The Best Anti-Inflammatory Foods That Can Help Prevent Disease

Inflammation isn’t bad. It’s a physiological response to alert your body that damaged tissue needs healing. However, chronic inflammation can result in numerous diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, arthritis, heart illness, stroke, and cancer.

If you suffer from chronic inflammation or wish to lower your risk of certain diseases, you may want to incorporate anti-inflammatory foods into your meals. Small changes in your cooking oil and chocolate bar can make all the difference. Learn which foods are best for managing inflammation. You might be eating some already.

The reason chicken soup soothes a cold is also the reason it can improve your health.

The Color Of Blueberries Means They Reduce Inflammation

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A review in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry discusses how berries significantly reduce inflammation. Their inflammation-reducing polyphenol, anthocyanins, are the key factor–the same chemical that gives berries their distinctive red, blue, and purple color. Of all the fruits, blueberries offer the most anthocyanins.

Blueberries also contain an antioxidant called flavonoids, and another polyphenol, resveratrol, which decreases inflammatory free radicals. These perks found in blueberries make them key in lowering the risk of chronic diseases.

Bone Broth: Why Chicken Soup Helps Colds

Bone broth chicken and mushroom soup

The bone broth fad does have some backing, according to health researchers. This bone broth contains the amino acids proline and glycine, which protect your gut against inflammatory microbes. Scientists at the Nebraska Medical Center noted that people eating chicken broth experienced lower inflammation, and reduced symptoms of respiratory infection.

Scientists emphasize that the vegetables in the soup play a role as well. You can cook bone broth soup by simmering the bone in water for an extended period, allowing the meat and nutrients to melt off.

A single cooking oil contains a natural compound that functions similarly to ibuprofen.

Dark Chocolate– Yes, Your Dessert Can Help You!

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Chocolate fans can rejoice! According to scientists at Louisiana State University, gut bacteria changes cocoa powder into molecules that both reduce inflammation and regulate body weight. They also protect the blood vessels from future stress and inflammation.

The study adds that dark chocolate can support heart health, as long as you eat the right kind. Look for chocolate that has a cacao content of over 70% for more antioxidants, or add raw cocoa powder to smoothies or oatmeal.

Only Virgin Olive Oil Contains This Anti-Inflammatory Compound…

Woman drizzles olive oil into a blender to make spicy aioli.
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Olive oil carries monounsaturated fats, also called “healthy fats” that assist diet and weight loss. It is also the only oil that contains the compound oleocanthal, an anti-inflammatory that functions similarly to ibuprofen in blocking the inflammatory enzymes COS-1 and COS-2.

As of 2018, more research needs to be done in examining olive oil’s role in preventing inflammatory diseases. Until then, you can cook with olive oil to add more antioxidants and anti-inflammatory zest to your meal.

Eat apples with the skin on. You’ll learn why in a bit.

Another Reason Why Brown Rice Is Healthier Than White Rice

Asian woman holds bowl of brown wholegrain rice with chopsticks.
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Refined grains can worsen inflammation throughout the body. Because brown rice has its germ and bran stripped away during processing, however, it lowers inflammation. Research in the 2014 International Journal of Preventive Medicine concludes that brown rice decreases inflammatory levels, which minimizes the risk of heart disease in overweight or obese people.

Brown rice also includes flavonoids and phenols, antioxidants that assuage tissue stress. They also protect cells, which prevents future inflammation. Like oatmeal, it contains high fiber, which can decrease inflammation.

Yet Another Health Benefit Of Turmeric

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If you’ve ever eaten curry, you’ve had turmeric before. This super spice has a bright orange color and potent anti-inflammatory effects. A 2007 scientific report on turmeric highlights a constituent of turmeric; curcumin. Curcumin blocks the production of two inflammatory enzymes, 5-LOX and COX-2.

For this reason, researchers credit curcumin with preventing liver disease, joint pain, and cognitive decline. You don’t need a spicy meal to eat turmeric, either. You can easily add it to stir fry, rice dishes, meat rubs, soups, lentils, and even grilled cheese.

