If you’ve ever experienced inflammation, you know first hand that it is a very discomfort inducing condition – enough for us to question ‘how to reduce inflammation’, to find effective anti inflammatory agents, or seek medical help.
Ever wondered if your kitchen could offer all the anti inflammatory components your body needs? – meaning that you could avoid medications and get foods that reduce inflammation, right at your home.
In today’s blog, we will explore the most effective anti inflammatory foods. And yes! Your everyday meals can become the ultimate defenders against inflammation. Not some complicated diets, we’re talking about simple, delicious foods that fight inflammation and are ready to rescue you.
What is Inflammation?
The immune system is the body’s natural defense system that stands guard and protects your body from foreign bodies such as pathogens, free radicals, and oxidants. The immune system generates a reactionary response, called inflammation, whenever it detects a foreign body or “invader” in your body.
This reactionary or ‘inflammatory’ response allows immune cells to fight off the foreign particles before they disrupt the metabolic processes in the body. Acute inflammation is beneficial as it prepares and protects your body, and thus, helps to preserve health.
Chronic inflammation, however, is risky as it can occur for years without a potential trigger as well, eliciting pain, stress, and breakdown of body tissues. At times, the body mistakes its own healthy cells as foreign cells, leading to autoimmune inflammatory diseases. Certain systemic diseases, such as diabetes, heart diseases, and arthritis, are caused by chronic inflammatory processes.
Foods That Cause Inflammation
While there are anti inflammatory foods i.e. foods that reduce inflammation – similarly, there are also foods that cause the inflammation in the first place.
Inflammation can be greatly influenced by the dietary choices you make – and knowing this, we need to be mindful of some of these common culprits that may contribute to inflammation, including:
- Refined carbohydrates (sugar, white bread, pastries)
- Processed foods
- Excessive red meat
- Fried items
- Butter, whole milk, & cheese
- Sugary beverages
- Certain vegetable oils
Making informed choices about your diet can play a crucial role in promoting overall health and well-being.
Natural Anti Inflammatory Foods
In order to build immunity, nutritionists recommend incorporating anti inflammatory foods in your diet, these are foods that fight inflammation as they are naturally stocked with antioxidants.
Listed below are the most effective natural anti inflammatory foods:
Blueberries are perhaps one of the most nutritious and tasteful fruits that help to combat inflammation naturally. Blueberries are rich in antioxidants such as polyphenols, which serve a natural aid for fighting free radicals in the body.
Anthocyanin, a polyphenol, helps to fight potentially harmful environmental triggers that might possibly impose stress and serve as a threat to the body.
Stresses can be either biotic, such as those caused by infectious pathogens, or abiotic, such as temperature extremes. Wild blueberries are known to possess far greater quantities of anthocyanins and thus, serve as the perfect aid to an anti inflammatory or weight loss dietary regimen.
Bursting with antioxidants and anti inflammatory compounds, broccoli is a nutritional powerhouse. Packed with vitamins and fiber, it promotes a healthy gut and supports your body’s natural defense against inflammation.
Creamy avocados aren’t just delicious; they’re rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants that help quell inflammation. Their nutrient profile makes them a superb addition to an anti inflammatory diet.
Green, Leafy Vegetables
Green, leafy vegetables might be the bane of our existence, but in fact, yield antioxidants, vitamins, and elements that are nutritious for day-to-day functioning.
Kale is also rich in Vitamin C as well as fat-soluble vitamins such as A and K. Kale, however, is also a readily available nutritious entity with calcium, which helps to strengthen brittle bones in osteoporosis and thus, fight inflammation as well.
Green vegetables provide an added source of magnesium and manganese that helps to protect both liver function and heart health. Magnesium has been reportedly accounted for decreasing mortality caused by liver diseases such as alcoholic liver diseases, liver cancer, and hepatitis.
Present in highly significant amounts, curcumin is the chief pigment that allows us to celebrate turmeric for its anti inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Turmeric helps to reduce inflammation, particularly in autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
RA is characteristically known for eliciting high levels of pain and reduced mobility due to joint inflammation in susceptible patients. Curcumin helps to reduce levels of inflammatory markers, such as C-Reactive Protein, which is implicated in acute inflammation, as well as a majority of chronic inflammatory diseases.
Fatty fish such as salmon, herrings, and mackerel, are high in polyunsaturated fats or long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, namely docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Omega-3 fatty acids are protective against heart diseases and thus, help to fight inflammation implicated in coronary and peripheral artery diseases.
