The Best Foods to Help Fight Inflammation
Inflammation can result from chronic illness, pain and other health problems. It can come on due to a plethora of different triggers, such as stress and lack of sleep, but diet can also play a key role in how inflamed the tissues and joints of your body become.
When fighting pain and inflammation, reaching for an ibuprofen might be your go-to, but as the old adage goes, "you are what you eat." If you eat the right foods, you may be able to ward off some inflammation for the long haul.
With a double dose of anti-inflammatory properties, miso is a great choice if you want to help your body battle chronic inflammation. The Japanese soup paste is made from fermented soybeans and is generally used to create broths and sauces.
Honey is one of those foods that gives a sweet flavor without the added problems that granulated sugar can cause when you eat larger amounts of it. Raw honey contains both digestion-friendly enzymes and proteolytic enzymes to help your body's immune system function well.
Coconut oil has been hailed as a cure-all. You can use it as a skin lotion, a hair mask, a weight-loss aid and even a face cream. It's a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to self-care and improved health.
Health fads come and go, but one thing remains the same — some of those "fad" foods actually work in the long run. The current bone broth craze is a very popular trend. Bone broth is made by boiling soup bones over an extended period of time.
Rosemary is an herb that has been used in cooking for centuries, but it doesn't just offer a great flavor to chicken, vegetables or other foods on your table. Rosemary contains a high level of antioxidants that can help your body ward off painful inflammation.
Eating a diet rich in fish can offer a large number of health benefits. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish and can promote improved brain health. Many companies have bottled this substance in the form of gel-cap supplements because of how helpful the vitamin is overall.
Another great source of omega-3 fatty acids is nuts. Whether you love walnuts, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts or any other type of nut, they’re rich in alpha-Linolenic acid (ALA). ALA isn't as potent as the DHA and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) in fish, but it does do the job.
Apples are one of those types of foods that belong in just about every diet because of how many health benefits they offer. Apples contain prebiotics that encourage the growth of bifidobacteria and lactobacillus, both of which are good types of stomach bacteria that aid in the proper function of the digestive system.
Gut health may be the holy grail of health because of how much it impacts the rest of your body — gut bacteria are your immune system, after all. Your gut does all the work when breaking down food to get the essential vitamins where they need to be, too.
Avocado is one of those healthy fats that everyone and their mother is talking about. The pear-shaped fruit is delicious with almost any meal, and it contains a cocktail of different minerals and vitamins, all of which can be incredibly beneficial when it comes to overall health.
Oysters might be an acquired taste, but this delicacy can actually be extremely good for you if you're trying to fight off inflammation. Oysters contain copper, zinc and manganese, all of which are great helpers in keeping your body's systems running well.
Garlic is one of those foods that falls into two categories — either you absolutely love it or you absolutely hate it. One thing about garlic is for certain though: It's a health benefactor when it comes to warding off inflammation.
Eggs are packed with vitamins and nutrients, including protein, vitamin D, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, selenium, iron, copper and zinc. This makes them an epic staple food for your diet. It doesn't hurt that there are tons of different ways to cook or incorporate them into meals.
Your body has many different genes that can either turn on or turn off inflammation markers. Whole grains such as brown rice, millet, amaranth and quinoa all contain fiber that encourages the production of butyrate, which targets the genes that lead to inflammation and turns them off.
Spinach has been hailed as a superfood since way back in the days of Popeye the Sailor, and for very good reason. The leafy green vegetable is packed with vitamins C, E and K. These vitamins are great for limiting inflammation because they protect against cytokines.
Some foods that can aid in the fight against inflammation do so by acting as accomplices in the fight for the overall well-being of your body. They do this by reducing certain unpleasant symptoms that can lead to further inflammation.
Chia seeds are a superfood that you can use in just about anything. They're tiny and don't offer too much in the way of flavor, so you can sprinkle them in pasta, salads, smoothies and soups or even make them into a delicious overnight pudding.
Tomatoes are one of those foods that are good in pretty much any lunch or dinner. From a sweet slice on a sandwich to a nice tomato and cucumber salad, the options are endless. They’re great helpers in the fight against inflammation because they contain a high level of the antioxidant lycopene.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil is an unrefined type of oil that contains oleocanthal. This compound is a direct fighter of inflammation because of its ability to reduce cell damage throughout your body. It works so well, in fact, that because of its phenolic properties, it can sometimes have the same effect as ibuprofen.
Cherries are another one of those superfoods that offer so many health benefits in a small, delicious and easy-to-eat package. They’re chock-full of anthocyanins, which are flavonoids that have extensive antioxidant properties. Anthocyanins also give cherries their dark red color.
Broccoli is one of those staple vegetables that’s so versatile it's hard not to incorporate it into your diet unless you absolutely hate the tree-shaped food. It offers great health benefits and is high in vitamin K.
Beets have that flavor profile that requires you to really love them if you're going to eat them. Their earthy yet sweet taste is great for mixing in with salads or roasting with other vegetables or meats. They also have a ton of great health benefits.
Turmeric isn't just a delicious spice that gives your food that extra boost it needs to go from bland to delicious and colorful. It's a powerful superfood, and many researchers have suggested that eating just a little bit of it a day can help ward off inflammation.
Red Bell Peppers
Bell peppers have long been hailed as a superfood, and for good reason. The vegetables are jam-packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Red bell peppers, though, are perhaps the leading contenders when it comes to providing the most health benefits all at once.
As you probably know by now, omega-3s are so good for your body. The healthy fats aid in the reduction of inflammation, and wild salmon is another great option when it comes to foods that are rich in healthy fatty acids.
Chocolate might be seen as a guilty pleasure, but it's actually a great source of antioxidants. Well, dark chocolate is, anyway. It’s made out of cacao, and that’s where the health benefits come from when it comes to this sweet treat.
Green tea has been a staple in many weight-loss plans because of its ability to help people’s stomachs metabolize foods better. It also has appetite-suppressing properties. It's an ancient aid for boosting overall health.
Ginger has been used as an antinauseant for centuries because it's natural and really works to combat symptoms of illness. Ginger contains several powerful antioxidants, anti-inflammatories and antibacterials, all of which owe their properties to gingerols.
Raw oats aren't exactly an exciting meal, but that doesn't take away any of the great health benefits that eating them regularly can have. They’re a type of resistant starch, which means that your body doesn’t fully digest them.
These little blue fruits are big helpers when it comes to fighting inflammation because they’re full of antioxidants. They contain high levels of flavonoids that contribute to the reduction of and protection against all types of inflammation in the body.