If You Eat Apples, Leave The Skin On

Verrill Farm employee peeling apples for apple pies.
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In an ongoing trial called Women’s Health Study, apples were identified as the only fruit rich enough in flavonoids to actively resist inflammation. Apple peels contribute pectin, a natural fiber that presents 10 mg of quercetin, an anti-inflammatory, endurance-boosting antioxidant.

A 2010 study in the journal Anaerobe outlined that pectin is powerful enough to help grow the healthy bacteria Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria. If you want to encourage weight loss and a healthy gut and discourage diabetes and cancer, eat an apple a day.

Science backs the advice to eat dairy after spicy food. And yes, this is relevant to the topic.

All Fish, Really, But Especially Salmon

Person sprinkles a citrus rub on a filet of salmon to make gravlax.
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In 2010, European researchers tracked the inflammation levels and weight of overweight and obese people throughout eight weeks of seafood consumption. They noticed an overall drop in inflammation, although “salmon consumption was most effective,” as listed in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Fatty fish such as salmon contain a boatload of omega-3’s, healthy fats famous for reducing inflammation. Salmon also provides the fatty acids DHA and EPA, which are already active, so they immediately attack excess inflammation in the body.

Yogurt Can Explain Why We Drink Milk After Spicy Food

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Although examination of dairy products helping manage inflammation vary throughout the years, most researchers agree that yogurt fights inflammation, according to a 2017 review of 52 clinical trials. On top of that, the Journal of Nutrition published a 2018 study which reported that yogurt revamps intestinal lining. This stops pro-inflammatory molecules called endotoxins from crossing the bloodstream.

Unfortunately, non-diary yogurts do not supply the same effect. In the clinical review, participants who were allergic to milk did not experience anti-inflammatory activity.

Have you eaten rosemary on chicken or lamb? You might want to incorporate it more often.

Green Tea Fights Inflammation Better Than Any Other Tea

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In 2012, researchers compared the anti-inflammatory effects of black tea and green tea. Their results, recorded in the Journal of Advanced Pharmaceutical Technology & Research, noted that green tea has stronger anti-inflammatory effects due to its higher flavonoid content.

Most tea contains polyphenols that lower inflammation. Because green tea hasn’t undergone the same oxidation process as other teas, it has more catechins, a simple flavonoid that wards off inflammation. This property allows green tea to fight against skin tumors and arthritic diseases.

Rosemary Is More Than A Pretty Garnish

Italian sausage and potatoes dish with a rosemary garnish.
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Rosemary isn’t just a garnish for chicken–it’s an aromatic herb that gives you antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds. In 2015, researchers examined rosemary’s polyphenolic compounds, carnosic acid, and carnosol. They found that the two inhibited the production of inflammatories, as recorded in the BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine journal.

Later, in 2016, scientists began testing brain inflammation in mice and found that rosemary lowered brain and ear inflammation that leads to diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Although the research requires more testing, we already know that rosemary improves memory, so assuaged brain inflammation is a real possibility.

Ginger alleviates more than just a tummy ache. See how it can help lower inflammation.

Raw Honey Alleviates More Than Just Allergies

Various jarsof honey are displayed at a honey and beekeeping products fair.

When your body feels inflamed, it releases proteolytic enzymes. These enzymes break down protein debris to reduce inflammation. Fortunately, you can find proteolytic enzymes inside honey, as they come from a bee’s saliva. If you have a sore throat, consider drinking a tea with honey in it.

Centuries of medicinal use have backed honey’s anti-inflammatory properties. One study found that honey lowered inflammation from bronchitis and chronic asthma, while further research in 2008 and 2009 discovered that honey also alleviates brain inflammation.

Eggs Can Help Overweight People, Specifically

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Eggs have several bioactive components that diminish inflammation. But researchers who published in the journal Nutrients found that its health benefits differ based on weight, body, and health status. Overweight men consuming eggs showed significant drops in pro-inflammatory compounds, in contrast to healthy people on the same diet.

Eggs lower inflammation during weight loss so effectively that the American Heart Association’s National Cholesterol Education Program lists the food on their step-one diet. Healthy adults can still eat eggs for their high vitamin D content and heart-healthy fats.

