Fight inflammation with these 13 amazing superfoods
02/11/2021 / By Joanne Washburn / Comments
Fight inflammation with these 13 amazing superfoods

Inflammation is a normal part of our bodies’ immune response. Without inflammation, we can’t heal injuries or recover from illnesses. However, inflammation can get out of control, and when it does, we run a the risk of developing serious conditions like heart disease and cancer. But the good news is, plenty of foods can help curb inflammation.

Add the following foods to your plate today if you need relief from inflammation:

1. Berries

Berries reign supreme when it comes to fighting inflammation. That is because the pigments that give berries their colorful peels also work as powerful antioxidants. These pigments/antioxidants help curb inflammation and even protect your cells from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals.


Keep blueberries on hand for a light and nutritious snack or blend up some mixed berries for a delightful and refreshing smoothie. You can even top your yogurt or grain bowl with fresh strawberry slices.

2. Grapes

The pigments that give berries their colorful skins are also present in grapes. On top of curbing inflammation, those pigments help slash your risk of developing inflammatory diseases, such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

Freeze a few grapes and pop them in your mouth for a cool treat or add chopped grapes to your chicken salad for a bit of sweetness.

3. Oily fish

Oily fish like salmon, mackerel and tuna are incredibly high in omega-3 fatty acids. These good fats work to reduce inflammation in your body. In fact, studies have shown that omega-3s called EPA and DHA fight inflammation that could lead to heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease and metabolic syndrome.

4. Broccoli

Broccoli is by no means a crowd favorite, even among health enthusiasts. But this cruciferous veggie can help curb inflammation thanks to plant chemicals known as glucosinolates, which act as antioxidants. Broccoli is also an excellent source of sulforaphane, another antioxidant that helps drive down inflammation.

Steam some broccoli florets for a quick side dish or saute them with garlic for a tasty appetizer. Don’t boil the florets to avoid losing most of their inflammation-fighting antioxidants.

5. Avocado

Smooth, creamy avocados are packed with carotenoids and tocopherols. As antioxidants, these compounds help curb inflammation linked to cancer. Avocados also give you the same healthy fats found in oily fish. So if you don’t like fish or would rather stick to plant-based foods, avocados are your best friend.

6. Green tea

Green tea is considered the healthiest drink on Earth, and for good reason. This soothing herbal drink is filled with catechins that have been shown to ward off inflammation linked to cancer, Alzheimer’s and other serious diseases. Serve green tea hot to calm frazzled nerves or serve it cold for a refreshing, calorie-free beverage.

7. Bell peppers

Sweet bell peppers are rich in vitamin C, an essential nutrient with antioxidant properties. You also get high amounts of quercetin from bell peppers. Quercetin protects cells from oxidative damage. Together, vitamin C and quercetin can keep inflammation at bay and may even promote healthy aging.

8. Turmeric

Turmeric is a spice with a pungent odor and a bitter flavor. It looks and tastes a lot like its cousin, ginger, but when it’s powdered, turmeric takes on a more golden hue.

Thanks to a compound called curcumin, turmeric can lower inflammation linked to arthritis. However, your body doesn’t readily absorb curcumin. Taking curcumin with black pepper helps enhance its absorption, according to studies.

9. Mushrooms

Portobello, shiitake, lion’s mane and other edible mushroom varieties are rich in selenium. This trace mineral has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Mushrooms also contain phenols that help protect your cells from inflammation-induced damage.

Take note that cooking mushrooms significantly lowers their anti-inflammatory components. It’s best to have them raw or, if you must, lightly cooked.

10. Olive oil

The fact that olive oil is a staple in the Mediterranean diet — considered by many to be the healthiest diet in the world — should tell you all you need to know about this oil. Rich in monounsaturated fats and powerful antioxidants, olive oil helps curb inflammation just as effectively as anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen.

As a versatile oil, you can make all sorts of dishes with olive oil. Substitute it for butter, use it in your vinaigrette, drizzle it over your sandwich – the list goes on!

11. Dark chocolate

Not all chocolate are made equal. Dark chocolate, especially the kind that contains at least 70 percent cocoa, is filled with antioxidants called flavanols. Flavanols protect the cells lining your arteries from inflammation. Try grating dark chocolate over your morning oatmeal or garnish your fruit plate with dark chocolate curls.

12. Tomatoes

Tomatoes, a nightshade veggie, are rich in lycopene. This antioxidant is best known for reducing inflammation in the lungs. Note that cooking tomatoes in olive oil maximizes the amount of lycopene you can absorb. Grill tomato slices with garlic cloves for a simple side dish or bake quinoa-stuffed tomatoes for a hearty vegan main.

13. Cherries

Both sweet and tart cherries are rich in anthocyanins and catechins. Research shows cherries draw their anti-inflammatory benefits from these two antioxidants. Enjoy cherries’ full anti-inflammatory benefits by eating them plain, adding sliced fresh cherries to your salad bowl or baking them into a delicious pie.

To reduce inflammation, follow a balanced diet that includes anti-inflammatory foods such as those listed above. In addition to fighting inflammation, a nutritious and well-balanced diet can help lower your risk of chronic diseases and improve your quality of life in the long run.


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