20 Foods That Reduce Inflammation from 20 Foods That Reduce Inflammation

20 Foods That Reduce Inflammation

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20 Foods That Reduce Inflammation

Signs of chronic or acute inflammation have been demonstrated in most cardiovascular diseases of multifactorial pathogenesis, including atherosclerosis and chronic heart failure, according to studies. Chronic inflammation may be a causative factor in a variety of cancers. Inflammation, which is often described as redness, swelling, warmth, and pain in certain parts of the body, is a natural process through which body heals after an injury. It’s how the immune system protects you from viruses and bacteria. The problem is when the swelling gets out of control. Some foods such as processed meat and refined grains are known to be pro-inflammatory. Others curb it.

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Kale

Researchers have identified over 45 different flavonoids in kale, according to Ali Miller, RD, LD, CDE registered dietitian and author of Naturally Nourished: Food-as-Medicine Solutions for Optimal Health Cookbook. Kaempferol and quercetin top the list. “These flavonoids combine both antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer benefits in a way that gives kale a leading dietary role as a superfood,” Miller says. “Kale can provide great benefits in combating chronic inflammation and oxidative stress while supporting reduced histamine expression during allergy season.” Your prescription: 1-2 cups raw or 1/2-1 cup cooked, she adds.

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Green Tea

Rich in antioxidants, green tea is thought to reduce inflammation related to athletic performance. Studies show that green tea may even help reduce inflammation and arthritis pain because of its active ingredient, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a powerful catechin. It may halt arthritis progression by blocking interleukin-1, a pro-inflammatory cell, from damaging cartilage, according to the Arthritis Foundation.

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Avocado

Avocados are rich in healthy unsaturated fats and antioxidants and have strong anti-inflammatory properties. A 2013 study observed the amount of inflammation after eating a hamburger with and without avocado. The result was that eating the hamburger with about 2 ounces of avocado limited the inflammatory response. Research has shown that avocado constituent, persenone A, suppresses the effects of inducible nitric oxide synthase and cyclooxygenase, two chemicals that cause inflammation.

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Tomatoes

Lycopene is a natural carotenoid found in tomato that has been reported to possess various health benefits. Recent data suggest that lycopene also exhibits anti-inflammatory activity through induction of programmed cell death in activated immune cells. Tomatoes and lycopene were associated with reduced risk of cancers of the prostate, lung and stomach, according to the Journal of National Cancer Institute. Keep in mind that cooked tomatoes have even more lycopene than raw ones.

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Turmeric

“Researchers have connected curcumin to a plethora of health related benefits including a reduction in inflammation and joint paincancer prevention, heart health benefits, as well as prevention in the formation of plaque that free radicals deposit in the neural pathways of the brain and therefore reducing cognitive decline with Alzheimer’s disease,” Miller says. Add turmeric to sauces, dips and smoothies. Your prescription: 1 inch fresh root or 1 tsp of dried powder, she adds.

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Extra Virgin Olive Oil

According to the Arthritis Foundation, researchers have found that oleocanthal, a key compound in extra virgin olive oil, has a significant impact on inflammation and helps reduce joint cartilage damage. “Earlier studies showed that oleocanthal prevents the production of pro-inflammatory COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes – the same way ibuprofen works.” The consumption of oleuropein, a polyphenol found in olives, can prevent bone loss associated with acute inflammation, according to other research.

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Dark-colored berries

Dark-colored berries are rich in quercetin, an antioxidant with strong anti-inflammatory properties. It’s a flavonoid that fights inflammation and even cancer. A study showed that eight-week supplementation with quercein-vitamin C was effective in reducing inflammatory biomarkers.

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Honey

Researchers have found that honey can be used as an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial treatment. The bacteria-fighting properties of honey help to reduce inflammation from bacterial infections and work to keep the infected area clean and healthy.

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Beets

The powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and vascular-protective effects offered by beetroot have been clearly demonstrated by several studies. Beetroot supplementation has been reported to reduce blood pressure, attenuate inflammation, and avert oxidative stress. Beets are also a great source of magnesium. Magnesium deficiency is strongly linked with inflammation.

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Salmon

Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines help fight inflammation because they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Be aware of the proper ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 (another essential fatty acid) in your diet. Omega-3’s help reduce inflammation, and most omega-6 fatty acids tend to spur it, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. The typical American diet contains 14 to 25 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3’s.

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Dark chocolate

Cocoa creates anti-inflammatory compounds that improve blood vessel function, according to a study. After a month, people who drank cocoa had lower levels of adhesion molecules, an inflammatory marker, linked to heart disease. Flavanols reduce inflammation and blood clotting, and cocoa has plenty of them. Some cocoa-derived flavanols can reduce the production and effect of pro-inflammatory mediators either directly or by acting on signaling pathways, research has shown.

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Raisins

Raisins have the phytochemical compound resveratrol. It is an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and blood cholesterol lowering abilities. Several studies report health benefits of raisins, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

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Seaweed

Its ability to gel paired with chlorophyl and other pigment rich antioxidants can successfully reduce inflammation, Miller says. “Sea vegetables have 10-20x the minerals as land vegetables due to the mineral deficiency in our soils,” she adds. Rich in iodine, a trace mineral many are deficient in, sea vegetables aid in tonifying the thyroid gland which can aid in weight loss and optimizing metabolic function.  Your prescription: 1-2 pieces/sheets or 1/8 cup rehydrated.

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Walnuts

Walnuts and other nuts such as almonds, sunflower seeds, and hazelnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which make them a powerful food to fight inflammation. Walnuts, in particular, have more than 10 phytonutrients that you can’t find in other foods. They protect against metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular problems and type 2 diabetes. Walnuts also contain a lot of polyphenols, which are also important for reducing inflammation.

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Garlic

Garlic acts as a NSAID pain medication by blocking pathways that lead to inflammation, according to some studies. It contains diallyl disulfide, an anti-inflammatory compound that limits the effects of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Garlic, therefore can help fight the pain, inflammation and cartilage damage of arthritis, according to the Arthritis Foundation.

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Ginger

Ginger has been used in traditional medicine for reducing inflammation. During the past 25 years, many laboratories have provided scientific support for the long-held belief that ginger contains constituents with anti-inflammatory properties. The original discovery of ginger's inhibitory effects on prostaglandin biosynthesis in the early 1970s has been repeatedly confirmed.

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Celery

Celery is high in phytonutrient antioxidants, which have anti-inflammatory properties. Research has shown celery is a great source of flavonols and flavone antioxidants. Its phytonutrients also include flavonols like quercetin, an antioxidant with strong anti-inflammatory properties.

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Soy

The isoflavones, estrogen-like compounds found in soy products, lower inflammation levels, according to a study. Stay away from heavily-processed soy though. It has a lot of salt and preservatives. Go for soy milk or soybeans instead.

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Broccoli

Megadoses of vitamin E can dramatically reduce  inflammation, research shows. Great sources of this important vitamin are dark green veggies, such as broccoli. It is high in potassium and magnesium, both strong anti-inflammatory ingredients. Sulforaphane, found broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, may block enzymes linked to joint destruction and inhibit inflammation, according to a study.

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Flaxseeds

Just two tablespoons of ground flaxseed contain more than 140 percent  daily value of the inflammation-reducing omega-3 fatty acids and more lignans, a cancer-fighting plant chemical, than any other plant food on the planet, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Some studies hint that the anti-inflammatory benefits of flaxseeds might help prevent weight gain by reducing the risk for diseases like metabolic syndrome and diabetes.

20 Foods That Reduce Inflammation