Anti-Inflammatory foods: 18 foods to a disease-free you


Last Updated October 11th, 2019

What are anti-inflammatory foods?

Anti-inflammatory foods are the foods which are known to reduce the inflammation as well as the pain from the affected area.  Generally, people rely on prescription medications for the anti-inflammatory effects, but the side effects associated with these drugs are numerous and may cause severe digestive problems.  The inflammation process is actually the reaction of the immune system when a foreign body attacks the human body.

The immune system quickly reacts to the foreign body and due to this process, there is swelling, redness, and warmth felt in the affected area.  There are numerous foods available naturally which is known to reduce the inflammation. It is always better to choose natural food to reduce the inflammation rather than choosing an anti-inflammatory drug. There are numerous foods available naturally which are known to reduce the inflammation namely tomatoes, green leafy vegetables, olive oil, nuts, fish, as well as fruits, etc.  

On the other hand, there are even foods that may worsen the inflammation namely, refined carbohydrates, sodas, red meat, French fries, etc. It is important to choose the right food and maintain a healthy diet so as to avoid problems such as inflammation and other associated issues. Unhealthy diet not only causes short-term problems but may even cause long-term issues such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, hypertension, as well as inflammatory bowel disease, etc.

List of top anti-inflammatory foods

The first step towards a healthy lifestyle is by avoiding any carbonated products as well as processed foods.  As we eradicate this unhealthy diet, it is quite obvious that we would incorporate at least some healthy foods in our diet.  There are numerous anti-inflammatory foods available and let us discuss the most commonly available anti-inflammatory foods and their uses.  

Almonds

They are considered to be nutritious food containing several nutrients such as fiber, protein, fat, vitamin E, manganese, magnesium, as well as copper and vitamin B2.  They are also known to contain phytic acid, which is essential to bind minerals. They are considered to be a powerful antioxidant and have the ability to reduce oxidative stress and promote a healthy chemical environment.  They are known to reduce the risk associated with heart diseases as well as regulate the blood sugar levels. Almonds are packed with calories and hence a small intake can provide a sufficient amount of calories.

Avocados

They are considered to be a berry with a single seed present.  They are widely used all over the world due to their several health benefits.  They contain a variety of nutrients namely saturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, monounsaturated fat, sodium, potassium, carbohydrates, dietary fiber, sugar, vitamin A, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin C, iron, vitamin B-6, as well as magnesium.  The presence of monounsaturated fat is helpful in reducing the risk of heart disease and also helps to reduce blood pressure. Oleic acid and linoleic acid are helpful in reducing cholesterol levels. The abundance of vitamin E makes Avocados a potent antioxidant.  Due to the multiple nutrients and polyphenols present, they are helpful in reducing the inflammation and can be considered as one of the most important anti-inflammatory food. Avocados are rich in calories and hence a small portion of Avocado is sufficient to manage the daily requirements.

Broccoli

Anti-inflammatory foods broccoliBroccoli is related to the cabbage family and the flower of the plant is consumed as a vegetable.  It is rich in nutrients namely sodium, potassium, carbohydrate, dietary fiber, sugar, protein, vitamin A, calcium, vitamin C, iron, vitamin B-6, as well as magnesium.  It contains few calories and is easily digestible. It is widely popular to reduce weight due to the low amount of calorie content. It is also helpful in managing diabetes as well as heart disease.  It contains phytochemicals and is considered to be powerful antioxidants. Studies have also indicated that Broccoli can be helpful in even treating a certain type of cancers and halt the process of multiplication of malignant cells.  Broccoli not only has so many benefits but also tastes good when cooked in curries as well as even when used for salads.

