Foods that Reduce Inflammation

Grocery Items that Help Fight Food Inflammation

Inflammation is the body’s natural immune response to injury or infection; without it, healing is impossible. When the response goes out of control, however, it can damage the body’s tissues. Foods high in sugar or saturated fat can promote inflammation and lead to joint pain and blood vessel injury. The following foods may curb the inflammation you are experiencing:


Oily fish such as tuna and salmon contain large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids that are proven to reduce inflammation.

To reap the benefits, you need to consume them in a healthy way several times a week. Try baking or boiling fish to reduce inflammation and reduce your risk of heart disease. If you dislike the taste of fish, consider taking a moderate amount of fish oil supplements to diminish the effects of inflammation.

Whole grains

Consuming whole grains rather than refined grains such as white bread, pasta and rice, can help keep inflammation at bay. Whole grains contain more fiber, and this has been shown to decrease the amount of C-reactive protein, an indicator of inflammation in blood. Look for foods with “whole grain” listed as the primary ingredient and make sure that there is no sugar added.

Dark leafy greens

According to studies, vitamin E may play an important role in defending the body from inflammatory molecules known as cytokines. A great source of vitamin E is dark leafy veggies like broccoli, kale and spinach.

These vegetables contain many vitamins and minerals like iron and calcium, as well as disease-fighting chemicals.


Nuts are high in fat and are a great source of inflammation-fighting foods. They are rich in calcium, fiber, and vitamin E. Walnuts in particular are high in the omega-3 fat known as alpha-linoleic acid.

All nuts are packed with inflammation-fighting antioxidants.


Isoflavones are estrogen-like compounds present in soy products that have been found to lower inflammation levels in women. Try to get more soy in your diet by eating tofu, edamame, and soy milk, but try to avoid heavily-processed soy-containing additives and preservatives.


Colorful peppers are high in antioxidant vitamins and low in starch. Bell peppers come in an array of different colors and hot peppers contain capsaicin, a chemical that is made into topical creams to reduce inflammation. Peppers may exacerbate inflammation in individuals with rheumatoid arthritis, so you’ll need to pay attention to whether certain foods help or hurt your body.


Tomatoes have also been proven to reduce inflammation. They contain high levels of a substance called lycopene which can reduce inflammation in the lungs as well as the rest of the body. Cooked tomatoes, including tomato sauce, have more lycopene than raw tomatoes, and the juice has also been shown to be beneficial.


The vibrant red color in beets is a hint to its equally intense antioxidant properties. Beets have been proven to reduce inflammation, and they also help prevent cancer and heart disease as they contain vitamin C and betalains, a class of red and yellow pigments.

Olive Oil

Healthy, plant-based fats such as olive oil work to fight inflammation. The compound oleocanthal gives olive oil its distinct flavor as well as its anti-inflammatory properties. Studies show that olive oil has comparable effects to NSAID painkillers.


All fruits are low in fat, contain few calories, and are packed with antioxidants, thereby helping to fight inflammation. Berries in particular contain anthocyanins, a compound that gives the fruit its bright red color and possibly its anti-inflammatory properties. Studies show that red raspberry extract prevents arthritis in animals, and blueberries help protect against intestinal inflammation.


This pungent vegetable is known for its immunity-boosting properties. In studies, garlic has been shown to shut off pathways that cause inflammation, working much like Ibuprofen and other NSAIDs. Onions contain chemicals that produce sulfenic acid, a chemical that fights free radicals in the body and helps reduce painful inflammation within the body.

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