As the body makes omega-3 fatty acids in relatively smaller amounts as required, it is necessary to consume fatty foods rich in EPA and DHA. Fish oil supplements rich in omega-3 fatty acids have been popularized in the States for the last 10 years as important components of diet. Fish oil rich in EPA is usually beneficial for fighting pain and inflammation in autoimmune diseases, whereas DHA is known to help improve mental health and cognitive functioning.
Tomatoes bring a double punch with both antioxidants, like lycopene, and anti inflammatory properties. Whether fresh or cooked, these vibrant fruits contribute to a well-rounded approach to reducing inflammation.
Nuts, such as almonds and walnuts, are packed with omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, making them powerful allies against inflammation. Their crunch adds texture while their nutritional content works wonders for your health.
Many nuts, such as almonds, pecans, and hazelnuts, are rich in monounsaturated fats which serve as a healthier alternative to trans-and-saturated fats. Fruits such as avocados, and seeds such as pumpkin seeds, are also rich in monounsaturated fats, which promote better heart health and fight against free radicals implicated in cancer and heart diseases.
Known for its potent anti inflammatory and antioxidant properties, ginger has been a staple in traditional medicine. Adding a zing to your dishes or soothing ginger tea, this root is a flavorful remedy for inflammation.
Garlic doesn’t just ward off vampires; it’s also a powerful anti inflammatory ingredient. Packed with sulfur compounds and antioxidants, garlic supports your body in managing inflammation while adding depth to your culinary creations.
It is true that medications such as steroids and immunosuppressants can help relieve chronic inflammation in your body, but in order to help reduce the risk of developing chronic inflammation in your body, it is vital to boost your immune system with naturally anti inflammatory foods for more effective results.
At Manhattan Medical Arts, we recommend consulting our experts before opting for any foods that fight inflammation or anti inflammatory supplements, so that our healthcare experts and nutritionists can help advise the recommended daily amount (RDA) for more effective results, in the safest way possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
Top anti inflammatory foods include fatty fish (like salmon), berries, leafy greens, nuts, seeds, turmeric, ginger, and olive oil. Turmeric is often considered one of the strongest natural anti inflammatory foods due to its active compound, curcumin - which has potent anti inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Hydration, anti inflammatory foods, managing stress, and regular exercise are the most effective and the fastest ways to reduce inflammation in the body. An anti inflammatory diet includes fruits, vegetables, fatty fish, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and herbs - while limiting processed foods, refined sugars, and saturated fats. Six anti inflammatory foods are blueberries (rich in antioxidants), fatty fish (omega-3 fatty acids), broccoli (contains anti inflammatory compounds), turmeric (curcumin), leafy greens (high in vitamins and minerals), and walnuts (omega-3s and antioxidants). Fish, particularly fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines, is considered anti inflammatory due to its omega-3 fatty acids. Poultry, especially when lean and not fried, can also be a part of an anti inflammatory diet.
What are the top anti inflammatory foods?
What is the strongest natural anti inflammatory food?
What is the fastest way to reduce inflammation in the body?
What can you eat on an anti inflammatory foods diet?
What are six natural anti inflammatory foods?
What meat is anti inflammatory?
Top anti inflammatory foods include fatty fish (like salmon), berries, leafy greens, nuts, seeds, turmeric, ginger, and olive oil.
Turmeric is often considered one of the strongest natural anti inflammatory foods due to its active compound, curcumin - which has potent anti inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Hydration, anti inflammatory foods, managing stress, and regular exercise are the most effective and the fastest ways to reduce inflammation in the body.
An anti inflammatory diet includes fruits, vegetables, fatty fish, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and herbs - while limiting processed foods, refined sugars, and saturated fats.
Six anti inflammatory foods are blueberries (rich in antioxidants), fatty fish (omega-3 fatty acids), broccoli (contains anti inflammatory compounds), turmeric (curcumin), leafy greens (high in vitamins and minerals), and walnuts (omega-3s and antioxidants).
Fish, particularly fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines, is considered anti inflammatory due to its omega-3 fatty acids. Poultry, especially when lean and not fried, can also be a part of an anti inflammatory diet.
– Disclaimer –
This blog is for informational & educational purposes only, and does not intend to substitute any professional medical advice or consultation. For any health related concerns, please consult with your physician, or call 911.
About The AuthorDr. Syra Hanif M.D.
Board Certified Primary Care Physician
Dr. Syra Hanif is a board-certified Primary Care Physician (PCP) dedicated to providing compassionate, patient-centered healthcare.Read More