Blueberries

They are berries which are purple in color and delicious to taste.  They are sometimes referred to as superfood due to the rich nutritional value it provides.  Blueberries contain sodium, potassium, carbohydrates, dietary fiber, sugar, protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, magnesium, as well as vitamin B-6.  They are rich in polyphenols and considered to be a potent antioxidant. In fact, they are known to contain the maximum amount of antioxidant properties compared to other fruits.  They are filled with nutrient, but containing few calories, which makes it the first choice for any fitness enthusiast. Due to their powerful antioxidant effect, they are considered to be beneficial for treating cancer as well as slow the aging process.  The main function of the Blueberries is due to the presence of flavonoids present in them, which is responsible for the protection of cellular damage caused by free radicals.

Carrots

They belong to the root family and are used as a vegetable.  They are the most popular food item which is added to several dishes as well as salads.  They carry powerful antioxidant effect and are rich in beta-carotene from which vitamin A is produced.  They are widely known to improve eyesight. There are many varieties of carrots, but the popular one is the orange colored carrot which is widely used all over the world.  They contain a high amount of fiber and a low amount of calories. They are widely popular in the medical field for their antioxidant effect, which can even prevent as well as treat cancer and secondly are known to prevent the damage to the eyes.  People trying to lose weight definitely add this food to their diet since it provides little calories, but is filled with nutrients and fiber content, which is easily digestible.

Dry Beans

Dry Beans are the dried form of the natural beans available.   They are rich in nutrients namely potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, folate, and proteins.  They are rich in polyphenols making them a powerful antioxidant. They are a rich source of fiber, which is easily soluble and provides fewer amounts of calories, which is ideal for a healthy diet.  They are known to reduce cholesterol from the body and help prevent many heart-related risk factors. They are widely used for many culinary foods either in a cooked form or even used in salads in a sprouted form by soaking the dry beans in water.  It is known to contain a low glycemic index. Studies have indicated that dry beans are also known to regulate the sugar levels in the body and manage diabetes appropriately.

Kale

It belongs to the cabbage family and the leaves of the plant are used in many culinary recipes.  It is rich in nutrients namely fat, sodium, potassium, carbohydrates, protein, vitamin A, calcium, vitamin C, iron, vitamin K, vitamin B-6, as well as magnesium.  It provides a low amount of calories, which makes it a good choice to add to the diet. It is rich in flavonoids and antioxidants. Due to these properties, they are effective in reducing the oxidative stress on the body.  It is known to reduce the level of cholesterol and reduces the risk of several heart problems. It is also helpful in binding the bile acids and contains glucosinolates, which is helpful in preventing cancer.  Vitamin A which is present in Kale is known to prevent cataract as well as macular degeneration in the old age.  It contains lutein, which prevents the occurrence of atherosclerosis. It is delicious when consumed raw in salads as well as when cooked.

Olive Oil

It is the oil produced from the olives.  It is widely used for their medicinal as well as culinary uses.  It is filled with nutrients namely saturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, monounsaturated fat, sodium, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B-6, as well as magnesium.   It contains a high amount of calories and generally used only in moderation. It is rich in polyphenols and acts as a powerful antioxidant. The monounsaturated fats are beneficial for the blood vessels as they avoid plaque formation.  It is effective in reducing the inflammation as well as cholesterol levels. It is the first choice for any salad and adds a powerful taste to the salad.

Oranges

Oranges are citrus fruit, which is widely used all over the world due to their wonderful taste as well as other medicinal properties.  They are a rich source of vitamin C and other nutrients such as potassium, carbohydrates, dietary fiber, sugar, protein, vitamin A, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B-6, as well as magnesium.  They are rich in fiber and are easily digested. They have a low amount of calories. It contains numerous phytochemicals as well as flavonoids and is considered to be a powerful antioxidant.  They are known to reduce blood pressure levels due to the presence of potassium. Since they are known to reduce blood pressure, it indirectly helps to reduce the risk of heart disease. Orange peel extracts are also used in several cosmetic products.     

Salmon

Anti-inflammatory foods salmonIt is a fatty fish that hatch in the fresh waters and travels to the ocean.  It is one of the most widely consumed fish. It contains a high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids, which is useful to treat heart problems.  Due to the rich content of omega-3 fatty acids, they help in reducing the inflammation in the arteries and reduce the risk of heart problems. It is also helpful in reducing the cholesterol level.  It contains an antioxidant called astaxanthin which is effective in reducing the oxidative stress.

