The secret to a healthy body and mind that’s free from inflammatory responses is to eat foods full of antioxidants and make sure they’re anti-inflammatory. Inflammation can be beneficial or detrimental. On the one hand, it helps the body fight off infections and injuries by acting as a defense mechanism. Furthermore, inflammation that persists over time can lead to disease [1,2].
Foods That Can Reduce Inflammation
This risk may be increased by factors such as stress, insufficient levels of physical activity, and consuming foods that promote inflammation. However, research suggests that eating certain foods can help reduce the chronic inflammation that the body experiences. Here is a list of 13 foods that can help reduce inflammation.
Cherries have a high concentration of anti-inflammatory antioxidants. Such as anthocyanins and catechins, making them delicious and beneficial [3,4,5,6]. Even though more research has been done on the health-promoting properties of sour cherries. Sweet cherries are also known to provide some health benefits.
According to a study that involved 37 older adults. Participants who consumed 16 ounces (480 mL) of tart cherry juice daily for 12 weeks had significantly lower levels of the inflammatory marker CRP .
On the other hand, a different study discovered that after 30 days of daily consumption. Tart cherry juice had no effect on inflammation in healthy young adults . To determine whether or not cherries can reduce inflammation, more research is required to be conducted.
Tomatoes are extremely rich in various nutrients. They are an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, and lycopene. A potent antioxidant with anti-inflammatory and other beneficial properties [9,10,11,12].
Lycopene may be especially helpful in lowering the levels of pro-inflammatory compounds associated with various cancers [13,14,15]. It is important to note that cooking tomatoes in olive oil can increase the amount of lycopene that is absorbed from the tomatoes .
This is because lycopene is a carotenoid. Which is a type of nutrient that is more effectively absorbed when combined with a source of fat.
Dark Chocolate and Cocoa
The consumption of dark chocolate is delicious and abundant and filling. In addition to that, it contains a high concentration of anti-inflammatory antioxidants. These may lower your risk of disease and help you age in a healthier way [17,18,19,20].
Flavanols are the components of chocolate responsible for its anti-inflammatory effects. They also play a role in maintaining the health of the endothelial cells that line your arteries.
People who participated in a small study consumed cocoa flavanols in the amount of 350 mg twice daily. For a period of two weeks had improved vascular function. However, there is a need for additional research on high-quality chocolate and the components that make it up .
In the meantime, if you want to reap the benefits of dark chocolate’s anti-inflammatory properties. It does not do any harm to consume dark chocolate that contains at least 70 percent cocoa. And a higher percentage is preferable .
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Olive oil is widely considered to be the healthiest type of fat that can be consumed.
It is a staple of the Mediterranean diet. Which is known to have many positive effects on one’s health due to its high monounsaturated fat content. Several studies have found a correlation between consuming extra virgin olive oil and a reduced risk of serious health conditions. Such as cardiovascular disease and brain cancer [23,24,25,26].
Olive oil consumption significantly reduced CRP. And several other inflammatory markers in participants in a study on the Mediterranean diet that lasted for one year. Olive oil consumption averaged 50 milliliters (1.7 ounces) per day .
Oleocanthal is an antioxidant that can be found in olive oil. And its anti-inflammatory effects have been compared to those of the pain reliever ibuprofen [27,28]. Extra virgin olive oil’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects are superior to those of refined olive oil .
The spice turmeric lends curries and other Indian dishes. A flavor that is distinctly earthy and spicy at the same time. As a result of the presence of curcumin. A powerful anti-inflammatory compound, it has garnered a significant amount of attention [30,31,32,33].
Individuals diagnosed with metabolic syndrome participated in a study. In which they received daily doses of 1 gram of curcumin and piperine derived from black pepper. They noticed a sizeable drop in their CRP levels, indicating inflammation [33,34].
It may be challenging to obtain sufficient amounts of curcumin from turmeric on its own to produce a discernible effect. There is a possibility that the efficacy of curcumin supplements that contain isolated curcumin could be significantly improved.
Supplements containing curcumin are frequently combined with piperine. Which boosts the amount of curcumin that is absorbed by up to 2,000 percent . More research is needed to understand turmeric dosage and inflammatory marker levels .
Berries are a type of fruit that is known for their high levels of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They are typically small in size.
Several types exist. Here are a few:
Your body generates its own natural NK cells, which play an important role in maintaining a robust immune system.
In another study, obese adults who ate strawberries had lower levels of heart disease-linked inflammatory markers. These markers are typically found in high levels in individuals who do not consume strawberries [42,43].
Grapes have anthocyanins, which are known to reduce inflammation in the body. In addition to this, there is a possibility that they will reduce a person’s risk of developing eye disorders, obesity, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease [44,45,46,47].
Moreover, grapes are one of the best sources of antioxidant compounds. Known as resveratrol, which has numerous positive effects on one’s health. Studies have shown that the antioxidant resveratrol can help prevent inflammation in the heart.
Those participants in a study of 60 people who had heart failure and took resveratrol. In the form of two capsules of 50 milligrams each daily for three months. Showed a reduction in inflammatory gene markers, including interleukin 6. (IL-6) [48,49].
In a 2012 study, adults who consumed grape extract daily had higher adiponectin hormone levels. Obesity and an increased risk of cancer are both associated with having low levels of this hormone [48,50].
Although thousands of different mushrooms exist worldwide, only a few are edible and are grown for commercial purposes. Shiitake mushrooms, portobello mushrooms, and Truffles are all examples of foods that fall under this category.
The calorie content of mushrooms is low. And they are an excellent source of all of the B vitamins, copper, and selenium. In addition to this, they contain phenolic compounds. They have anti-inflammatory properties as well as other antioxidants [51,52,53,54].
There is some evidence that the mushroom is known as the lion’s mane. Can help reduce the low-grade inflammation that is associated with obesity .
According to the findings of one study, the anti-inflammatory compounds in mushrooms were significantly diminished by cooking. Because of this, it might be best to consume them in their raw or slightly cooked form .
Fatty fish are high in protein and omega-3 EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).
All fish contain omega-3 fatty acids, but these fatty fish are especially rich in Omega 3 fatty acids:
Metabolization converts fatty acids into anti-inflammatory resolvins and protectins .
However, in one study, there was no difference in inflammatory markers between those with an irregular heartbeat. Who took EPA and DHA daily and those who received a placebo. This was the case even though both groups were given the same amount of omega-3 fatty acids .
Green tea is one of the healthiest beverages available.
This compound’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, particularly its epigallocatechin-3-gallate, are responsible for most of its beneficial effects (EGCG).
The levels of the inflammatory markers known as interleukin-1 beta (IL-1) and C-reactive protein (CRP) were found to be lower in an investigation of the highest scientific quality that involved 51 obese adults who consumed avocados for 12 weeks .
The vegetable known as broccoli is very nutritious.
It is classified as a cruciferous vegetable in the same family as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and kale.
It’s possible that the anti-inflammatory effects of their antioxidants are to blame for this.
Even at relatively low levels, chronic inflammation can eventually lead to disease.
If you want to help keep inflammation under control, eating a wide variety of delicious foods high in antioxidants is a good place to start.
Several foods, such as extra virgin olive oil, fish, dark chocolate, and peppers, have been shown to help reduce inflammation and the risk of illness.
Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your own healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.