Inflammation is triggered when your body detects —or thinks it detects— a foreign object. This can be good and bad. When inflammation occurs, your body works its magic, and inflammation goes away. When your body thinks the foreign object is still a threat, inflammation can become chronic and be harmful.
Many diseases such as cancer, arthritis, and diabetes have been linked to chronic inflammation. Not to worry, though. There are many ways you can keep your inflammation in check. Being mindful of what you put into your body is an easy way to help keep a normal response to inflammation.
Here are 10 anti-inflammatory foods to add to your diet:
1. Tomatoes. Tomatoes are high in lycopene, an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties. Lycopene is a carotenoid, which means it’s better absorbed with a source of fat.
2. Fruits. Berries and citrus are great anti-inflammatory foods. Berries are rich in the antioxidants and flavonoids that can help fight inflammation.
3. Nuts. Nuts are an excellent source of vitamin E, which can help protect the body from harmful free radicals.
4. Leafy greens. There’s no arguing that leafy greens are good for you. Among their many health benefits, leafy greens can help reduce inflammation.
5. Extra virgin olive oil. Oleocanthal found in olive oils has anti-inflammatory properties.
6. Fish. Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel are high in Omega 3 acids and can help regulate your body’s inflammatory process.
7. Turmeric. Tumeric is a member of the ginger family and has curcumin, a compound high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Although it’s not a common ingredient in western recipes, it is very common in South and Southeast Asian cuisines. Fads such as turmeric lattes are popping up in many cafes and grocery stores, and are here to stay.
8. Matcha. Regular green tea is good for you, and matcha, green tea powder, is amazing because it contains all nutrients in the leaf. Matcha is high in catechins, the antioxidant that helps fight free-radicals. Reducing inflammation can be as easy as a cup of tea!
9. Dark chocolate. You can thank the flavonols in chocolate to help keep the inflammation down. Make sure to get at least 70% dark chocolate to get the most benefits.
10. Ginger. Ginger is a triple fighter coming in with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial compounds.
Increasing your intake of anti-inflammatory foods is important, but cutting down on foods that do more harm than good is as important. Here are some inflammatory foods you should keep an eye on:
- Fried foods, like fries and potato chips.
- Processed foods, such as bacon and salami.
- Added sugars, like the ones found in ready-made smoothies, sodas, and white bread.
We hope we’ve inspired you to add more anti-inflammatory foods into your diet. Feel free to connect with us on our social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) to share how you’ve incorporated these foods into your diets.