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14 Inflammation-Fighting Foods to Eat Every Day

author image Jennifer Cassetta
Jennifer Cassetta is nutrition, fitness and self-defense expert. As a clinical nutritionist, health coach, personal trainer and 3rd degree black belt in Hapkido, she has over 12 years of experience helping people get fit, heal and learn how to defend themselves. "Stilettos and Self Defense" is a three-part DVD series that she co-produced and starred in, which helped to get the attention of Marie Osmond, Bethenny Frankel, Jenny McCarthy and The Today Show.
Fight the inflammation with these 14 foods.
Fight the inflammation with these 14 foods. Photo Credit researchdiva/AdobeStock

Inflammation is a big buzzword these days — and for good reason. Chronic inflammation can exacerbate and even lead to many serious diseases.

Whole-body inflammation can be hard to diagnose and may become chronic over time.

Chronic inflammation can set the stage for many degenerative diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

Junk food + no exercise + stress = inflammation.
Junk food + no exercise + stress = inflammation. Photo Credit Boyarkina Marina/AdobeStock

Causes of inflammation range from stress to a sedentary lifestyle filled with processed foods. Foods that cause inflammation include:

  • Fried foods that contain trans fats, lard and hydrogenated oils
  • Sugary foods like candy, soda and cookies
  • Processed meats
  • Excessive alcohol
  • Low-quality salad dressing, chips, processed snacks, mayo and foods cooked in vegetable oils

The good news is that you can take control by simply adding these 14 inflammation-fighting foods to your diet:

1. Turmeric

Curcumin is this spice’s magic anti-inflammatory bullet. Add it to your juices, stews and soups, or even try a turmeric tea latte before bed. Just add turmeric, honey and almond milk to a small pot, heat and serve.

Add some ginger to your next stir-fry.
Add some ginger to your next stir-fry. Photo Credit Voyagerix/AdobeStock

2. Ginger

Gingerols are the anti-inflammatory compounds found in ginger. Studies have shown ginger to help ease pain and inflammation in patients with arthritis. Add ginger to fresh juices, your next stir-fry and sushi.

3. Rosemary

Fresh herbs are going to give you more of an antioxidant punch than dried ones. Try starting a small herb garden in your windowsill to have rosemary on hand to add to your roasted vegetables, chicken and potatoes.

Read More: Why Everyone Is Drinking Matcha Tea

4. Matcha

You don’t have to go to Starbucks to get a matcha green tea latte. You can buy a quality matcha powder, add it to a cup of almond milk and mix in a touch of sweetener.

5. Salmon

All oily fishes are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon is the more readily available and generally well-liked than others like sardines, mackerel and anchovies. Try swapping out your canned tuna for canned wild salmon and add that to a salad or sandwich.

6. Olive Oil

As a key part of the Mediterranean diet, olive oil is considered a powerhouse food because of its ability to lower inflammatory markers in the blood.

Read More: Keep Your Brain Sharp With the MIND Diet

However, it’s important to use true extra-virgin olive oil because it has higher health benefits than other types of olive oil. Make your own salad dressing with extra-virgin olive oil instead of buying store-bought dressings with low-quality oils and added sugars.

Hemp seeds add a nutty flavor and healthy omega-3s to your meal.
Hemp seeds add a nutty flavor and healthy omega-3s to your meal. Photo Credit Mara Zemgaliete/AdobeStock

7. Hemp seeds

Hemp seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids along with fiber and magnesium. Sprinkle a tablespoon of hemp seeds onto your salad or in your oatmeal for a nutty flavor.

Read More: 6 Hemp-Happy Foods

8. Walnuts

These tree nuts are good for your cardiovascular system because of the amount of omega-3s that they contain. Add walnuts to your morning cereal or trail mix. Bake them into your desserts for an added heart-healthy benefit.

Blueberries are health superstars.
Blueberries are health superstars. Photo Credit Quanthem/AdobeStock

9. Blueberries

Not only are blueberries anti-inflammatory, they’re also packed with potassium, which makes them a great choice for exercise fans. Snack on fresh organic blueberries, or store them in your freezer for desserts or smoothies.

10. Collard Greens

Swap out your wrap or bun with a big collard green leaf, or chop them up and add them to your stir-fry.

11. Kale

Kale is packed with free-radical-fighting antioxidants and vitamins A and C. Add kale to your morning smoothies, or swap out your salad greens for inflammation-fighting kale leaves.

Shiitakes can fight more than just inflammation.
Shiitakes can fight more than just inflammation. Photo Credit Kwangmoo/AdobeStock

12. Shiitake Mushrooms

This fungus among us has the ability to fight inflammation, bad bacteria and viruses. There is also tons of research still happening on the potential of these mushrooms to help fight tumors. Swap out your button mushrooms for some powerful shiitakes in your next meal.

Read More: 7 Surprising Benefits of Fermented Foods

13. Sauerkraut

Not only is cabbage packed with vitamins A and C, it also contains beneficial probiotics that are anti-inflammatory in the gut and that enhance digestion and absorption of nutrients. Try adding it to salads or as a side dish with meats.

14. Garlic

Allicin and other compounds in garlic help reduce oxidative stress and unwanted inflammation. Garlic also helps boost your immunity and should be included in your meals whenever possible. From veggies to pasta to fish and meats, a little garlic can go a long way.

What Do YOU Think?

Do you suffer from inflammation? Do you eat certain foods/avoid certain foods because of it? Are there any other foods that you think should be on this list? Leave a comment below and let us know.

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