provide a beneficial[14] effect on neurodegenerative diseases and obesity and other health conditions. For this reason, one might consider it to be one of the best teas for weight loss.

  8. Mushrooms

    Mushrooms are a popular vegetarian food with lots of benefits to human health.

    Edible Mushrooms are regarded[15] as superfoods and are rich in anti-inflammatory components such as polysaccharides, and phenolic and indolic compounds.

    Edible mushroom varieties such as Portobello mushrooms, shiitake, and truffles are regarded as the best ones that have incredible anti-inflammatory properties, as per this[16] data.

    These varieties besides having anti-inflammatory properties are also low in calories and high in vitamin B which makes it a must include in your diet plan.

  9. Broccoli

    Broccoli is one of the most nutritious vegetables.

    Not only broccoli but all cruciferous vegetables are an excellent choice if you are looking for anti-inflammatory foods.

    Research has shown that it contains a substance known as sulforaphane which is an antioxidant that reduces[17] the inflammatory biomarkers.

    Cauliflower, kale, and other cruciferous vegetables, of them, have anti-inflammatory properties.

    If you want to obtain the benefits of broccoli, make sure you do not fry them. Antioxidants and vitamin C are heat sensitive. Experts suggest that you can easily consume them raw as salad or steamed.

  10. Garlic

    Garlic has been used for medicinal purposes since time immemorial. It adds a unique flavor to the food but besides that, it has numerous health benefits.

    Garlic is abundantly loaded with anti-inflammatory substances including phenolic compounds and gingerols.  It may also improve the body’s immune system. Thus, consuming raw garlic may prevent[18] cold.

    Another study shows that it contains sulfur compounds which act as a stimulus for your immune system to fight against diseases.

    Garlic may be beneficial for patients with arthritis and is associated with inflammation as it has been found by researchers that it has anti-inflammatory properties.

  11. Tomatoes

    Tomatoes are popular all around the world.

    They are rich in vitamin C along with potassium. Research has shown that it contains an important antioxidant named lycopene which has been proven to reduce[19] inflammation. Lycopene is readily available when cooked.

    To increase its absorption, you can cook it with olive oil which is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Tomatoes may prove beneficial in preventing chronic inflammation.

Other Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Some other examples of anti-inflammatory foods include peppers, grapes, extra virgin olive oil, dark chocolate and cocoa, cherries, beans, legumes such as lentils, chia seeds, flax seeds or flax seeds oils, ginger, and tea.

All these foods have been found beneficial to reduce inflammation researchers.

Fried foods having trans fat, sugar-sweetened beverages, refined carbohydrates such as white bread and pastries, red meat, processed meats, and soda should be strictly avoided if you are trying to reduce inflammation.

The Essence

Chronic inflammation occurs when the body releases more inflammatory biomarkers than required. It is long-lasting and might go on for months and years.

It can be dangerous. Previously, it was associated with diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s, and asthma but recent studies suggest that a poor and sedentary lifestyle may also be a reason for it.

Obesity and visceral fat are major issues that might lead to chronic inflammation. Obesity may also lead to type 2 diabetes and other health problems.

To prevent this, one must include anti-inflammatory foods into one’s diet. Turmeric, leafy greens, fatty fish, nuts, berries, avocados, green tea, mushrooms, broccoli, garlic, and tomatoes are the best sources of anti-inflammatory foods which may easily be included in the daily diet.

+19 References/Sources

Working4Health prefers using primary and verified references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and our primary references include peer-reviewed research, academic, and medical institution studies.

