Reduce Inflammation & Improve Your Health With These 9 Delicious Anti-Inflammatory Foods
I don’t think it’s any secret that I do a lot of research and reading about nutrition and health-related topics. And as I’ve been looking through scientific studies… new research… and information about staying healthy… I’ve noticed one word that pops up a lot:
At first glance, it doesn’t seem like a scary word. After all, inflammation is part of your body’s response to many different conditions and diseases.
But then I noticed that inflammation has been linked to the development of several scary health problems… like arthritis, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even cancer.
So I set out to find out exactly what inflammation is, how it affects your body, and how you can fight it.
What Is Inflammation?
Inflammation is when your body’s white blood cells and the substances they produce protect you from a threat like infection from bacteria or a virus, or from stress. So that’s a good thing, right?
Well, yes – when it works correctly. In these “good” cases, inflammation helps your body fight off disease and heal from illness and injury.TRENDING: Science Reveals Easy, No-Workout Ways to Lose Weight… While You Snooze!
The body’s inflammatory response is what causes some symptoms you might recognize, like warm, red skin or swelling. These are part of the body’s normal response.
However, sometimes inflammation occurs when there is no real threat to your body. If your body’s inflammatory reaction is triggered over and over with nothing it should be protecting your body from… this is called an autoimmune disorder.
This can lead to chronic inflammation, in which your body is almost constantly overreacting with its inflammatory responses. That’s when inflammation becomes harmful rather than beneficial.
How Does Chronic Inflammation Affect Your Body?
Like I mentioned above, chronic inflammation has been linked to a number of health conditions. Arthritis is one of the most common. Rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and gouty arthritis are all tied to inflammation.
These are autoimmune diseases, which basically means that your body is attacking itself when there is no outside threat present. Other autoimmune diseases associated with chronic inflammation include digestive conditions like IBD, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis, and periodontitis (a serious and chronic inflammation of the gums).
In addition, recent research has shown that chronic inflammation increases your risk for a whole host of health problems. These include heart disease, type 2 diabetes, psoriasis and other skin conditions, cancer, and depression.
Inflammation also makes it more difficult to lose weight. When you have chronic inflammation, it’s like the cards are all stacked against you.
9 Foods That Fight Chronic Inflammation
It’s obvious that chronic inflammation is dangerous to your health. While it may seem like a small change… eating an anti-inflammatory diet can go a long way in helping your body fight chronic inflammation.
In turn, this can help you reduce your risk for the health problems associated with inflammation.
Here are 9 anti-inflammatory foods to add to your diet:SPECIAL: What’s REALLY Causing Your Weight Gain, High Blood Pressure & Constant Fatigue (If You’re Over 30 You Need to See This)…
1) Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Olive oil is rich in oleic acid, which is an omega-9 fatty acid. This helps to fight inflammation… plus it’s good for your heart and brain, too!
In fact, the effect of oleocanthal… which is an antioxidant found in olive oil… has been compared to ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatory drugs. That’s pretty amazing!
You can use olive oil in cooking many different recipes. You can also drizzle olive oil on your salads. I recommend using extra virgin olive oil since it has more anti-inflammatory benefits than more refined versions of olive oil.
You may be familiar with turmeric as a space that’s frequently used in curries and other Indian foods. Turmeric has a strong, earthy flavor… and it also contains an anti-inflammatory nutrient called curcumin.
You can use turmeric in cooking (which gives you anti-inflammatory benefits AND great flavor)… or you can take a supplement.
Berries are delicious… and they’re also full of antioxidants called anthocyanins. These have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects and can lower your risk of disease.
So go ahead and stock up on berries! Try blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, or raspberries. You can eat them plain… add them to a delicious & healthy smoothie… or use them as a topping for some creamy Greek yogurt.SPECIAL: These 3 Delicious Smoothie Recipes Are Specially Designed To Burn Off More Fat… So You Lose More Weight
Avocados are known as a “superfood” for good reason! One study found that a certain compound in avocados can reduce inflammation in young skin cells.
Just in case that isn’t enough, avocados are also full of magnesium, fiber, potassium, and healthy fats. Have I convinced you to start eating avocados now?!
5) Fatty Fish
Fish contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for your heart and brain. These omega-3 fatty acids include EPA and DHA, which have been shown to reduce inflammation and lower your risk of heart disease, metabolic syndrome, kidney disease, and diabetes.
While all fish contain omega-3 fatty acids, some have more than others. The best sources are fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring, and anchovies.
6) Cruciferous Vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables include some of my favorites… like broccoli, kale, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts.
Broccoli in particular is rich in an antioxidant called sulforaphane. This antioxidant fights inflammation and can reduce the effects of inflammatory diseases.
While tomatoes are high in both vitamin C and potassium… which are both great for your health…
The real anti-inflammatory benefits come from an antioxidant called lycopene. In particular, lycopene has been shown to reduce your risk of cancer thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.
If you want to maximize the anti-inflammatory effects of tomatoes… cook them with extra virgin olive oil! That’s a two-for-one dose of anti-inflammatory benefits.
8) Green Tea
Green tea has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These benefits seem to be due to a substance in green tea called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG).
Research has also found that green tea can lower your risk for a number of health problems, including heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and obesity.
9) Dark Chocolate
Alright, I saved my personal favorite for last. If I have a health-related reason to eat more chocolate, I’m all in!BRAND NEW: These 7 Delicious Desserts Can Help You Burn Fat & Lose Weight
Dark chocolate’s anti-inflammatory effects are thanks to a component called flavanols. These can also keep your cardiovascular system healthy.
So don’t feel bad about indulging in some dark chocolate (in moderation, of course).
How To Reduce Chronic Inflammation
Reducing inflammation and improving your health can be quite delicious! Add any – or all – of these inflammation-fighting foods to your diet today to start benefiting your health.
Our easy-to-follow (and share!) infographic makes it simple to see how you can reduce inflammation… as well as some other great benefits that come from these inflammation-fighting foods:
You can also help reduce inflammation by avoiding foods that often cause or contribute to inflammation, like:
- Sugary drinks (sugar-sweetened soda and juices)
- Processed meats (hot dogs, sausages, bologna, etc.)
- Refined carbohydrates (white bread, white pasta, etc.)
- Desserts (cake, ice cream, cookies, etc.)
- Processed snack foods (crackers, chips, pretzels, etc.)
- Trans fats (found in foods with partially hydrogenated oils)
- Certain oils (processed seed or vegetable oils like soybean and corn oil)
Instead of eating these inflammatory foods… choose the delicious, healthy ones listed above that fight inflammation.
In the end, fighting inflammation can be both tasty and pretty simple!
How To Continue Fighting Inflammation (& Lose Weight, Too!)
One of the MOST important places to fight inflammation?
That’s because your gut takes everything you eat… all of the food you put in your mouth…
And breaks it down… and moves it around your body.
If your body has a lot of inflammation… that causes some BAD stuff to grow in your gut.
These are the kinds of “bad bacteria” that take the food that you eat… and turn it DIRECTLY into fat!
The result is that you easily put on weight… feel sluggish and bloated all the time… and never seem to have enough energy.
It was discovered by this well-known TV doctor, Dr. Masley, completely on accident…
He often only shares this secret with his wealthy clientele…
Though recently he shared this secret for the first time on an exclusive webcast episode.
[This post was updated by Fit Trim Happy on June 15, 2020.]