Author: Jen Martin
April 10, 2020
Inflammation can be both good and bad.
On one hand, it helps your body defend itself from infection and injury. On the other hand, chronic inflammation can lead to weight gain, disease, and bring out symptoms from chronic illness.
Stress, inflammatory foods, and low activity levels can make this risk even greater.
However, studies demonstrate that some foods can fight inflammation.
Here are 13 anti-inflammatory foods:
Berries are small fruits that are packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Although dozens of varieties exist, some of the most common include:
Berries contain antioxidants. These compounds have anti-inflammatory effects that may reduce your risk of disease of lessen symptoms associated with chronic illness.
Your body produces natural killer cells (NK cells), which help keep your immune system functioning properly.
In one study in men, those who consumed blueberries every day produced significantly more NK cells than those who did not.
In another study, adults with excess weight who ate strawberries had lower levels of certain inflammatory markers associated with heart disease.
2. Fatty fish
Fatty fish are a great source of protein and the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA.
Although all types of fish contain some omega-3 fatty acids, these fatty fish are among the best sources:
EPA and DHA reduces inflammation that can lead to metabolic syndrome, heart disease, diabetes, and kidney disease.
Your body metabolizes these fatty acids into compounds called resolvins and protectins, which have anti-inflammatory effects.
Studies have found that people consuming salmon or EPA and DHA supplements or in liquid form experienced reductions in the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (CRP).
However, in another study, people with an irregular heartbeat who took EPA and DHA daily experienced no difference in inflammatory markers, compared with those who received a placebo.
Broccoli is extremely nutritious.
It's a cruciferous vegetable, along with cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and kale.
This may be related to the anti-inflammatory effects of the antioxidants they contain.
Broccoli is also rich in sulforaphane, an antioxidant that fights inflammation.
Avocados are packed with potassium, magnesium, fiber, and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.
In addition, one compound in avocados may reduce inflammation in young skin cells.
In one study, when people consumed a slice of avocado with a hamburger, they had lower levels of the inflammatory markers NF-kB and IL-6, compared with participants who ate the hamburger alone.
5. Green tea
You've probably heard that green tea is one of the healthiest beverages you can drink.
It reduces your risk of heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, obesity, and other conditions.
Many of its benefits are due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, especially a substance called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). A study conducted by Dr. Orhan Aktas from Institute of Neuroimmunology, Berlin, revealed for the first time that green tea may one day help cure multiple sclerosis (MS).