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 Color Of Blueberries Means They Reduce Inflammation
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
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.
Dark Chocolate– Yes, Your Dessert Can Help You!
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…
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.
Eggs Can Help Overweight People, Specifically
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.
Another Reason Why Brown Rice Is Healthier Than White Rice
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
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
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.
All Fish, Really, But Especially Salmon
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
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.
Green Tea Fights Inflammation Better Than Any Other Tea
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
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.
Raw Honey Alleviates More Than Just Allergies
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.
Sick People Drink Ginger Tea For Good Reason
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.
Black Beans Combat Inflammation In Several Ways
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
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
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.
Pineapple Naturally Prevents Pro-Inflammatory Proteins
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
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
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.
For Allergies And Asthma, Turn To Bell Peppers
Bell peppers present three notable anti-inflammatory ingredients: beta-carotene, quercetin, and luteolin. A 2015 review in Antioxidants explains that lycopene erases harmful oxidation in cells, which can assuage heart and brain diseases. Beta-carotene is a fat-absorbing compound that soothes inflammation in asthma and rheumatoid arthritis.
Like beta-carotene, quercetin is a cell-stabilizer that gets rid of cells reacting to allergens and allergic reactions. Of all the bell peppers, the Journal of Food Science promotes red bell pepper as having the most anti-inflammatory compounds.
Why Beets Are Heart-Healthy
In 2016, researchers published a study in the Journal of Human Hypertension highlighting that beets specifically target inflammation in patients with hypertension. How does that happen? According to Nutrients, beets have antioxidants called betalains that alleviate inflammation and pain in the joints and veins.
Tests on beetroot juice demonstrate that it decreases inflammatory markers, such as tumor necrosis and CRP, that are released by too much fat. As a result, eating beets can lower blood pressure, risk of diabetes, and plaque build surrounding the heart.
Consider Picking Up Some Tofu Or Soy Milk
Don’t be shy about adding some tofu or miso soup to your diet. In recent years, researchers have credited soy with its anti-inflammatory abilities. One study in 2013 HHS Public Access revealed that soy foods eliminate up to 25% of inflammatory markers in 24 hours.
Scientists who published in the Journal of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics tested over 1,000 people and determined that the more soy products they ate, the less inflammation they experienced. Researchers still aren’t sure why soy is anti-inflammatory, but hypothesize that it has to do with their phytoestrogens or omega-3 fatty acids.
Include Avocado On Your Burger
Along with providing plenty of fiber and healthy fats, avocados extend several anti-inflammatories. Research in the journal Inflammation discovered that AV119, a natural sugar from avocado, harmonizes pro-inflammatory responses.
A 2013 study in Food & Function analyzed participants’ responses to hamburgers with avocado and burgers without it. Burgers with added Hass avocado lessened inflammatory action just two hours after consumption. The study suggests that even a little bit of added avocado can contribute “beneficial anti-inflammatory and vascular health effects.”
Mushrooms Cool Down Inflamed Tissue
When scientists examined the supposed medicinal properties of mushrooms in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, they uncovered some truth to the remedies. A 2015 paper in the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms indicated that mushrooms repair tissue inflammation associated with obesity.
Further research in journal Food Chemistry expressed that bioactive compounds in mushrooms inhibit pro-inflammatory activity in both heart conditions and intestinal diseases. While any mushroom should do, shiitake, enoki, and oyster mushrooms have all been featured in this research.
Grapes Intercept Any Sign Of Inflammation
Grapes provide polyphenols that combat cytokines, a pro-inflammatory activated in the blood. A clinical trial in the 2013 issue of Cardiovascular Drugs and Therapy recorded that eating grapes daily intercepted inflammatory markers from forming and lowered others by 18%.
A year later, Phytomedicine published research suggesting that grape consumption reduced arthritis symptoms in animals. That same year, a study in the Journal of Nutrition noted that eating grapes prevents endoplasmic reticulum stress, or inflammation that occurs with age. So not only do grapes minimize inflammation, but they also prevent it from happening.
Almonds Give Your Heart A Break
In 2005, researchers at the University of Toronto analyzed almond’s anti-inflammatory capabilities. Not only do almonds lower harmful cholesterol, but they also shrink C-reactive protein, an inflammation marker that eventually causes heart disease.
The study, which was published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, observed that people who incorporated almonds into their diet produced 24% less C-reactive protein. Since nuts are naturally dense in fat, you only need a little bit. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends a one-ounce serving per day, or about a handful.
