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12 Best Anti-Inflammatory Foods to Eat Recommended by an Expert

by | Nutrition

Jun 14, 2022

Inflammation is the body’s cellular and tissue response to harm or perceived harm. During a typical inflammatory response, the body senses a threat and responds to this threat by triggering a cascade of events that causes the release of chemicals such as interleukins.

There are two kinds: acute inflammation and chronic inflammation. 

As the name suggests, acute inflammation happens suddenly and lasts for only a short while; it isn’t usually widespread. It is what you get when you sustain a little scratch on your skin—the area swells up a bit, and clotting starts to take place. 

Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, takes place over a longer time and may be more widespread. 

Whilst inflammation is a healthy response, it could become a problem, a threat. Chronic inflammation, particularly, has been linked to heart disease, stroke, autoimmune disorders, depression, and even anxiety.

Experts believe that diet is linked to inflammation in some way. High carb foods, for example, can cause inflammations—fried foods too, and over-processed junk. 

Whilst foods rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the rate of inflammation and, of course, the duration and severity. 

So, it becomes imperative that we pay attention to our diet, especially if we have a family history of chronic diseases such as heart failure, stroke, diabetes, etc. 

In this article, I will be exploring the best anti-inflammatory foods to eat, recommended by experts, in order to say healthy and sound: 

What are Anti-inflammatory Foods?

Anti-inflammatory foods are diets that are capable of reducing the levels of inflammatory chemicals in the body. In other words, they are able to hamper the body’s inflammatory responses, should they go over-board and begin to prove harmful. 

Anti-inflammatory foods are rich in antioxidants, which mop out free radicals and keep the body healthy. 

Here is a list of recommended anti-inflammatory foods for you to consider adding to your diet: 

1. Apples

It can’t be overemphasized that apples are pretty healthy foods to eat. An apple is a storehouse of vitamins, carbohydrates, antioxidants, and fiber. It contains all these while managing to contain low calories.

Eating apples often can help lower the risk of heart disease and cancer via the function of antioxidants, which mop out free radicals. 

The fiber contained in apples helps improve digestive health—fiber is needed for the normal functioning of the lower GIT. 

Have an apple a day, they say; it keeps the doctor away. 

PS: even though apples do contain sugar, they have a low glycemic index. 

Read: Early Warning Signs of Pancreatic Cancer

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2. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are also a recommended anti-inflammatory food. They are very rich in Vitamin C, which is helpful in boosting immunity. 

The antioxidant contained in tomatoes is called lycopene and is helpful in reducing the risks of heart disease and cancer

Tomatoes also contain fiber, particularly an insoluble fiber called lignin. 

You can include tomatoes in a number of recipes, as long as they don’t contain other meals that are high in inflammatory substances. 

3. Berries

Berries, like most fruits in their class, contain lots of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. 

One of the most common antioxidants in berries is anthocyanins. Anthocyanins have anti-inflammatory properties because they mop out free radicals and keep cell integrity intact. 

Different kinds of berries are recommended when one is seeking to eat anti-inflammatory foods. Raspberries. Blackberries. Strawberries. Blueberries. 

Go for any which you like to eat. Eat it as often as you can, and be sure to stay away from processed foods. 

Read: 10 Healthy Habits To Prevent Macular Degeneration

4. Fish

Seafood contains a lot of protein. This makes them a yes when one is trying to lose weight and maintain a healthy muscle mass. 

In addition, they also contain a lot of omega-3 fatty acids. 

One go-to food for an anti-inflammatory diet should be seafood such as fatty fish: salmons, mackerels, etc. 

The omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fish may prevent the risk of metabolic syndrome, which is usually seen in people who have had chronic inflammation. These fatty acids, upon digestion, are broken down into compounds called resolvins and protectins. 

Studies have shown that they protect against and help resolve inflammation.

5. Avocados

Avocados contain lots of potassium and magnesium and fiber. Potassium is needed in the regulation of necessary body functions such as fluid balance, nerve cell signaling, and muscle contraction. 

Magnesium helps in maintaining blood pressure and also has an effect on regulating blood pressure. 

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Studies show that avocados contain carotenoids as well. These compounds reduce the risk of cancer by moping out free radicals. They may also have an effect in stopping new skin cells from getting inflamed.

Avocados can be included in a number of recipes, so with them, you have a wide array of options. Did you know you can even grill them too? 

Read: Ten Important Functions Of The Spleen

6. Peppers

Whichever you choose, bell peppers or chili peppers, be sure that you are getting lots of vitamin c and antioxidants. 