Sick People Drink Ginger Tea For Good Reason

An Afghan man drinks a glass of tea at a second hand vehicle parts shop.

You might have heard people recommend eating ginger to soothe a sore throat or tummy ache. Along with being an antioxidant and antibacterial, ginger is a potent anti-inflammatory. In a 2013 study published in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers noted that ginger could even assuage inflamed muscle pain after a workout.

These benefits make ginger an ideal anti-inflammatory for preventing heart diseases and diabetes. To calm a sore throat or stomach illness–both aggravated by inflammation–consider drinking some ginger tea.

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Black Beans Combat Inflammation In Several Ways

Raw turtle black beans or Phaseolus vulgaris in small clay plate.
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A 2015 study in the journal Nutrients reported that consuming black beans regularly significantly lowers inflammation. Digesting black beans produces butyrate, and the beans themselves contain the antioxidant anthocyanin, both of which prevent inflammation.

The study also noted that black beans stabilize insulin, which directly influenced inflammation stress. A half-cup of these beans add 20 grams of protein and 14 grams of fiber to a meal, providing a healthy, filling, disease-fighting addition to your dish.

Oats Shrink The Belly And Inflammation

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If you throw together some overnight oats or hot oatmeal with berries for breakfast, you’ll have a weight-reducing anti-inflammatory meal. Research in The British Journal of Nutrition credits oats with containing avenanthramides, which seem to reduce inflammation.

Their high fiber also helps them naturally combat insulin resistance and inflammation. Oats pass through the gut undigested, which allows the intestines to absorb their fatty acids. Digesting oats creates a fat oxidation process called butyrate, which decreases bloating, promotes weight loss, and lowers body inflammation.

Spinach Destroys Inflammation From Belly Fat

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In 2015, researchers discovered that spinach’s carotenoid and phenolic compounds “presented an important anti-inflammatory activity.” They also demonstrated high antioxidant activity, according to the same study in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.

An earlier study in the Canadian Journal of Surgery illustrates that spinach’s high vitamin E content reverses inflammatory adipokine released in belly fat. Spinach also contributes vitamins C and K, making it an all-around fat-fighter.

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Pineapple Naturally Prevents Pro-Inflammatory Proteins

Pineapples contain bromelain, which fights inflammation.

In 2009, scientists at the University of Connecticut examined the effects of bromelain, an enzyme in pineapple. Bromelain lowers the spread of pro-inflammatory proteins such as CD25. By doing so, it alleviates inflammation in asthmatic symptoms, post-exercise joint pain, and sinus inflammation during colds.

Most bromelain sits in the rim of the pineapple’s core. But you can encounter this natural enzyme in any part of the fruit. Along with its anti-inflammatory benefits, pineapples also strengthen bones, improve eyesight, and provide healthy fiber.

Tomatoes’ Anti-Inflammatory Power Can Aid Depression

Horticultural director Richard Lewis inspects a truss of cherry tomatoes on the vines at Sterling Suffolk.
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Inside the skin of a tomato, the carotenoid lycopene waits to inhibit pro-inflammatory molecules. In 2013, researchers theorized that lycopene’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powers could lower symptoms of depression, and they were right. They reported in the Journal of Affective Disorders that a tomato-rich diet in people over 70 reduced depressive symptoms.

Scientists are further examining the benefits of lycopene’s anti-inflammation ability. You can consume more lycopene in cherry tomatoes since there’s more skin. Researchers also suggest processed tomatoes, which carry an even higher amount of lycopene than fresh ones.

Coconut Oil Protects Both Body And Skin

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Many people turn to coconut oil for a healthy cooking oil substitute. But this oil comes with an added benefit of being a powerful anti-inflammatory. Virgin coconut oil’s ability to stall pro-inflammatory cytokines were observed in a 2010 pharmaceutical biology study, a 2017 PLoS One study, and research in the 2019 Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine.

The same studies found that coconut oil also protects the skin against harmful UVB rays. Hair and skin products often add coconut oil. Outside of that, you can add virgin coconut oil to some meals for less inflammation.