Oranges Contain More Than Vitamin C
The most talked-up vitamin C fruit has many more nutrients working for it. A scientific review in the 2013 Plant Foods for Human Nutrition mentions that “orange juice appears to mediate the inflammatory response” in obese and chronically ill people. This has to do with orange’s bioactive compounds and high vitamin content.
Oranges also provide calcium, which the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, Health and Medicine Division supports as preventing muscle contraction and healthy blood. You can drink orange juice or enjoy the fruit as a snack to lower inflammation related to heart disease, fat, and bone health.
Alleviate Joint Pain With Strawberries
“Strawberries Improve Pain and Inflammation in Obese Adults” isn’t a claim we made up, but the name of a 2017 pilot study in the journal Nutrients. All participants had osteoporosis and knee pain, and they reported alleviated inflammation and join pain after adding strawberries to their daily diet.
Strawberries reduce inflammatory markers such as MMPs, isoforms that degrade cartilage over time. The study also mentioned that participants only needed a quarter-cup of berries to achieve the desired outcome. Strawberries also taste great, so it should be fun to add them to smoothies, oatmeal, salads, or an afternoon snack.
Swiss Chard: Not Your Average Leafy Green
Swiss chard stands out among the leafy green family as having three times the recommended dose of vitamin K and 44% of our daily vitamin A intake. It also has a similar nitrate count to beetroot, which the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology supports as removing inflammation, especially in the arteries.
The reddish-purple color in Swiss chard comes from its phytonutrient called betalain. Betalains restrain the activity of pro-inflammatory enzymes like COX, full name cyclo-oxgenase, which creates the symptoms of inflammation pain. One cup of this leafy green is enough to reap the benefits.
Further Reasons Why Whole Grain Bread Is Better Than White Bread
If you need another reason to replace white bread with whole wheat products, here’s one for the books. In 2010, scientists recorded a test over 1,000 participants who ate either whole grain or refined grain and found that whole wheat intake significantly reduced C-reactive protein, a protein that rises during inflammation.
The author of the study, recorded in The Journal of Nutrition, noted that whole wheat’s effect on plasma inflammation may prevent type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Although some people promote that gluten elevates inflammation, studies have yet to demonstrate that grains have that effect.
Kamut: Better Than Quinoa
A new grain is quickly topping quinoa: kamut, or khorasan wheat. With 11 grams of protein per cup, kamut is more filling and fiber-rich than quinoa. Research in the 2013 European Journal of Clinical Nutrition discovered that kamut minimizes total cholesterol and the pro-inflammatory compounds cytokines.
The study also demonstrated that kamut reduced abdominal pain, tiredness, and bloating in people with IBS, while wheat diets did not alleviate these symptoms. Like whole wheat bread and rice, gluten does not negatively impact inflammation in these foods.
The Ultimate Anti-Inflammatory Seafood: Oyster
Salmon isn’t the only fish that will inhibit inflammation. Oysters come with plenty of copper, a nutrient that deactivates free radicals. A 2013 study in Preventive Nutrition and Food Science indicates that oyster shell extract promotes more antioxidant activity and combats pro-inflammatory cytokines.
Like all fish, oysters contain plenty of omega-3 fatty acids that lower inflammation associated with arthritis, ulcers, migraines, and Crohn’s, according to the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. The Frontiers of Nutrition supports that zinc, another prominent nutrient in oysters, assuages oxidative stress and inflammation in older adults. The combinations make oyster an ideal inflammation-fighting fish.
Flaxseed Provides More Than Just Fiber
Many people today add flaxseed to oats or smoothies for its high fiber. But flaxseed has another benefit that’s less often discussed, and that’s its ability to soothe inflammation. In 2015, a study in the Nutrition Journal exhibited that men who ate flaxseed for 42 days experienced significantly less inflammation markers.
Further research in the Journal of Food Science and Technology proposes that flaxseed’s omega-3 fatty acids contribute to its anti-inflammatory effect. In many studies, flaxseed supplements have performed better than the ground or whole seed.
Celery Cuts Out Brain Inflammation
Celery has potent antioxidant activity that lends it anti-inflammatory qualities, according to a 2017 scientific review in the Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine. Celery’s polyphenols, including phenolc acids and flavonoids, remove free radicals that irritate cells and spark inflammation.
In 2008, a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences revealed that a compound in celery,called luteolin, may shield the brain from inflammation. Excessive inflammation in the brain can result in Creutzfeld-Jakob disease and Alzheimer’s.