The antioxidants in peppers have a big effect on reducing inflammation. But not only do these reduce inflammation when peppers are involved. Peppers, especially chili peppers, contain two anti-inflammatory compounds, which may reduce chronic inflammation and also help you age healthier. These compounds are: sinapic acid and ferulic acid. 

Include peppers in your meals as often as you can to get the best of them. Have them as a spice for your fatty fish, and get going with some protein drink such as Greek yoghurt. 

Read: 10 Realistic Ways to Eat Less Processed Foods

7. Grapes

As you may have noticed, most items on this list are fruits. If you are seeking anti-inflammatory foods, seek fruits. 

Grapes contain an antioxidant called anthocyanin. This helps reduce inflammation. 

The results of a study in 2012 show that Grapes also decrease the risk of even Alzheimer’s. They also reduce the risk of eye disorders related to aging. [1.]

Another antioxidant contained in grapes is resveratrol. Like anthocyanins, this is potent and can prevent inflammation. There are studies that suggest that resveratrol can help prevent the inflammation of the heart. 

Eat grapes whenever you want, and often so. 

Read: Superfoods: Health Benefits, Uses, and Risks

8. Olive Oil

Olive oil is one of the healthiest oils out there and is definitely a yes if you are seeking meals that can protect you from chronic inflammation and the conditions that are associated with it.

Oleic acid, one of the monosaturated fatty acids contained in olive oils, helps protect against chronic inflammation and can be said to prevent cancer. 

The antioxidants contained in the oil also have similar effects as oleic acid. They keep cholesterol in your blood from being oxidated.  

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Olive oil also contains vitamin E, which makes it great for your skin. 

Unrelated, but: you can use a lotion that contains olive oil. It adds to the glow.

9. Shrimps

Shrimps are a rich source of protein and can be the needed variety in your meals if you love seafood. 

Whole shrimp contains niacin, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, iodine, and vitamin E whilst managing to contain very few calories.

Zinc is an essential nutrient needed for the improvement of immune function, gut function, and blood clotting. 

Iodine is necessary for the normal functioning of the thyroid gland. Iodine deficiency will present in an enlarged thyroid gland.

The antioxidant in shrimp is called astaxanthin, which provides shrimp with their red hue. According to findings, astaxanthin is effective in preventing the effect of free radicals, which are associated with cancer. 

Read: The Best Low-Calorie Foods to Help You Lose Weight (And Foods to Avoid)

10. Nuts

Nuts are healthy and tasty foods that offer some anti-inflammatory properties. 

They contain a lot of omega-3 fatty acids, which may help reduce inflammation associated with arthritis. 

Nuts also have an effect on promoting weight loss, as they leave you feeling satisfied for longer. They also prevent heart disease. 

In addition to the many nutrients, nuts contain Vitamin E. Vitamin E is great for your skin and can help prevent cancer and a condition called osteoporosis. They also contain folic acids. 

11. Beans

Beans are legumes that are high in fiber. This is why eating beans is helpful for the lower intestinal tract. 

They also contain a lot of antioxidants. These antioxidants help mop free radicals and offer a buffer against the risk of heart diseases and cancer. 

Beans contain proteins. Meaning they can make a necessary substitute for meat, which is high in fats. The proteins in beans are necessary for maintaining muscle mass and integrity. 

Eat beans if you are trying to gain some muscle mass whilst shredding excess weight. 

12. Leafy Vegetables

Leafy vegetables are quite healthy and can be eaten even by vegies. 

Include dark leafy vegetables in your anti-inflammatory diet. Vegetables like spinach and kale are rich in Vitamin C, as well as dietary compounds such as antioxidants and zinc. 

Eating vegetables often is sure going to help boost your immune system. 

Eat them in a number of recipes. If you want, you can even include vegetables in your vegetable smoothies. 

Conclusion

Avoiding junk food and sticking to more healthy fruit and vegetables is such a great idea, as healthy fruits and vegetables have an effect on preventing inflammation. 

Be especially careful with seafood if you have a history of allergic reactions to foods, though. Eat healthily, and stay healthy.

By Ubong Johnson

Ubong Johnson (Ubee) is a relationship expert, medical student, and writer. He writes articles which cover everything from relationships and nutrition to lifestyle. His works of short fiction have appeared in several literary magazines including The Shallow Tales Review, Ngiga Review, and the Kalahari Review. He is the founder and editor of Fiction Niche.

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