10 Foods That Reduce Inflammation

berriesIn a previous post I wrote about foods that cause inflammation. In this post I’m focusing on foods that will reduce inflammation. While we need some inflammation to have the body’s immune response kick in, chronic inflammation is out of control and is linked to a variety of diseases. Incorporating these foods can naturally reduce swelling in the body.

Beets – The dark red pigment of beets is from betalains and has many antioxidant properties. Not only do beets and beet juice reduce inflammation, they protect against heart disease and cancer.

Berries – While most fruits can help reduce inflammation, berries are particularly effective. The dark colors mean they are rich in anthocyanins and have powerful antioxidants. Raspberries are effective for preventing arthritis and blueberries protect against intestinal inflammation and ulcerative colitis.

Dark Leafy Greens – Dark leafy greens are full of vitamins and minerals and disease fighting phytochemicals. Vitamin E, in particular, is believed to fight against pro-inflammatory cytokines.

Fatty Fish – Fatty fish are an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids. Salmon, mackerel and sardines that have been broiled or baked are excellent sources of omega 3s. Not a fan of fish? Try a high quality fish oi instead.

Ginger – A cousin to turmeric, ginger has been shown to reduce inflammation in the intestine. It also helps quell nausea. Ginger is a staple in Asian and Indian cuisine and can be added to a variety of dishes. It can also be enjoyed as a tea.

Nuts – Nuts are full of healthy fats and antioxidants, which can help fight and prevent inflammation. Almonds in particular are high in vitamin E and walnuts are high in omega 3s.

Olive Oil – Extra virgin olive oil is a great source of plant based mono-unsaturated fat. Olive oil has been shown to have a similar effect as NSAID painkillers in the body due to the compound oleocanthal, which gives olive oil its taste. Note that olive oil can become rancid when cooked at a high heat.

Soy – Recent studies show that whole soy does not increase breast cancer risk and that it can reduce the risks of inflammation on bones and the heart. Choose tofu, edamame, tempeh and miso but avoid heavily processed soy, such as soy protein isolate, which does not contain the same benefits.

Tart Cherry Juice – Tart cherry juice are believed to have the highest antioxidant content of any food. Tart cherry juice is used by athletes to reduce inflammation and reduce the need for NASAID pain relievers.

Turmeric – Turmeric is believed to help to turn off a NF-kappa B, a protein that regulates the immune system and triggers the process of inflammation. Add ground turmeric to rice, vegetables and curries. You can also make a tea out of it. Turmeric works best when paired with some black pepper.

Do you need help with reducing inflammation? Please email me, janinemchale@empoweredplate.com, and together we can come up with an eating plan that works for you!

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