5 Foods To Eat On An Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Inflammation-Fighting Foods to Enjoy

Fortunately, some of the foods you eat can actually fight against the effects of inflammation. Focus on getting plenty of the following foods into your diet to keep inflammatory markers in check:

  • Spices. Spices like ginger, curry, and turmeric are all linked to fighting inflammation in the body.
  • Tomatoes. Not only are tomatoes delicious, but they are also rich in nutrients that fight against inflammation. Tomatoes are high in the phytochemical lycopene, which is a type of carotenoid with antioxidant properties. They are also a good source of vitamin C. Together, these nutrients can increase antioxidant activity, reduce inflammation, and lower cholesterol (Jacoba, Periagoa, Bohma, & Ros Berruezoa, 2008). Either fresh or cooked tomatoes contain nutrients that have anti-inflammatory effects. However, some evidence suggests that lycopene levels may be higher in cooked tomatoes than raw, giving you extra incentive to cook some fresh tomato sauce over whole-wheat pasta (Fielding, Rowley, Cooper, & O’Dea, 2005).
  • Leafy green vegetables. Leafy greens are touted for their numerous health benefits. Among these is the potential to significantly reduce inflammation (Harvard Women’s Health Watch, 2015). To ensure you get enough, make healthy salads with a bed of spinach, kale, mustard greens, or leaf lettuce. Alternatively enjoy cooked collard greens, turnip greens, or Swiss chard as a side dish with any meal.
  • Fatty fish. Fatty fish are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to lower chronic inflammation (Erlich, 2015). In particular, fatty fish contain eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which have significant anti-inflammatory effects. Enjoy salmon, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, or trout to get the anti-inflammatory benefits of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Nuts. Healthy nuts are chock full of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats but contain very little unhealthy saturated fat. As a result, nuts have major anti-inflammatory effects (Harvard Women’s Health Watch, 2015). In particular, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, and peanuts are excellent sources of vitamin E (Traber, 2015). Vitamin E may protect the body from the effects of harmful free radicals and has been shown to reduce inflammation (Traber, 2015). Thus, nuts make an excellent snack food. They can also be added to salads, incorporated into vegetarian burgers, or enjoyed in the form of nut butter.
  • Olive oil. The Mediterranean diet is particularly well known for lowering the risk of chronic disease. One of the most important components of this diet may be olive oil (Harvard Women’s Health Watch, 2015). Olive oil contains nutrients called polyphenols, which prevent the release of inflammatory compounds.

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