Spinach

They are obtained from the spinach plant and are consumed widely because of the numerous health benefits.  It is filled with nutrients with low calories. They contain many nutrients such as proteins, vitamin K, fiber, phosphorous, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, etc.  Some of the health benefits associated with spinach include reducing the risk of cancer, management of blood glucose, maintaining healthy bones, reducing blood pressure, promote healthy skin, etc.  It is also effective in reducing the occurrence of macular degeneration.

Strawberries

They are one of the most loved berries all over the world.  They are popular for their bright red color as well as the sweet juicy taste they possess.  They are abundant in nutrients and contain sodium, potassium, carbohydrates, protein, calcium, vitamin C, iron, as well as magnesium.  They contain low-calorie count. They contain flavonoids that are known to reduce cholesterol and prevent the risk of heart disease such as atherosclerosis.  They also contain polyphenols which are known to regulate the blood pressure. The antioxidant properties of strawberries are even helpful in preventing cancer.  They have a good source of fiber and are useful to resolve several stomach issues.

Sweet Potatoes

They belong to the root family and are popular in various culinary recipes.  They are filled with nutrients and at the same time have few calories. They contain sodium, potassium, carbohydrates, protein, vitamin A, calcium, vitamin C, magnesium, iron, as well as vitamin B-6.  There are several health benefits associated with them such as regulating blood pressure, cancer prevention and prevents constipation. They are efficient in managing diabetes. They are rich in vitamin A and beta-carotenes and act as a powerful antioxidant.

Walnuts

They are the seeds of the walnut tree.  They are considered as the powerhouse of nutrients and calories as well.  They contain saturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, monounsaturated fat, protein, calcium, vitamin C, iron, vitamin B6, as well as magnesium.  A small quantity of walnuts is sufficient to provide the required amount of nutrients and calories. They also contain omega-3 fatty acids, which is effective in managing heart-related issues by reducing the cholesterol level and preventing plaque formation.

Green Tea

It is popular these days because of its numerous health benefits.  It is considered as one of the healthiest beverage.  It is power packed with antioxidants and nutrients.  It contains polyphenols and flavonoids which act as powerful antioxidants.  It has numerous health benefits such as improving brain function due to the presence of caffeine.  It is known to regulate blood sugar levels and manage diabetes. It helps in the lowering of cholesterol and prevents several heart problems.  It contains a component called L-theanine that provides a soothing effect on the brain and helps during anxiety and panic attacks.

Peppers

Peppers namely the bell peppers and chili peppers are widely used in many culinary recipes.  Bell peppers and chili peppers are known to have a powerful antioxidant effect due to the presence of quercetin.  These peppers also contain sinapic acid and ferulic acid, which are known for their anti-inflammatory effects. Vitamin C is another component present in them, which is effective in repairing the tissues of the body.   

Grapes

They are fruit berries, which are pulpy and delicious.  It is consumed in many forms such as raw grape, wine, jam, as well as vinegar.  They are abundant in nutrients such as sodium, potassium, protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, as well as iron.  They contain a component called anthocyanins, which is helpful in reducing the inflammation. They are also known to help in preventing heart problems.

Turmeric

It is the root of a ginger plant.  It is widely used in Asian countries to add flavor and color to the dishes.  It has also been used since ancient times for their medicinal properties. It is known to contain a component called curcumin, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent.  Ancient people used to apply turmeric to the wounds to reduce the inflammation and protect the wound from being infected.

Anti-inflammatory foods: A road to better health

Inflammation on any level is dangerous whereas as inflammation on a chronic basis may cause numerous health issues.  Choosing the right food helps in avoiding inflammation as well as cause further damage to any organ. It is always advised to consult a medical professional to know the foods, which can help with inflammation and try to incorporate it in the daily diet to lead a healthy lifestyle.

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