  1. Available from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279298/
  2. Seyed Fazel Nabavi, Raman Thiagarajan, Luca Rastrelli, et al. Curcumin: a natural product for diabetes and its complications. PMID: 26088351 DOI: 10.2174/1568026615666150619142519
  3. Yunes Panahi, Mahboobeh Sadat Hosseini, Nahid Khalili, et al.Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of curcuminoid-piperine combination in subjects with metabolic syndrome: A randomized controlled trial and an updated meta-analysis. . 2015 Dec;34(6):1101-8.
    doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2014.12.019. Epub 2015 Jan 7.Available from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25618800/
  4. Francesca Pivari , Alessandra Mingione , Caterina Brasacchio, et al. Curcumin and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: Prevention and Treatment 2019 Aug 8;11(8):1837.doi: 10.3390/nu11081837. Available from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31398884/
  5. Available From https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/inflammation#other-dietary-compounds
  6. Omega-3 Fatty Acids, available from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Omega3FattyAcids-HealthProfessional/
  7. Samaneh Ghasemi Fard , Fenglei Wang , Andrew J Sinclair, et al. How does high DHA fish oil affect health? A systematic review of evidence. 2019;59(11):1684-1727. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2018.1425978. Epub 2018 Mar 1. Available from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29494205/
  8. Youngjoo Kwon. Immuno-Resolving Ability of Resolvins, Protectins, and Maresins Derived from Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Metabolic Syndrome. 2020 Feb;64(4):e1900824.doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201900824. Epub 2019 Dec 15. Available from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31797565/
  9. Emilio Ros. Health Benefits of Nut Consumption. 2010 Jul; 2(7): 652–682. Published online 2010 Jun 24. doi: 10.3390/nu2070652
  10. Available from https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/2263889/nutrients
  11. Deep Jyoti Bhuyan , Muhammad A Alsherbiny , Saumya Perera, et al. The Odyssey of Bioactive Compounds in Avocado ( Persea americana) and Their Health Benefits. 2019 Sep 24;8(10):426. doi: 10.3390/antiox8100426. Available from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31554332/
  12. Susanne M Henning , Jieping Yang , Shih Lung Woo , et al. Hass Avocado Inclusion in a Weight-Loss Diet Supported Weight Loss and Altered Gut Microbiota: A 12-Week Randomized, Parallel-Controlled Trial. 2019 Jun 12;3(8):nzz068.doi: 10.1093/cdn/nzz068. eCollection 2019 Aug. Available from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31367691/
  13. Joanna Kochman, Karolina Jakubczyk,* Justyna Antoniewicz, et al. Health Benefits and Chemical Composition of Matcha Green Tea: A Review. 2021 Jan; 26(1): 85. PMID: 33375458. Published online 2020 Dec 27. doi: 10.3390/molecules26010085
  14. Monira Pervin , Keiko Unno , Tomokazu Ohishi , et al. Beneficial Effects of Green Tea Catechins on Neurodegenerative Diseases. 2018 May 29;23(6):1297. doi: 10.3390/molecules23061297. Available from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29843466/
  15. Elsayed A Elsayed , Hesham El Enshasy , Mohammad A M Wadaan , et al. Mushrooms: a potential natural source of anti-inflammatory compounds for medical applications. 2014;2014:805841.doi: 10.1155/2014/805841. Epub 2014 Nov 23. Available from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25505823/
  16. Dhanushka Gunawardena 1 , Louise Bennett, Kirubakaran Shanmugam, et al. Anti-inflammatory effects of five commercially available mushroom species determined in lipopolysaccharide and interferon-γ activated murine macrophages. 2014 Apr 1;148:92-6. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2013.10.015. Epub 2013 Oct 14. Available from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24262531/
  17. D B Nandini , Roopa S Rao , B S Deepak , et al. Sulforaphane in broccoli: The green chemoprevention!! Role in cancer prevention and therapy. May-Aug 2020;24(2):405. doi: 10.4103/jomfp.JOMFP_126_19. Epub 2020 Sep 9. Available from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33456268/
  18. Elizabeth Lissiman,corresponding author,  Alice L Bhasale, and Marc Cohen. Garlic for the common cold. 2014 Nov; 2014(11): CD006206.
    Published online 2014 Nov 11. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD006206.pub4
  19. Ni Li  , Xiaoting Wu  , Wen Zhuang  , et al. Tomato and lycopene and multiple health outcomes: Umbrella review. 2021 May 1;343:128396.
    doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2020.128396. Epub 2020 Oct 15. Available from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33131949/

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