The Best Foods to Help Fight Inflammation
You've probably heard your fair share about inflammation lately, but do you know what it is? We're breaking down what it is and sharing what foods can help reduce it.
Many diseases—from diabetes and arthritis to cancer, heart disease and even Alzheimer’s—have been linked to chronic inflammation. And, research indicates that the foods we eat may have an impact on how much (or little) our bodies are subjected to inflammation.
Here are some of the best foods you can eat to help fight inflammation.
“Tomahto”, “tomayto,” however you want to pronounce it, you definitely want to be eating these juicy veggies to fight inflammation. Make sure to fill your plate with lots of richly colored foods of the rainbow to get maximum nutrients and vitamins! Fresh tomato recipes are a great way to help keep chronic inflammation at bay.
All fruits can help fight inflammation, especially berries. Go for a handful of fresh-picked blackberries, blueberries or raspberries next time your sweet tooth is calling or try one of these fresh strawberry recipes, just watch out for too much added sugar.
Next time you’re craving something crunchy, salty or sweet, go for a handful of nuts instead of chips. Nuts are not only high in fiber and vitamin E, you can make them sweet or savory depending on your cravings, and they’re easy to carry around as an on-the-go snack. Find a new favorite in our top-rated nut recipes (hint: go for the healthy nut mixes).
These little legumes are great for you for many reasons. Mostly celebrated for their high fiber and protein content, beans are also inexpensive and a green protein source. Here’s a fun fact: Three of the USDA’s top four antioxidant-rich foods are beans! Small red beans, kidney beans, and pinto beans all took top honors. That’s another great reason to tote along baked beans for the best potluck.
A lifestyle that’s heart-healthy, like the Mediterranean diet, is key to reducing inflammation throughout your body. A big part of that is incorporating foods rich in monounsaturated fat like olive oil and avocados rather than saturated and trans fats.
Go for dark leafy greens that are rich in vitamin E like spinach, kale and Swiss chard. These greens are all packed with iron and calcium and are super easy to integrate into recipes from casseroles to lasagnas, and everything in between.
Don’t be alarmed by the word fatty! Fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can combat inflammation. Skip fried fish, and bake, grill or boil instead to keep it healthy. Need inspiration? Try one of these top-rated salmon recipes.
These members of the cabbage family include Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, and the cabbages. Aim for a couple of servings per week and be careful not to overcook, so that you preserve the nutrients. Our superstar broccoli dishes will convert even your pickiest eater.
Making the switch from refined white grains to whole grain recipes is an easy one, and your body will definitely thank you for it. That’s because non-processed grains are higher in fiber and have more nutrients than refined grains.
Ginger and Turmeric
Spice up your life by adding a little bit of ginger and turmeric to your dishes for a big impact. In addition to being anti-inflammatory, turmeric has a lot of potential health benefits and can be added to everything from curry to cauliflower. Ginger, which is in the same family as turmeric, has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties because it’s high in antioxidants.
Black, green and white teas all contain polyphenols, compounds that can help keep our bodies healthy. Green tea is high in EGCG, an antioxidant compound that may help protect against cancer.