Top Foods For Fighting Inflammation

May 20, 2021

If you’re dealing with an inflammatory condition like arthritis, there are lots of lifestyle changes you can make to minimize your symptoms, including changing the way you eat.

Not sure which foods to include in your diet to reduce inflammation? Read on to learn about some of the best options.

1. Avocados

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Avocados are great sources of monounsaturated fats, as well as fiber and vitamins A, C, and E. 

These vitamins and other nutrients, many of which work as antioxidants (compounds that prevent cell damage and inflammation), make avocados an excellent choice for those who are looking to combat chronic inflammatory conditions.

Research shows that even in small amounts, avocados can reduce inflammatory markers. For example, one study found that those who ate a hamburger with sliced avocado had lower levels of inflammation than those who ate the hamburger without avocado.

2. Broccoli

Meridian ChiropractorBroccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that’s high in glucosinolates.

Glucosinolates are sulfur-containing compounds. They are known for having potent antioxidant benefits and reducing levels of inflammatory markers in the body.

Broccoli is also full of vitamin C and vitamin A, as well as potassium and calcium. 

3. Berries

Not only are berries delicious, but they’re also full of anthocyanins (a type of antioxidant), fiber, and other nutrients that reduce inflammation.

Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and all other types of berries make an excellent addition to any diet, but especially an anti-inflammatory one. Some research also shows that blueberries, specifically, are associated with increased production of natural killer cells, which are responsible for keeping the immune system functioning.

4. Kale

Kale is another good cruciferous vegetable to enjoy when you’re struggling with chronic inflammation (or if you just want to add more antioxidants and nutrients to your diet).

Kale contains a significant amount of vitamins A, C, and K. It’s also a good source of calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium.

Like broccoli, kale also contains glucosinolates, as well as other antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which are linked to a reduced risk of inflammatory conditions like cataracts. Lutein may also help to reduce atherosclerosis, an inflammatory issue that occurs when the arteries become narrow and blood flow is restricted.

5. Olive Oil

Olive oil is a healthy fat source rich in monounsaturated fats, which support healthy blood vessels and blood flow. It also contains polyphenols, which function as antioxidants, protect your body’s cells, and may have cancer-preventing properties. 

Another powerful antioxidant compound found in olive oil is oleocanthal. Research shows that oleocanthal has anti-inflammatory properties and may be as effective as ibuprofen when it comes to fighting pain and inflammation.

6. Salmon

Salmon and other types of fatty fish, such as sardines and mackerel, are good sources of protein and omega-3 fatty acids like EPA and DHA.

The body metabolizes EPA and DHA into compounds known as resolvins and protectins. Both of these compounds have anti-inflammatory benefits and can reduce levels of inflammatory proteins.

EPA and DHA have been shown to reduce inflammation and improve symptoms related to a variety of inflammatory conditions. This includes metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and diabetes.

7. Sweet Potatoes

Like most colorful vegetables, sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A and the antioxidant beta-carotene.

Sweet potatoes also contain potassium and other vitamins like vitamin C, vitamin K, and B complex vitamins. All of these nutrients can reduce inflammation, which, in turn, supports optimal heart health and blood flow.

8. Walnuts

Walnuts are full of nutrients associated with reduced inflammation. This includes plant compounds called sterols, which are known for suppressing inflammation and may even help to lower cholesterol levels.   

Walnuts also contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids, monounsaturated fats, and vitamin E. All of these nutrients can reduce inflammation and improve heart health.

It’s worth noting that even though they’re healthy and have anti-inflammatory properties, walnuts are also very high in calories and easy to overeat. It’s important to manage your portion sizes when consuming them.

9. Bell Peppers

Bell peppers are loaded with antioxidants, including vitamin C. It contains quercetin, too, which has been shown to reduce markers of cell damage in people who suffer from an inflammatory condition known as sarcoidosis. 

Bell peppers contain other anti-inflammatory compounds, too, such as sinapic acid and ferulic acid. In addition to reducing inflammation, both of these compounds can also support healthier aging.

10. Dark Chocolate

You don’t have to avoid sweets while on an anti-inflammatory diet.

Dark chocolate is a tasty treat to include in your anti-inflammatory diet because it’s rich in antioxidants like polyphenols, flavonols, and catechins. These compounds can reduce your risk of developing all kinds of inflammatory conditions, and they can promote better heart health and healthier aging. 

To reap maximum anti-inflammatory benefits, it’s best to choose dark chocolate that contains at least 70 percent cocoa. The more cocoa it contains, the more antioxidants (and benefits) you’ll get to enjoy.

Bonus Tips for Fighting Inflammation

Changing your diet can have a big impact on your overall health, especially when it comes to fighting inflammation. Here are a few other techniques and tools you might want to utilize if you’re dealing with a chronic inflammatory condition:

  • Sleep: A lack of sleep or poor sleep quality can increase inflammatory markers in the body and suppress the immune system
  • Exercise: Even as little as 20 minutes of movement, can suppress inflammatory cytokine production
  • Chiropractic care: Chiropractic adjustments improve blood flow, reduce inflammation and pain, and improve joint range of motion 
  • Supplements: Some supplements, such as curcumin, fish oil, and ginger, may also have anti-inflammatory properties

Connect with a Meridian Chiropractor Today

Do you need more help, beyond dietary improvements, when it comes to addressing chronic inflammatory conditions and improving your health? If so, working with a chiropractor in Meridian, Idaho can also be a big help. 

If you’re looking for the best chiropractor in Meridian, Idaho, don’t just google “chiropractor near me” and hope for the best. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our services or schedule an appointment.    

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Chad Woolner
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